The history of Berte
Berte Qvarn has a long history of milling activities. Thanks to the stream Suseån with its fall there has probably been a mill here since we humans learned how to make use of the water power.
The first time the name of Berte Qvarn appeared in writing dates back to 11th August, 1569 in the “landebog” of the episcopate of Lund. The "Landebogen", or the “Jordebok”, the land register, which is how it was called in Sweden, was a register of the properties and the income of the churches, the preasts and the parish clerks and organists. Berte Qvarn and the surrounding area belonged to the church of Slöinge.
The first trace of a miller’s name that we have found is from 1583, when Nils Sönnesen was the person possessing the right to the hereditary lease of the homestead.
Through the Peace of Brömsebro in 1645, the district of Halland came under the Swedish Crown and, according to the Swedish land register 1646 a Mr Tore Svendsen stood as statutory tenant of Bärtequarn.
Nils Johan Stenström’s children from his two marriages, all gathered around the table, drinking coffee, in 1898.
From the left: Anna, Georg, Lisa, Maja, Augusta, Tora, Gösta and Anders.
From the left on the porch:Elin and Helena (Erik is missing).
Since then the mill has been passed on from father to son through a number of generations. Four generations ago, in 1869, the son-in-law Nils Stenström took over the running of the mill, through his marriage to the Gudmundsson daughters (the older sister died from an appendicitis). Already since 1839, the mill was on free land, but not until 1872 was Nils allowed to buy the place from the church. When this finally happened, Nils could fulfil the reconstruction of the mill that his father-in-law had started some years before.
Berte Qvarn became one of the most modern mills of the country in 1887, with water turbines instead of the old water wheels. The mill stones disappeared a few years later and were replaced by an automatic roller mill, one of Sweden’s first.
After Nils the son Georg took over and in 1895 Berte Qvarn Aktiebolag was founded. Georg, too, was extremely interested and active. He was offered to buy the mills of both Falkenberg and Halmstad, but was satisfied with his dear Berte. During the time when the next son, Olof, ran the mill, the number of mill industries in Sweden decreased to only eight.
Berte Qvarn is one of the smaller, but has managed to keep up with the ever tougher competition.