Enar Tjärnström, born in Norsjövallen, was the first owner of the mill built in 1946. He was a miller's son and had previously had a mill business in Vännäsby before he and his wife Dagny moved here to her home area in the mid-1940s.
Enar Tjärnström owned the mill until January 1968 when it was bought by Stig Ström, Orrliden and Harry Holmlund, Klutmark. Stig became the sole owner in 1994 and he operated the mill until it was closed in 2003.
Enar began the work of building the mill in May 1946. By this time the village had been without a mill since the turn of the century and the nearest mills were in Klutmark and Burliden.
The mill was built during a time when it was difficult to get hold of equipment and machine parts as the end of the war was only a year back in time. In October 1946, however, the mill could be put into use and the first flour could be ground. Before Christmas the same year, you could also grind the finer sifted flour.
For more than 50 years, the millstones in Skråmträsk mill spun and hundreds of tons of flour passed. The mill in Skråmträsk was widely known for the barley flour which was of a high quality.
When grinding barley flour, the grain was first peeled in a shell mill, then it was ground in a stone mill to finally end up in the sieve, which had eight different layers. Good quality of the grain was important, but it was also of great importance that the miller mastered the craft, as a millstone could weigh 1500 kg and the flour was burned if the pressure was too high.
In the 1950s, the farmers came to the mill by horse and cart. In the morning, there could be several crews in line and it was the "first-come-first-served" principle that applied. The wait could be long but the drivers probably did not think it did much as they had quite a nice time in the mill chamber where many topics had time to be discussed and the coffee they brought was consumed.
The mill became a natural meeting place for many, but with the introduction of appointments at the change of ownership in 1968, the queues decreased and the social interaction around the mill decreased but the mill wheels continued to spin.
Many are the sacks carried in the mill. A sack lift took the sacks up to the second floor, which was then carried to the scales. Stig Ström says that from the beginning they paid per sack that was ground, which meant that the farmers filled the sacks to the breaking point. Each sack could then weigh up to 100 kg.
Some modernizations were made i.a. when in 1969 they invested to be able to receive grain in bulk. As a result, the heavy work on the mill became somewhat easier, even though the handling of the heavy sacks never completely disappeared. A mixer was also purchased during this time.
In 2003 Stig Ström completed the operations in the mill which he helped build as a 15-year-old.
In 2006 the property was bought by Erik & Asta Hellgren who renovated it to open the doors to the summer café that since the summer of 2009 has been run in Skråmträsk Kvarn.
Skråmträsk Kvarn with its old mill environment has become a popular excursion destination for both locals and tourists. In recent years, the café has been visited by about 13,000 people per summer.
The mill after the renovations.
Text: Ewa Larsson & Asta Hellgren