Lohtajanselkä Lohtaja


East of Vattajaniemi in Lohtajanselkä, a ship bottom has been found in the seabed sand, supposed to be the wreck of the schooner Mathilda from Turku. The ship was wrecked in a northerly storm in October 1869, carrying a cargo of carved logs. Shipmaster J. Bergroth and his crew were rescued.




Staff Captain Olof Mellenius described the foundering of the Mathilda saying that her sails had frozen and thus did not function. The storm pushed the ship to the Wälipauha rocks and further to the shoal, where the ship bottom got stuck, while its bow and cargo of logs drifted ashore with the waves. Fishermen rescued the crew. The logs were collected, piled up and auctioned. For example, Provost Arthur Keckman from Lohtaja used the logs for building a cowhouse. Mellenius also tells that later the ship bottom, in another autumn storm, drifted from the shoal to the mouth of the Lohtaja river, blocking the river channel that leads to the sea. As a consequence, floods scoured a new, curving channel at the estuary. (Hakala: Käräjäluoto, 2005)




A painting of the Mathilda (K.H. Renlundin museo - Keski-Pohjanmaan maakuntamuseo)


The anchor of the Mathilda (Lohtajan Kirkonmäki)