In the 1800s, Gävle was one of Sweden's four largest commercial and maritime cities. Shipping flourished and the commerce with the trade lines grew strong. There were more than 100 merchants during this time and several became wealthy on their business. With regards of the number of shipyards, Gävle was number two in the country with five shipyards at the same time. Only Gothenburg was bigger.
The merchants built magnificent summer homes along the Böna coast during this period for relaxation and recreation. This coincided with the growth of the steamboat traffic growth, which facilitated the travel.
Engeltofta is a good example of a magnificent summer residence from the merchants’ era. The land was initially owned by merchant Gustaf Öhrn and later, through marriage, BG Kronberg. In 1882, Kronberg built the grand villa that we now find on the site. Additional buildings have been built in stages. In 2013, Engeltofta Sea Lodge Hotel was inaugurated.
Another example of a majestic house at the Böna coast is Villa Sjötorp, built in 1864. Merchant Axel Brandt acquired the house in 1882 and renovated it extensively in French Renaissance style with magnificent gardens. Take the opportunity to visit the close by Villa Sjötorp, when you stay at Engeltofta. (See drawing of Villa Sjötorp below.)