The Story Behind Abandoned Herring Plant in Djupavik

In 1935, the Djupavik herring factory began operations. It was abandoned by 1954. Yet by the late 1940s, Hnaflói Bay’s herring had all but disappeared, and the Herring Factory closed in 1954. Soon later, it was genuinely abandoned and allowed to disintegrate. By 1968, Djpavk had been completely abandoned.

In 1917, the lonely Icelandic settlement of Djpavk in the nation’s northwest started to prosper. Elas Stefánsson established the village’s first herring processing facility in that year. The Djpavk plant was one of the biggest concrete structures in Europe when it was erected, and it was a dubious business decision from the start. Near the head of the bay, a separate herring packing factory had been built in 1917, during the height of fish speculation in the North Atlantic. This first wager, like many others in Iceland, was a bust in 1919. The industry was devastated by a decline in herring demand on a worldwide scale.

The Icelandic economy flourished in 1934. As a result, Djpavk received a second, considerably larger herring processing facility. In 1935, a brand-new facility with the most up-to-date herring processing machinery opened. Yet, the 300-strong team was taken aback when they arrived in the tranquil village to work in the magnificent factory and discovered that there were no nearby churches, police, or even a mayor. The three-story Herring Factory building in Djupavik was 90 meters (295 feet) long. Additionally, it had cutting-edge herring processing machinery that was unmatched throughout the nation.

Herring was processed at the Djpavk Herring Factory into two distinct goods. The most crucial step was to first remove the oil from the fish and store it in enormous concrete containers. These heated tanks had a total capacity of roughly 6,000 tons, allowing the oil to stay liquid. Second, the herring factory produced herring meal, which is fish meat that has been crushed and dried and is kept in 200-pound bags for human or animal feeding.

This massive boiler was floated to the bay after being demolished from a shipwreck. The guys struggled to roll the recovered component into position since it has a large spigot-head at the top. As a result, the foreman calculated the thing’s circumference and then drilled holes every sixty feet so that the massive cylinder could be transported without breaking it.
The greatest years of the Herring Factory in Djpavk during World War II were marked by high fish oil prices and an abundance of stock. The plant then started to slowly deteriorate.

However, by the late 1940s, the herring in Hnaflói Bay were all but extinct, and the Herring factory shut down in 1954. It was abandoned by 1954. Soon later, it was genuinely abandoned and allowed to disintegrate. In 1968, the town of Djpavk was abandoned. The sole year-round occupants of the settlement were Eva Sigurbjörnsdóttir and her spouse Sbjörn orgilsson beginning in 1985.

They started renovating the ancient factory and other structures while converting the former women’s quarters into a hotel. Eva Sigurbjrnsdottir and her husband Asbjörn Chorgilsson made the decision to move to the hamlet in 1985 with the goal of restoring the old Herring Factory and other structures. They established themselves as Djpavk’s first long-term inhabitants in about 20 years.

Read More