Hou Havn GB

Hov Havn. Omkring år 1900

Fiskere. hov Havn. 1950érne

Fiskere. hov Havn. 1929-30

Hov havn. 1960érne.

Hov Havn. rutebåden Agda. 1900 - 1920

Ankeret. Hov Havn. Efter 1981

Fyret. Hov Havn. 1920érne.

Emil von Holstein - rathlou. Begyndelsen af 1900 - tallet.

Sommervillaen/pensionatet. 1905

Hov Havn. 1930érne.

Hov Havn. 1938

Tjære garn. Hov Havn. 1935


Hou harbour. Before the mid-1800s, there was no village as such in Hou, but the small natural cove near the village served as a fishing hamlet and a coastal trading point for the small vessels engaged in coastal trade between the larger towns and their catchment areas.

Before the mid-1800s, there was no village as such in Hou, but the small natural cove near the village served as a fishing hamlet and a coastal trading point for the small vessels engaged in coastal trade between the larger towns and their catchment areas. In order to facilitate the further transport of grain from the Hou area, a grain warehouse was built in 1853 opposite the cove right out on the point of the headland. This provided shelter for the boats when they were loading the grain. The warehouse was built by the local landowner from Rathlousdal Manor near Odder. He was also the owner of Gersdorffslund Manor as well as all the land around Hou. The warehouse was used for many years until it burned down in 1925. In 1846, the landowner employed a fisherman by the name of Rasmus Andersen Færgemann, who moved with his family from the northern town of Nibe to Hou. This family had to ensure that there would be a constant supply of freshly-caught fish for the tables at the manor. There was, at the time, a plentiful supply of fish in the waters near Hou. Fishing prospered and several fishermen settled there with their families – this was the beginning of the fishing hamlet that would later become the village of Hou. In 1881, the first proper harbour was constructed by Emil von Holstein-Rathlou. The harbour was intended to facilitate the loading and unloading of the small boats, to make life easier and safer for the fishermen and, not forgetting, the harbour would be a safe haven for the landowner’s yacht Echo. Before the harbour was built, the boats were dragged on to the beach or, alternatively, people would sail out to them in flat-bottomed barges. A proper harbour contributed to attracting more of the shipping trade to the Hou area, and the harbour became central to the village. More so in 1884 when the railway line to Hou was opened. This was a landmark in the development of the village – there was now a real harbour with railway connections and tracks down to the wharf. Consequently, the village prospered – somewhat at the cost of other smaller neighbouring villages, which had also had trading points up and down the coast.

On the harbour square lies a large, heavy anchor. This originally belonged to the local landowner whose name and title – at the end of the 1800s – was Emil von Holstein-Rathlou, Master of the Royal Hunt. He owned the estates of Rathlousdal and Gersdorffslund and was an enterprising fellow who launched several projects in the area around Odder. Hou was no exception, and Holstein-Rathlou played a major role in the development of this area. The anchor came from Holstein-Rathlou’s yacht Echo. He was very fond of sailing and went on several prolonged expeditions. While constructing the first harbour in Hou in 1881, the landowner also built a summer residence for his family. This was later converted by his sister Philippa Wahl into a summer guest house. The guest house was intended for the well-to-do members of the community, who were now able to book a summer stay to enjoy the fresh sea air. This guest house was a fine example of the emerging use of the coast for recreational purposes. In 1906, the building was purchased by the grocer Mr Rasmussen, who converted it into a merchant’s house. The grocer shop remained there until the mid-1970s when the house was demolished to make way for the new road to Odder. This road replaced the railway that was discontinued in 1977. The red-painted wooden buildings behind the anchor are the premises of Hou Ship and Boatyard. The boatyard was established around 1910, and the present buildings date from 1931 – providing enough space for all boats to be built indoors. The majority of vessels to emerge from this boatyard were fishing vessels, including several well smacks used for buying and selling live eels, but a few yachts were also built there. In 1964, yard facilities were extended and an extra hall was built. During the 1970s and 1980s, the Ship and Boatyard were periodically one of the biggest workplaces in Hou with 10-12 employees. During its existence, the Ship and Boatyard built a total of 189 vessels. In 1994, the boatyard was sold to the local Egmont Folk High School, and it is now serving as part of Hou Water Sports Centre where it is used for boat repairs and teaching purposes.

Fishing activities benefited greatly from the harbour in Hou, and around year 1900, there were about 70 commercial fishermen in the village from a total population of 250. A lighthouse was installed on the harbour in 1900, and in 1903, the harbour was made deeper. When this had been achieved, Emil von Holstein-Rathlou handed over the harbour to the villagers. Until the time when the fish disappeared due to a disease of the seaweed in the early 1930s, the number of commercial fishermen in Hou topped at approximately 170. Later, numbers dwindled because their vessels were not suitable for sea fishing. The fishing industry and the harbour provided the basis for several businesses to set up operations, including a fish processing plant, a fish exporting business, a boatyard, an engineering works as well as a sawmill and a furniture manufacturer. On the eastern part of the harbour stands a large, white house. This was originally the seat of the fish exporting business started by Carl Peter Færgemann around year 1900. He bought the fish from the numerous fishing vessels operating from Hou. The fish exporting company relied heavily on the railway, because the fish were not only sold on the domestic market, but exported to places such as Germany and Italy. The railway passed right by the door, so it was easy to load the boxes of fish into the goods wagons. The fish was packed into boxes containing ice; this ice was kept in large ice pits made of seaweed located just west of the harbour close to Strandgade. Periodically, the company would export large quantities of filets and, at really busy times, there might be as many as 10-12 ladies employed to cut up the fish – in addition to the permanent staff, of course. Besides the fish exporting company, the harbour boasted a fish shop and a smokehouse.