The population census of 1701 mentions Amund Evindsen, a 60 years old smallholder in Havn (the same place as Venneshamn), who was a shoemaker and an innkeeper:'He pursues the craft of shoemaking and brews beer in addition' (freely translated from Danish). Amund and his family were quite poor. Nevertheless, Amund was under legal obligation to pay an annual tax of 2 Riksdaler from his business. This was a hardship for a family that also suffered from failing health. Amund's need of extra income may explain his involvement in some illegal practices, or at least the accusation of his involvement in them. For several years, he was hounded by the bailiff, which made life also for the other members of his family troublesome.
Almost two hundred years passed before a new trading business was established at Venneshamn. Boots and shoes were just a small part of the range of items sold at Ernst Karlsen. The legacy of the local tradition of shoemaking features in the museum.
Visitors may be surprised to find a collection of boots and shoes in a general store. However, the quite wide range displayed on the shelves may give a biased impression of what were the main items among the merchandize. Probably, the boots and shoes were regarded as old fashioned or uncomfortable, and were thus left unsold at the time when the store was transferred from Nerstu to Øverstu in 1978. A few pairs of shoes predate World War II and some pairs were made during the war, but most of them were made in the 1950s and 1960s. Nowadays, we may find some of the designs quite strange. Visitors will also find a lot of related items on display, such as shoe polish, shoe brushes, soles, shoe trees, shoe lasts, shoe leather, shoeshine boxes, studs, and cleats. They can also see a case of horseshoes in one corner of the museum.