After the lands southwest of Vopnafjörður were sterilized by the 1875 eruption of Viti in Askja, the town became an emigration point to the US and Canada for around two thousand impoverished farmers and their families. Canada, which at the time had a “populate or perish” policy, offered subsidized passages for anyone wanting to migrate, and sent ships to take them. The East Iceland Emigration Centre, in a restored, yellow-painted corrugated-iron warehouse next to the fish factory, has extensive records and a small photo exhibition on this slice of Vopnafjörður’s history, along with a few cases of stuffed birds.

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