Stor-Hans och Jo-Larsa -

recluses in Femundsmarka

No one really knows why Stor-Hans wandered into Femundsmarka. He had walked out on his wife and children, leaving them behind in Sweden. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that he was suspected of stealing a cow. In any case, he didn’t want to have anything to do with the authorities, and from 1908 until his death in 1946 he lived on what the wilderness provided.

Stor-Hans took casual handyman jobs, hunted and fished. He knew Femundsmarka better than most and kept an eye on all happenings, like a self-appointed supervisor. One of his favourite huts was called Muspelheim, located 500 metres north-east of Røoset. You can still peep in and see how cramped it was, although quite well-arranged with a spring outside the door.

Stor-Hans was not the only one attracted by the life of freedom in Femundsmarka. The first few years he shared the forests with Jo-Larsa who had arrived some 30 years earlier.

To start with, Jo-Larsa lived west of Lake Femunden and rowed over the lake to hunt and fish. This was a long, arduous and dangerous route, but the riches in Femundsmarka were tempting. Eventually, Jo-Larsa moved to the farm Haugen on the eastern side. Haugen farm is still here, where you can rent a cottage and try your luck in Jo-Larsa’s fishing waters.


Anders Gilljam »



Røros Museums- og historielag. 1996: Stor-Hans – Eneboeren i Femundsmarka. Arbetets Rett, Røros.