The town's oldest houses


In the center of town near the grocery store stand the town’s oldest houses: Guðjohnssenshús (or Jaðar, built in 1880), Baldursheimur (or Einar’s house, built 1883-4) and Kaupvangur on the other side of the parking lot (built 1884). In many ways, not least in connection with their history, these houses are remarkable. Their architect was Frederic Bald, the same who supervised the construction of the Alþing building and Hegningarhús, or prison, on Hverfisgata in Reykjavík.


Glæsibær was built in 1920 by Olgeir Friðgeirsson, then store manager for Örum & Wulff. Living quarters were on the ground floor and the store was upstairs. Glæsibær is a timber house with metal siding and was likely painted red. The current owner thinks it likely that the bright color led to naming the house “Glæsibær”. Between Glæsibær and Baldursheimur was a house called Bakaríið – The Bakery – now removed. Pétur Guðjohnssen had Guðjohnssenshús (Jaðar) built, and his brother Einar Guðjohnssen the doctor owned and lived in Baldursheimur. Pétur was the store manager for Örum & Wulff  Company 1875-1883. Einar died accidently as a young man after only three years as Vopnafjordur’s local doctor.


IMG_9873.JPGThe brothers were well respected and were active in the community. A memorial about Pétur says he “...was involved in most ventures for improvement that took place in this community throughout the 25-plus years he lived here.”


From 1906 the telephone exchange was in Guðjohnssenshús and the postal service in Baldursheimur, but in 1922 the telephone exchange was moved to Baldursheimur; both services were there until mid-century.
In Kaupvangur is a model made by Jón Pétur Einarsson of the town center as it appeared about 1900. All visitors are invited to see it.




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