Heiðarsel was established 1858 in the land of the farm Brú in Jökuldal. It may formerly have been a summer outpost of Brú. The farm stood beside the small lake Pollur, just south of Ánavatn (lake) at an altitude of 553 m. Here at Heiðarsel is a extensive view and it is a beautiful place for farm.
The last inhabitants in Heiðarsel, Guðjón son of Gísli from Hafursá in Vellir and Guðrún daughter of Benedikt from Hjarðarhagi lived here for 34 years. In this time a lot of things happened, good and bad, both weather condition and prices, since their years in Heiðarsel there were two World Wars and the world crisis. Although people were isolated in the Highlands they could feel these things.
Guðjón og Guðrún were the very last to desert Jökuldalsheiði, thereby concluding its highland community history of somewhat over 100 years.
Story told by Hallveig Guðjónsdóttir from Heiðarsel:
Once my older brother Elís and my sister Heiða found a nest from swans with eggs in it. They took the eggs put them inside their clothes, to keep them warm and took them home, because there were two hens that wanted to incubate. Their names were Dúfa and Sóley. Heiða and Elís put one egg by each hen. Dúfa and Sóley were very calm and took good care of the eggs. Then one day when we came to the hens there were two little swans. Dúfa was scared of her swan so Sóley took them booth and took good care of them.
We made a dam in the creek for swimming pond and the young swans were very pleased there. Sóley was not glad when her swans went swimming. Once she even went into the pond but got scared and turned back. After that she just waited for them at the bank when they were swimming. When they stopped swimming they came to her and crawled under her. In the autumn the swans had become much bigger than Sóley, they could just put their head under her, one under each wing and the hen between them.
In the end we could not have Sóley with the swans. Then we put them on a sealing which was made for them over the house entrance and there they stayed during the winter. We gave them beans, corn and all kind of food and they had hay and water where they could swim a little. They felt fine during the winter. In spring they went outside and it was fun to look at them. We asked them to sing by saying “sing, sing our swans” and they song, but they always song must for my sister Heiða. Next winter they stayed again on the sealing. We had these swans for two years but then they disappeared. Later there came two swans to the lake Pollur and I tried to call them, but they did not come, they had become wild. But they had nest each year for many years by Pollur.
List of inhabitants:
1. 1858-1863: Jón (b.1824) son of Þorsteinn farmer at Brú and Kristín (b.1824) the daughter of Jón from Aðalból. Their son Jón (born and died 1847). Children of Jón and Halldóra maid Sveinsdóttir from Vaðbrekka: Sveinn and Anna Sigríður (twins born and died 1860)
2. 1863-1875: Jón (b.1821) son of Sveinn from Bárðastaðir in Loðmundarfjörður and Sólveig (b.1827) Magnúsdóttir sister of Sölvi in Grunnavatn. Children: Jóhann Frímann (f.1849) engineer Ormarsstaðir, Elísabet and Magnús. They moved to the Americas.
1875-1898: No inhabitants.
3. 1898-1903: Helgi Bjólan Dagbjartsson and his housekeeper Oddný Kristjánsdóttir. They moved to the Americas. Their son Kristján (b.1902)
4. 1903-1904: Þórarinn (b.1875) son of Ketill from Kleif in Fljótsdalur and Helga (b.1873) daughter of Guðni farmer at Grunnavatn.Children: Ólafur, Bergljót (b.1900), Signý (b.1901), Guðni (b.1906) and Alfreð.
1904-1905: No inhabitants.
5. 1905-1912: Sigfús (b.1847) son of Einar from Hleinargarður, Eiðaþinghá and Guðbjörg Jónsdóttir (b.1863) from Vestur-Skaftafellssýsla. Children: Vilhjálmur (b.1904) and Halldór (b.1906). Son of Guðbjörg: Jón B. Guðlaugsson (b.1896)
6. 1912-1946: Guðjón (f.1879) son of Gisli from Hafursá and Guðrún María (b.1880) daughter of Benedikt from Hjarðarhagi. Children: Einar Hjálmar and Sigrún (twins b. 1907), Sólveig Sigfríður (b.1912), Arnheiður (b.1915), Elís (b.1918), he drowned in Jökulsá when he fell from a cable car near Skjöldólfsstaðir and Hallveig Friðrikka (b.1923)