Meløy and Rødøy have always been under conjoint administration. Since about 1200, Meløy, Rødøy and Lurøy have been together with Træna and, probably, Rana, under one administration unit, Rødøy Syssel. Meløy has always been the most northern administrative district in Helgeland, while today, most people mainly define Meløy as a part of the Salten region.
In 1837, a law was passed, which was meant to give the general public a bigger influence on the local administration. Two years later, on may 11th in 1839, was the first time that two coucillors were elected by the locals in the Rødøy district, which consisted of Rødøy, Meløy and the island Meløya. The council were 12 members, with the parish priest Schmidt from Rødøy som mayor. The first generally elected mayor was Jacob Andersen von Osa from Meløy, who assumed office in 1840.
Instead of being merged, the administration units of Rødøy and Meløy developed into autonomous units within that time’s municipal district. In 1884, Meløy became an autonomous district, by Rødøy being divided into two districts- Rødøy and Meløy. After the separation, Meløy had about 2800 inhabitants, while Rødøy had about 2000. Ole P. Dahl from Meløya became the district’s first mayor, and he held office until 1904.
Meløygården. Photo: Hanne Hammernes.
At that time, the administration centre was “Meløygården” on Meløya, an estate which the parish had bought in 1872. One of the buildings, the “Almuestue”, was used for the local council’s meetings, and this was where the administration and, amongst others, the treasurer were located, too.
Source: Anniversary publication of Meløy 1884-1984