Olofsfors Bruk in Västerbotten county, on the shore of the Gulf of Bothnia, some 50 km south of Umeå, is an ironworking community established in 1762 to take advantage of the water-power available in the vicinity and the surrounding forests which yielded abundant quantities of charcoal fuel. Pig iron smelted at the Olofsfors blast furnace was exported to distant European countries.
The Olofsfors company still flourishes, specialising in special steels used in tracks for forest vehicles and for cutting tools. A foundation, established in 1979, conserves the monuments of earlier periods of ironworking, blast furnaces, forges, workers’ homes and the mansion, all of which can be visited on guided tours. A museum displays artefacts relating to ironworking and photographs of workpeople. The museum also provides accommodation for artists and craftspeople, and for musical and theatrical performances.