History

Stora Lee Camping lies at Tolsby Farm in Aremark next to Stora Lee Lake.

Tolsby is an old family farm, which has been in the family since before 1600s. For all previous generations, the forest, the land and the location next to the lake, has been the foundation for settlement and livelihood.

The first traces of settlement at Tolsby dates back to the New Stone Age (the Neolithic) about 2500 years BC. During excavation of the basement in Tolsbysand tenant’s farm, excavators found a pour grave together with several stone tools. The calm bay of Store Lee Lake was a well-chosen point for hunting and fishing in the Stone Age.

The close proximity to Sweden has had influence on the farm’s history. In the mid-1600s, Swedish Forces took the farm. The Swedes burned down the house and forest, and shot the householder at Tolsby. Due to the hostilities, the farm was left deserted for many years. It is from this period we find the story about the large silver treasure buried in the Tolsby forest. The householder, who was a prosperous man, had collected all his money and silver objects, and buried them before the Swedish soldiers came. Since the householder was shot, the treasure has never been found.

The Watch Hill (Vaktåsen) is the name of the large hill going through the camping site. The name originates from the purpose of the hill, which was to guard the Swedish boarder during years of war. On October 8 in 1808, the little Norwegian force of 18 soldiers guarding the boarder was surprised attacked by a Swedish division, and captured after a short battle.

During the Second World War German soldiers sent to guard the boarder, occupied the farm. However, the German soldiers could not stop this place from becoming an important refugee route to Sweden. Most of the refugees ended up at Lagrine at Svenske-Bråtane. Lagrine took well care of the refugees, and fed them using her waffle iron, which never went empty.

Today it is the twelfth generation at Tolsby. The goal for today’s owners have been to sustain the old family farm. Since, forestry and farming no longer has the same economic significance todays owners has chosen to start up a new venture based on tourism.

Regulation of the area for camping and cabins started in 1989, and in 1991, the camping site opened. Since then the site has been developing a bit each year and today it consists of 160 year round pitches, 25 visiting pitches, 11 cabins, and 2 flats.