Many of the people who lived at the top of Sleggveien were considered at that time to be poor. However, to a large extent they owned their housesb but they did not have any animals. Even for those who had permanent jobs in the mine farming and animals were decisive survival factors. The well-known social researcher, Eilert Sundt visited Røros in 1852. He studied the workers conditions and wrote: ‘a worker who did not have his own animals in addition to a job in the mine is in a sorry state’.
How did they eke out an existence? Single women sought employment in upper class houses. They could also bake flatbread, wash clothes, sew and mend, work in the cattle Houses and undertake other daily tasks. This is how Tyri Myren from Tyristuggu made a living. Anne Halvorsdatter Lokken, known as Halvard-Anne, who lived at Spjellstuggu made a living from smoking meat and pork for other people. She carried out this work at Rokstuggu (the smokery) at Litj-Slegghaugen (the small slag heap). The building was originally used for drying grain. The following people have also lived in Spjelllstuggu Ane Lusie Ellensdatter Aasen, and Sund-Lars Lusia, he was a caretaker in the Sangerhuset.
Among the men who lived in upper Sleggveien was a shoemaker, two clock makers and a painter Torris-Audunsen Moe and his son Wilhelm Moe who lived in Loessi-stuggu were both clock makers. Among the people who wandered around the countryside was an animal ‘doctor’ Karl Fredriksen Moen. He made a living by, amongst other things, the gelding of horses. It was probably he who built Spjellstuggu around 1860, on a plot that was vacant. Spjellstuggu was, among these tiny houses, the buildin that remained occupied for the longest period of time by the people of Sleggveien. Two people were living there right up to 1950.
To be sure, the old mining town society had its own way of assisting poor and destitute people. ‘Worthy needy, were given small packages from the Røros Copper Works and from assorted grants from well off people usually around the religious festivals. Those who were ‘deserving’ could, after a lifetime’s devoted work look forward to some sort of handout. However, there were many who were not so lucky and made up the mining town’s poor population.
The single room cottages of upper Sleggveien can be found elsewhere in Røros, most of them along the approach roads. These simple and rudely constructed houses tell heir own story about the people who were at the bottom of the social order of the mining community.
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