Melkoya in the thirties. Picture courtesy of Ulf Jacobsen, 9590 Hasvik.


Melkoya was bought by Johan Normann Pedersen from Hammerfest in 1897, and the Normanns lived there until after WW2. The family grew potatoes and other vegetables, and also had sheep and cows. In the pre-war years a small, buisy fishery was established.

During WW2 a German fortification was built on the island. This had several gun-positions and lookouts for defending the German position in Hammerfest from allied attackers entering through the straits. In addition the island had a camp for Russian prisoners of war, and large parts of the island was covered by minefields. The Normanns were not allowed to leave during the war.

After the end of WW2 the family tried to resume husbandry, but large amounts of barbed wire left by the germans made this impossible. Since then the island has been used by the family as a recreational place, and is mostly visited during the summertime.


During the archaeological excavations remains of houses were found at the upper part of Meland.


Pre-war buildings at Melkoya


German military facilities at Melkoya, Hammerfest and Rypefjord

elkøyas historie





Tromsoe Museum-Universitetsmuseet, N-9037 Tromsoe, Norway
Telephone +47 77 64 50 00 Fax +47 77 64 55 20
Updated by Anja Roth Niemi

May 2, 2003

Editor: Stephen Wickler, Dept. of Archaeology, Tromsoe Museum