Kengis Bruk History

The History of Kengis Bruk

Kengis Bruk is a famous old ironworks by the Torne River in the municipality of Pajala in Swedish Lapland. The mill was built in the mid 1600s by Arendt Grape, which led to a substantial Walloon 
and Swedish immigration to the region during the following centuries. Kengis was the world's northernmost ironworks and formed together with Svanstein to create Kengis Bruk. Kengis Bruk mainly used iron from Masugnsbyn and copper from Svappavaara. From 1674 to 1715 the mill had the privilege to manufacture metal coins, Most however were produced produced in 

In 1646  Arendt Grape was granted the royal privileges for the ironworks he wanted to build, included the rights to the grounds around the mill and the the river water rapids of Kengis 2.5km in length. In the early years Grape experienced difficulties running the operations of the business, with growing debts he borrowed money from new companions, brothers Abraham and 
Jacob Momma. The Momma brothers ‹invested in the business both finanically and labour skills. Eventially they built Sweden's northernmost mansion that still stands today.​
Since it's construction Kengis Bruk has had various owners take over the business. in 1697 the ironworks was taken over by a company in the Västerbotten mining district, in 1746 a man called Abraham Steinholtzgatan then bought the mill and after Steinholtzgatan their were many different oweners, often changing hands until 1850 when Karl Johan Sohlberg became the new owner. The Sohlberg family has owned the mill and it's grounds to this day, but the industrial production of Iron was brought to an end when the mill burned down in 1879.

‹When the mill was at it's greatest point during the mid-1700s, there were 120 employees working there and about 500 people lived in the community. During the 1650s the first chapel in Kengis was built and the Kengis Bruk congregation was established, gained it's first preacher and was possibly the first chapel located next to the old cemetery. The chapel was burnt to the ground along with Kengis Bruk by Russian troops in 1717. A new church, Frederick's chapel, was erected on the mill land in 1725. The church survived until November 1787 when the church burnt down once again. Between the years of 1791 - 1794 a third church was contructed, much larger than the previous churches, with preacher Lars Levi Laestadius present from 1849 - 1860. In 1869, the church was moved to Pajala town and on the old church site in Kengis Bruk you can still see the remains of the original church foundations.



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