Home and farm

Farmhouses – home and farm

As arable farming became more commonplace, the typical shape of a Savo farmhouse came about as the 18th and 19th centuries went by. Characteristically, the farm buildings are irregularly grouped together. At first, the houses were chimneyless huts and the ability to retain heat was the house’s most important feature. Everything would be done to ensure that feature and so the house could even be poorly lit if it would help. Even at the end of the 19th century, the smaller farm animals such as sheep, pigs and chickens might be in the same building as the humans living there.

The chimneyless hut at the Kangasniemi Museum

Visitors can experience the everyday life of people living in a traditional Savo chimneyless hut at the Kangasniemi Museum, whose hut has been moved from Soukkio, Kangasniemi. The hut was still in use in 1937. Even though it might seem cramped, dark and dingy to visitors used to what Finns live in nowadays, the previous tenant referred to it as “the warm house”.

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At the turn of the 19th century, these huts started to gradually be replaced by huts with chimneys heated by tiled stoves. These huts were better lit than the chimneyless versions, especially as farmers started to be able to afford glass windows around that point in time, too. Nevertheless, it took a long time before chimneyless huts disappeared.

In addition to a place to live, traditional farmyards also had cattle shelters and many types of outbuildings where clothing, food, etc., were stored. Oftentimes, there were also specific outbuildings for young couples to sleep in. The drying barn, where grain was threshed, was separated from the other buildings as it was liable to catch fire and if it did so, it might set the other buildings on fire, too. The same was also true for the sauna.

An example of Finland’s building heritage in Ristiina at the Pien-Toijola Museum

The Pien-Toijola Open-Air Museum has a total of 28 farm buildings, all from a single farm, which already stood here in the 17th century. Several buildings from the 18th century are still standing. All of the buildings at the museum are in their original locations and look as they did originally. This farm is exceptionally well preserved and is a built cultural environment that of national significance.

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Storehouses at the Pitkäpelto community house

Storehouses were a sign of wealth for a farm; the more storehouses it had, the wealthier the house. Pitkäpelto community house not only has the main building of the farm, it has all of the rest of the buildings from the farmyard, too. Some of the storehouses here are extremely old; for example, the one on the left in the photograph is from 1781.

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Drying barn at the Valkeamäki Museum in Virtasalmi

The Valkeamäki Museum in Virtasalmi has several traditional farm buildings including a functional drying barn with the equipment needed for threshing grain.

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The Suomenniemi Museum introduces visitors to local agriculture

The Suomenniemi Museum offers a broad look at the local lifestyle, largely dominated by agriculture and forestry, as well as a large collection of items from the old municipal farm on the premises. The museum is also known as “Nikkinen’s Croft” after Matti Nikkinen (1864-1933), a constable who ran the farm in addition to his main profession. Notably, one end of the main building is overlaid with thin wooden shingles.

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Last modified: 13 Jan 2023

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