Quarry of Tjurkö - During the last few decades of the 19th century the island of Tjurkö became the centre of stone cutting in Blekinge. Small, privately owned quarries abounded all over the county but here at Herrgården the project was early carried out on an industrial scale. The initiator was a German, Franz Herman Wolff, a former fortifications engineer, who arrived in the eastern archipelago in 1862 in order to buy the quarrying rights in the rocks. Above all the production has aimed at the export of paving-stone and kerb-stone.
Before the age of stone cutting the population of Tjurkö consisted of fishermen and small farmers with scanty living-conditions. When the Wolff enterprise was established here, formerly useless land became economically valuable and through the development
of stone cutting the landscape was totally transformed.
On this small island a completely new kind of society was created whose inhabitants were wage-earners and who had largely moved in from other places. In the peak years nearly 1000 workers were employed by Wolff, both on Tjurkö and on the neighbouring island of Sturkö. At Herrgården tenement houses were built for the workers, but later some of the families could build their own cottages. Several shops, eateries and beer-houses opened in the area, which for a couple of decades seethed with life and activities. Furthermore, the Crown's penal work corps had a department located here between 1872 and 1894. In all, about 5000 prisoners worked for Wolff during this period.
From the end of the 19th century Blekinge's stone cutting industry was largely concentrated to the western part of the country. In connection with the declining at Tjurkö and the neighbouring island of Sturkö, many stone cutters went to work in the quarries round Karlshamn. Others moved to Bohuslän. This country gradually came to dominate Swedish granite industry.
The stone cutters that stayed in the islands had to suffer long periods of unemployment and hardships. In the 1930s and 40s certain production was carried out with governmental support, but by the mid-1950s there was total silence in the rocks.