Forfjord is a fjord on the west side of Hinnøya island in Vesterålen in Northern Norway. Forfjord has about 70 inhabitants and is located 30 kilometers from Sortland and 70 kilometers from Andenes. The name is derived from its pine forest, as "Furu" and "Forra" translates to pine tree.
It has rich resources for small and large game hunters, rivers and mountain lakes attracting sports fishermen from near and afar, and a nature reserve with the oldest living pine trees on record in Northern Europe. Among 1000-year-old living trees, trees still standing have been dated to 830 AD. It is assumed that this forest served as source of timber and tar for viking ships, and there are settlements and burial sites that have not yet been excavated.
Forfjord was the home of Hans Jørgen Furfjord (also known as Hans Jørgensen, Hans Jørnsa), who led the first expedition to stay the winter on Svalbard, to hunt for silver foxes, walruses, seals and polar bears. Skins (from silver foxes in particular), salted meat and animal oils were precious commodities at the time. Items from his expeditions are stored in museums in Tromsø and on Svalbard and he wrote diaries so far only available in Norwegian. Among weather descriptions and catch reports, they contain well-written stories of adventurous European monarchs visiting, him being imprisoned by British soldiers for not supplying them for free, nearly freezing to death and barely surviving polar bear encounters. He died of old age at home in Forfjord, and left behind his wife Elise and 15 children, several of which later emigrated to the United States.
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