The Munch path starts at Klevfos. When Edvard Munch was born at Engelaug farm in 1863, the later factory site was part of the farm. When Edvard was back on summer holiday as an 11-year old, he has most likely played here, and we know he fished in Svartelva (the Black River). He wrote about it in letters he sent home to his father.
"We can jump in the hay as much as we want and fish for minnows here in the river, which are almost as big as small herring, and we catch about 30 of them each time we go fishing.”
We can say that here at Klevfos, we literally follow in Edvard Munch's footsteps. He was also back here in the summer of 1882 and probably wandered around the area to reminisce. We know he returned for a last time in 1938.
The house called Klevfosbolin or Bolin (the Klevfos Residence) has a direct connection to Edvard Munch. His father, Christian Munch, worked as an army physician in Løten. The house was on Tofsrud, where there was a drill ground, and it was moved here in 1894 to become apartments for workers at Klevfos. Christian Munch had his office in this building while it was located at Tofsrud. After the house was rebuilt at Klevfos, it was converted into apartments, with up to 9 families living here. Bolin never had running water, and the last family that lived here moved in 1981!
Edvard was born on the second floor in the large, white farm house at Engelaug. The building is now exactly as it was at the time. The one who runs Engelaug today is a direct descendant of Ingeborg and Anton Thingstad, who ran the farm when Edvard was born. Their relationship with the Munch family was very good, and they had extensive contact through letters and visits throughout Edvard`s life.
The Munch family called the farm “Engelhaug” (Angel Hill) because the people here were so kind. When Edvard's sister Sophie died of tuberculosis at age 15, her father, Christian, travelled to Løten and gave Ingeborg Sophie's devotional book. It is well preserved at Engelaug today, and so is the bed Edvard was born in. Below the farm, a photo spot has been set up, with space for bus parking.
Laura Bjølstad and Christian Munch met in Elverum, where Laura was a housemaid for the Munthe family. Christian already worked in Løten at that time. He got them an apartment at By in Ådalsbruk, and they moved there when they got married in October of 1861. Sophie was born here.
By is the town of Løten’s oldest farm. One of the inland area’s largest burial grounds from the years 0-1000 A.D. is located here. Christian and Laura Munch lived here for about a year. The houses at By were old and drafty, and it has been said that Christian Munch was concerned for the health of the little one and for Laura, who was already sick with tuberculosis. They were able to move to Engelaug.
Christian Writes to Laura about the house at By: "we will have 3 rooms and a small kitchen whit a stov, as well as a room next to it that can be used as a pantry. The living room is rather larger, very bright and friendly. I just hope it is warm for you, my darly beloved!"
Christian Munch was the army physician associated with the drill ground Tofsrudmoen near Tofsrud farm at Ådalsbruk. This position called him to duty only during certain periods, and he could therefore also work as a doctor in Løten. He also substituted for this student friend, Dr. Christoffer Munthe in Elverum, and this was where he met Laura.
As early as in May of 1863, Christian got a job as national army physician at the main headquarters in Christiania (now Oslo), and the family moved in October the same year.