From the Land of the Vikings
According to legend, Gotland was an enchanted island that rose every evening and sank again every morning. Gotland has been inhabited for over 7,000 years and is one of the richest areas in Sweden in ancient findings. Visby is the capital city and in the past has been the center of trade in the Baltic Sea.
In the beginning, Halsingland was more like a country of its own than a part of Sweden. The large forests in the south of the province made it difficult to link Halsingland with the rest of Sweden. The first population settled there 6,000 years ago. It offered settlers an area rich in both fishing and hunting. Many findings from the Viking era have been found in Halsingland. The "halsingar" traded with Norway which led to their conversion to Christianity. In the 16th and 17th centuries, Finnish craftsmen settled in Halsingland. Industries included production of flax, handicrafts, wool and weaving, among others. In the 19th century the value of the forests was realized and timber production became a major industry in the area. Industrialization came with the railroad in the mid to late 1800s.
Mora, in the Dalarna area, has shown signs of activity dating from 4000 BC. The earliest buildings date from the 7th century. Mora parish was established in the 13th century. Gustav Vasa was installed as king of Sweden after he and the Swedish people overthrew the Danish government in Sweden. During the 18th century the area was struck by famine and many homes were abandoned. Most moved to Stockholm and southern Sweden where they learned new skills. They returned to Mora and used these skills to start new industries. The town of Mora is known for its crafts such as the wooden horse, which is produced in the village of Nusnas, just outside Mora.