Steinn Steinarr

7. Tyrdilmýri

At Tyrdilmýri, called Dyrdilmýri in the 1845 census, lived nine people in 1703. The owners that year were the brothers Pastor Gísli Hannesson of Snæfjöll and Benedikt Hannesson from Hóll in Bolungarvík. The brothers also jointly owned the land at Dynjandi in the Jökulfirdir fjords, in addition to which Gísli was the owner of Snæfjallastadur. In 1801 fourteen people lived there on two farms. The land was split between three siblings around 1930. On 60% of the land, at Tyrdilmýri I, lived Elías Borgarsson and Elísabet Hreggvidsdóttir. The house at Tyrdilmýri I (Mýri) is still standing in 2006, but its inner wooden walls are long gone. The frame came from Norway, and was bought at the store Ásgeirsverslun at Ísafjördur.

Just outside the old farm at Tyrdilmýri I is a large stone believed to be home to the hidden people; it was also believed they had their church a little further out and a boat just offshore. Salbjörg Jóhannsdóttir, born in 1896, said that a woman she lived with as a young girl had told her that one of the hidden women was a friend of hers, they helped each other when they could. For instance, the hidden woman fed a grey sheep in the stable at the farm. Once the woman's horse broke its leg at Mýri on the outer part of the Strandir coast. She went to the stone and asked the hidden woman for help with the horse, if it were possible. The next morning the horse came with its broken leg back into the pasture, and supposedly regained full strength. According to Salbjörg, people considered this woman trustworthy and spoke well of her.

At Tyrdilmýri a bit furthout on the coast are the remains of Hávardsstadir, an old deserted farmstead. According to legend Hávardur Ísfirdingur built his farm there. In the saga Hávardar sögu Ísfirdings it ways that Hávardur had said to his son Ólafur where he should look for refuge from their neighbour Thorbjörn: "'Out along the fjord on the other side are many pieces of land that no one owns. I want us to set up a farm there, where we will be closer to our friends and relatives.' They follow this plan, move all their animals and belongings there and build an excellent farm, which was then called Hávardsstadir." (from Íslendinga sögur, second volume, Page 1305.)

At Tyrdilmýri II (Bardi) lived Halldór Borgarsson and Svava Gudmundsdóttir. The house stood on a ridge above Mýrarbær, about 50 metres further in. This house was similar to Björnshúsid at Bæir. It was a wooden house, with the upper wall of concrete. During the summer the stove was kept in the kitchen, but it was moved into the common room in the winter and set by the chimney. There was no other heating in these houses. Svava died in 1944 and the house was mostly unused after that. Its remains were demolished in 1960.

At Tyrdilmýri III (Árbakki) lived Jón Sigurdsson and Júlíana Borgarsdóttir. Árbakki was a wooden house built around 1930, with wooden panelling inside. On the lower floor were a room and kitchen, with sleeping quarters upstairs. A shed stood by the house, as was common in those days, from where you could get to the barn. The house was centrally heated. A barn of concrete stood at the north side of the house and is still standing in 2006. The living quarters of the house were torn down in the 1960s. An ancient burial site was found between the house at Árbakki and the Mýrará river in the 1930s, and state archaeologist Matthías Thórdarson examined it in 1939. The skeletons of two men were found there, but none of their earthly belongings. The last residents of Tyrdilmýri were Engilbert Ingvarsson and Kristín Daníelsdóttir, who moved to Hólmavík in 1987.

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