A little history of Murtovaara

In the early 1800s the population was growing at such pace that old villages started to be overcrowded. This prompted young couples to start looking for a fitting piece of land from the common forest to settle on. More land was cleared up for farming every year and more agricultural buildings were being built on leased land. This kind of farm operating on someone else's land was called a croft or mäkitupa.

The development of Murtovaara

The oldest buildings in Murtovaara were built in the 1840s into a deep forest. It was common to build a small log house first to live in while a bigger one was being built. The two buildings were later combined to form one large house with a porch.

In the old times everything on the farm was built by hand from the resources that the nearby forests provided. The roofs were made from local birch bark and the roofing technique is still being used in the restorations of the buildings in Murtovaara.

Murtovaara 1963
The main building of Murtovaara and the granary 1963

During the freezing winters staying warm was crucial. In Murtovaara you can see different kinds of wood-burning fireplaces all the way from just a pile of stones to a huge baking oven.

Kalliopirtti sisältä

Log driving

The path to the museum takes you across a dam. The trees were cut down in the winter and pulled by horses on top of frozen lakes. When the spring came the melting snow filled the lakes and little streams turned to small rivers. The waterways were used to transport the logs to the sawmills.

In the Valtimo area a thousand men were needed to drive the logs. The work gave much needed income for lots of smallholders.

The log driving dam in Murtovaara.

Murtovaara as a museum

Murtovaara was opened as a museum in 1972. It was a special museum because the last person, Hilja Lipponen, lived there until 1985. Hilja was born in Murtovaara and she has told visitors lots of stories about her parents about the time they were working there.

Hilja Lipponen pirtin penkillä
Hilja Lipponen is remembered as a smoking lady
Museon avajaiset
The opening ceremony of the museum in 1972

You are welcome to come here to see and hear more about this intriguing place!