It all began 7000 years ago, in a sheltered bay south-east of Boden, when a group of hunter-gatherers built a hut with a hearth in the middle. Over the years they were joined by many others, until the land elevation made fishing and hunting seal impossible. This settlement is now situated 100 metres above sea level at the Alträsket lake outside Boden and is, up until now, the oldest examined in Norrbotten so far. The remains at Vuollerim (about 100 km north-west of Boden) in Jokkmokk's municipality are 1,000 years younger.
In the year 1539 we find first mention of the name Bondeby, as Boden was called then, in a national tax roll. In 1543 Bondeby had 7 farmers.
Three institutions have characterised Boden more than anything else - the armed forces, the railroad and the medical services. In May 1900, when the Parliament reached the decision to build fortifications in Boden, the foundations were laid for the town as you can see it today.
As always when a community is developing, the geographical position is of great importance.
Boden is situated centrally in Norrbotten's coastland, exactly at the narrowest, and therefore easiest to cross, part of the Lule river. It is a fair guess that this factor played an important role in the location of the Överluleå church with its adjoining church village. The church was completed in 1831 and became the natural centre for the district.
Boden's military fortifications
The strategic position by the Lule river was also decisive for the resolution to build military fortifications in Boden. Constructions began in 1901.
A railway junction
The railway also played an important role in Boden's development. Two main lines cross here: the Northern Main Line and the Ore Line, Norrbotten's important link between the iron ore mines in Malmfälten and the ports of shipment in Luleå and Narvik.
Centre for medical services
As a consequence of the military presence in Boden the establishment of the Garrison Hospital followed in 1907 and thus, little by little, a cooperation between the County Council and the armed forces began; a cooperation that should become significant for the development of the medical services in the whole of Norrbotten.