Although this fram was unoccupied for five years following the 1875 Askja eruption, people lived there for total of 95 years longer than anywhere else on Jökuldalsheiði. Originally, in the spring of 1843, Sænautasel was taken out of the Hákonarstaðir estate, and the first residents were Kristrún, a daughter of Bjarni, farmer at Staffell; and Sigurður, a son of Einar, farmer at Brú. Sænautasel offered the advantages of excellent trout fishing in the lake along with good summer ranges and grassy marshes for haying; however, there was often deep snow there, and there was little shelter from the wind. The farm was abandoned in 1943 but reconstructed as a showpiece in 1992. The buildings now allow for a number of summertime activities which emphasise cultural heritage, demonstrating to the modern traveller how rural Icelandic people lived early in the 20th century.