Mo i Rana
Mo i Rana is a town and administrative centre of the municipality of Rana in Nordland county, Norway. It is located just south of the Arctic Circle and in the Helgeland region of Nordland. Some of the outlying areas of the town include the suburbs of Båsmoen and Ytteren in the north and Selfors in the east.
The town is called "Mo i Rana" to distinguish it from other places named Mo—most notably the town of Mosjøen, also in Helgeland—though locally the town is usually just called Mo.
The name "Mo" comes from an old farm that was situated near the modern town. The name of the farm comes from the Old Norse name Móar, which means sand or grass lowland. The name Rana probably comes from Old Norse too. Rana means quick or fast, probably because the fast water flow in the Ranfjorden outside town. The town was an old trade centre in Helgeland. Farmers have lived in the area since the Iron Age.
Mining, building boats (Nordlands boats), and hunting/fishing used to be the main ways of life. Starting the summer 1730, there was a Sámi market in town. The market was held on the main church grounds until 1810. In 1860, wholesale merchant L.A. Meyer started a trade center, on licence from the royal authority. Meyer traded flour, herring and tobacco, reindeer meat, skins and venison with the Swedes. The trade with Sweden increased.
The municipality is rich on iron ores, and water to produce power. This was very important in industry development. Dunderland Iron Ore Company (1902–1947) established the first mines in Storforshei (27 kilometres / 17 miles north of Mo i Rana). Rana Gruber was established in 1937, also a mining company. In 1946 the Norwegian Parliament approved plans for the construction of an Iron mill in Norway. The Parliament selected Mo i Rana. A/S Norwegian Iron Work Company was established. In 1955, the first steel was produced to Norway and other countries. The construction of the iron works took nine years.
During this period the village of