Galtström Ironworks, SCA’s cradle, is located on the coast a short distance south of Sundsvall and is owned and managed by Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget SCA. The area is a pleasant destination for anyone interested in visiting a preserved ironworks environment or interested in studying the coastal flora at one of the beaches nearby. The old Galtström Ironworks is also here, and is a historic building of national interest.

Galtström Ironworks was founded in 1673 and is Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget SCA's oldest predecessor. Galtström Ironworks is Medelpad's oldest, largest and last ironworks and was in operation between 1673 and 1916. The works church was built as early as 1680. The same year, the works was assigned its own priest, who also worked as a teacher, as was the practice at that time. Today, the church is a popular venue for weddings and christenings.

About Galtström Ironworks

Galtström Ironworks is Medelpad's oldest, largest and last ironworks and was in operation between 1673 and 1916. The works environment is carefully preserved and many of the old works buildings can be visited, including the roasting and blast furnace, the church and the bakery.

Destination Galtströms Bruk is a non-profit association that seeks to develop and preserve our unique Galtström, together with private and public sector players and private individuals in the area. This is so that we can in the future create an attractive offering and services for both visitors and residents.

The aim is to create a Galtström that will attract more visitors and also encourage more people to settle in Galtström, thereby improving accessibility, employment and services in the area.

Anything introduced into the village must be deeply rooted or well adapted to the historical environment. The aim is to manage and develop a heritage that is only on loan to those of us who live and work here today. In this respect, it is important to show consideration for the environment, culture and the community, and the fact that historic buildings can be found throughout the area.

The Galtström cultural trail

The cultural trail follows a signposted loop through Galtström. Scan the QR code on the signs with your smartphone to learn about these historical stories.

The year is 1673. Sweden was a great power and controlled the Baltic Sea. Sweden was one of the leading iron producers in the world, and iron was vital for Sweden and its economy. In 1750, iron accounted for 70% of all exports.

Iron smelting
Iron smelting is a complex process. The goal of an ironworks has always been to improve the production process and to use less coal. Originally, charcoal produced in the forests around the works was used. Charcoal was later replaced by coal. To reduce CO₂ emissions from the process, hydrogen is today being tested as an alternative to coal.

The abundance of fuelwood for charcoal production was the main reason why ironworks were established in northern Sweden at the end of the 17th century. In central Sweden, where the iron ore was found, the land had been deforested over the years due to mining and iron smelting. Some works had been forced to close due to a lack of fuelwood.

Engine room and railway
A narrow-gauge railway track was laid in the 1860s for transport between the works and Prästviken, which was the port used at the time. In 1877, the track was extended westwards to the rolling mill and sawmill, and northwards to the new port in Utterviken, with a total route of 3,200 meters. The track gauge was 890 mm.

The gunpowder store
Large amounts of gunpowder were used for road building and other types of construction around the works.

The main product unloaded in the port was iron ore from the mines. Pig iron and rod iron were uploaded for shipping to Swedish and foreign ports.

The mansion and office
Galtström’s mansion was the Director’s residence. The current mansion was built in the 1830s and received its current appearance when it was refurbished in 1889. Prior to that, there were three mansions that were probably more modest. The first mansion was burnt down by the Russians in 1721.

Life in the ironworks
Galtström is an idyllic place today, but when the ironworks were in operation, it was an industrial municipality where the people worked hard. It’s difficult to imagine the working conditions and the work environment at the ironworks during this period.

Wash house and bakery
The combined wash house and bakery was built with timber and clad with vertical boards.

The farming
The people who lived and worked in Galtström had to produce their own food. The Galtström Ironworks were essentially self-sufficient. The works’ owner ran the communal farm and purchased the food that wasn’t produced by the works from local farmers and storekeepers.

The church
The foundations of the wooden church were laid on May 26, 1680, and the first service was held on May 30 of the same year when the Galtström Ironworks parish was formed. The first pastor was installed the same year and, in accordance with the custom of the time, also served as teacher for the ironworks’ children.

The dams
There are six dams in the Galtström area (Ålhusdammen, Kvarndammen, Sågdammen, Hammardammen, Kyrkdammen and Bruksdammen) that regulate the water flow in the Armsjö River. The aim of the dams was to use the energy from the falling water to drive the water wheels and turbines that powered all of the ironworks’ machinery.