Making a difference since 1923
Fiskarhedens Trävaru AB is the formal name of the company. The name indicates that the sawmill is located in the village of Fiskarheden, just a few kilometers south of the Vasaloppet start. The first Vasaloppet was held in 1922 and the following year Fiskarhedens Sågverksförening u.p.a. was established. The initiator was Johan Jacobsson, who returned to his home village in 1919 after a period in the USA. He brought with him some money and a vision of a modern sawmill in Fiskarheden. Among those who invested as much as SEK 5,000 (135,000 in today’s money) were, in addition to Johan Jacobsson himself, some well-to-do farmers from Transtrand.
The site for the sawmill was carefully selected and suitable for the intake of timber from the Västerdal River. The saw’s first source of power was a steam engine from Munktells. The heavy piece was pulled on a specially built sled by eight horses from the railroad in Limedsforsen. At the start, the sawmill had 15 employees and at that time it was a large company in the area.
Electricity instead of steam
After a few years, the sawmill was bought by Edvard Frisk, one of the original owners. Under Frisk’s management, the saw was continuously modernized. The biggest change was the change of power source. In 1943 the steam engine was replaced by electricity. 1945 Viktor Johansson took over the saw. His brother ran Fiskarhedens Snickerifabrik. During the post-war period, the sawmill did reasonably well. At the end of the 1950s, however, production declined considerably. In 1959-61, the sawmill was even shut down for a period.
Fiskarhedens Trävaru AB is formed
In 1962, Transtrand municipality and Transtrand’s landowning parishioners took over the sawmill. Fiskarhedens Trävaru AB was formed. Bertil Lind, creator of the Lindvallen ski resort, was elected chairman of the board. Mercenary sawing ceased and the sawmill became a purely commercial sawmill. The production manager was Robert Schols and, thanks to his international contacts, the saw got customers far beyond Sweden’s borders.
At the end of the 1960s, the sawmill was hit by a deep economic downturn. In the early 1970s, demand for sawn timber increased again. During the good years, an extensive investment program was implemented. The boom was replaced by a recession and the sawmill was given different ownership structures. Transtrands Besparingsskog became an increasingly large owner. However, this put a strain on the economy and Besparingen chose to liquidate its ownership.
The Larsson family takes over
In 1988, the Larsson family became owners. Skol Lars Larsson had transferred Larsson Hus to his sons Olle and Per. Per was given main responsibility for the parent company Larsson Hus in Ofors and Olle was given responsibility for the sawmill in Fiskarheden.
This began the development that has led to Fiskarheden becoming a major export company and one of the leading sawmills in Sweden. When Olle Larsson took over the sawmill, it had 42 employees. Olle saw immediately that there was a lack of efficiency and that the knowledge of the experienced sawmill workers had not been utilized at all. After Larsson’s takeover, the company culture changed radically. The importance of the workers was emphasized and a “we” feeling was established. A new, high production target was set. Thanks to the great commitment of the employees, the goal was reached and the whole of Fiskarheden went on a conference trip to the sun and warmth.
In 1995 Fiskarheden, which then had 67 employees, invested in a new powerful boiler plant. Production could thus be increased to as much as 99,000 cubic meters per year.
Fiskarheden, a modern sawmill
In 1999, Fiskarheden commissioned a completely new saw line, with a band saw, and became a modern sawmill. The investment in more efficient saw technology was reflected in production. In 2000, it amounted to 110,000 cubic meters. In the following years, Olle carried out extensive renovation work and capacity increased. In 2005, Fiskarheden had 100 employees and production had increased to 190,000 cubic meters.
A very difficult to extinguish and severe fire
2007 was the best year in Fiskarheden’s history, that is, until the night between December 16 and 17. The following morning, P4 Dalarna’s website stated: “A very difficult to extinguish and heavy fire rages at the sawmill in Fiskarheden…” The newly renovated adjustment unit was completely destroyed. It was a devastating blow to Olle Larsson, as well as to the sawmill’s employees and contractors. But a path to a new start was paved thanks to the commitment of the employees, the contractors and the entire industry. In May 2009, a new adjustment plant was put into operation and in September of the same year a new timber sorting plant was inaugurated. After all the difficulties, Olle Larsson and the sawmill’s employees were able to note that in 2010 they reached an all-time high of 250,000 cubic meters of sawn timber.
Apart from a new fire, this time in the boiler room in February 2013, production continued. When 2014 was added to the records, it could be noted that the production amounted to 335,000 cubic meters of high quality planks and boards.
Fiskarhedens Trävaru AB becomes a group company
Forestry and sawmill operations are expanded with a real estate company, component factory and the acquisition of Älvdalsfönster.
To be able to offer attractive housing and premises within the municipality, Fiskarheden Fastigheter was formed in November 2021.
With the ambition to develop the further processing of the local raw material and to broaden the product range, some acquisitions were made. From being a co-owner of Sälen Timber, Fiskarheden became a full owner at the end of 2021. The following year, the company changed its name to Fiskarhedens Komponenter AB. The company manufactures furniture components for the national and international market.
At the beginning of 2022, Älvdalsfönster, a family business that manufactures high-quality windows, was acquired, and in March 2023 the construction company Grefs became part of the Fiskarheden Group.