Bild på Brahehus

The Farm-hands' room of Mattsagården


Mattsagården was a traditional mixed farm during the first half-century of the twenties. There were about 18 cows, 4-6 horses, a few pigs and some hens. Most of the work was done by hand or with the help of horse-drawn tools. For this more labourers than the master himself and his wife were needed.

One full-time employed person lived here in this farm-hands' room and during the summer-season there used to be yet another farmworker. There was also a cow-man but he lived elsewhere. The housewife and a maid took care of the housekeeping. In the summer the maid used to live in an attic above this room. In the winter she moved into the kitchen sofa. Besides the daily work with the food, the fruit from the garden, the berries and the vegetables had to be taken care of for the needs of the winter. The dirty linen had to be washed, the pigs to be slaughtered, sheets and towels to be woven, working clothes to be mended over and over again. The milk was separated from the cream. The cream was churned to butter and the milk became table drink and cheese.

In the winter the men kept a fire in a so-called pot: a small black stove, which was mounted to a tiled stove. The pot got hot quickly and cool as quickly but it heated the tiled stove. On the stove the shaving water was heated in an enamelled wash basin. There was room for a table and a chair. The beds served as seats as well. The clothes were kept in what is now the pantry and there was a window towards the yard. Sunday clothes and working clothes hang together but no one reacted against the cowhouse odours. Everybody had the same smell in their homes. Only outdoor loos existed at this time.

The farm-hands' room at Mattsagården was the natural meeting-place for many of the young people of the village. Here they could play a game of poker or other card-games before being off for Gränna by bike or, if it was a Saturday evening, to go to the cinema there. It sometimes even happened that they fortified themselves with a snaps or two before going out. The temperature rose and the windows got misty.

By and by the machine equipment increased and the farmworkers were replaced by one right-hand man, who had his own family and his own living. The glazed veranda was built in 1980 and it became a nice dining room for relatives and friends who came here to give a helping hand in the summer.