Pasvik was from ancient times an East Sami, or Skolt Sami region, and the border between Norway and Russia was established as late as 1826. The East Sami culture has been heavily influenced by Norway, Finland and Russia. There was heavy immigration to Pasvik from Finland during the latter half of the nineteenth century, and the Finns were the largest population group in the area. At the end of the nineteenth century and during the first half of the twentieth century, Norwegian migrant farmers arrived as well. From 1920 until 1944, the eastern side of the Pasvik valley was part of Finland. Russian settlement occurred after the Second World War.

Noatun was cleared at the beginning of the twentieth century by the ornithologist Hans Tho. L. Schaanning, who was the first Norwegian to take up residency in Øvre Pasvik (1900-1911). Schaanning was born in Oslo (Kristiania) in 1878. His interest in hunting, an outdoor life and particularly birds led him to travel to Pasvikdalen in 1900. He married Elsa Rautilo, who lived on the eastern side of the river. After a few years, the young couple moved over to the Norwegian side and began to clear a farm at Gjøkneset at Fjærvann on the River Pasvik. The place was called Noatun, named after the home of the god Njord. In 1907 Elsa became ill and died at the age of 21. They had three children. Schaanning married a woman named Hedvig, but left the place for good in 1911. In 1922, his son Torolf came back to Noatun, and he and his wife Ivara built the farm and cleared the land. The farm is privately owned and used by Hans Tho. L. Schaannings descendants in 4th, 5th. and 6th generation.