The settlement around Åbjørvatn may date back as far to prehistorical times. Living conditions were good for growing grain, keeping cattle, for fishing and hunting. The area was and still is, very remote. We know of at least one farm here in the iron age, and several archaeological finds and burial mounds date back to the Vikings.
The farmers at Granbostad were freeholders up to 1874 when Ulrik Sverdrup, father of the polar explorer,Otto Sverdrup, bought the farm. Succeeding tenant farmers at Åbjøra and Granbostad came from Trøndelag around 1900 .
Tuberculoses was a common cause of death. A tenant at Granbostad lost 11 out of 14 children as well as his wife in tuberculoses. He then left the farm, but died of the same disease shortly after.
The last tenants at Granbostad were Svanhild and Jarle Nilsen from Åbygda. They had 4 children and worked the farm from 1961 to 1965. Thereafter no one has lived there permanently.
Åbjøra was one of the most remote areas in Bindal, with difficult access to the rest of the community. Yet there was a rather big farm here in the Viking age. Archaeological digs in 1905 revealed a tomb with a sceleton, parts of a double-edged sword, a spear point and a scythe blade from the 9th century. Another search, in 1973, disclosed 5 grave-mounds, one 20 metres long, and a house-site, 30-35 metres long and 8 metres wide, all of it most likely from the 9th century. You can see the grave-mounds and site of the house near the farm.
The first farmer, Jon, is mentioned in 1611. As from 1647 there were 2 farms at Åbjøra and the farmers, like at Granbostad, were freeholders up to 1874, when Ulrik Sverdrup bought both farms.. One of the last freeholders was named Svend, so one of the farms was called «Sveingarden»(Svein’s farm). One of the tenants, Karl Magnus Welde, came to Åbjøra in 1877 and is remembered for his brave battle with a bear. A note board on the farm tells you the story in detail.
The last tenant was the lap, Johan Westerfjell. He grew up at Klarem, much further into the valley were his father, Peder Johnsen Westerfjell had made a living. Johan Westerfjell left Åbjøra in 1954 and the farm has been abandoned ever since. It was a rough life. The weather here is quite warm at summer-time, so they farmed their own supplies of grain, potatoes and vegetables. They kept a couple of cows they hunted and fished and at a certain time they even had a fox farm. Whatever special suplies they needed had to be carried over the mountains, heavy things pulled on sleighs at winter-time.
The old farmhouse is still there, the rest of the buildings long since gone. The house is said to be haunted. Some old and worn children’s shoes hang on the wall by the stove and must not, for your own safety, be removed. The shoes belonged to a girl who died there under mysterious circumstances.