Lappi house

Rantatie 1 Lestijärvi


The main building of the Lestijärvi local heritage museum is called Lapin talo / Lappi house. It was built in 1784 and moved to its present location in 1956. The name Lappi has a history of many generations and centuries. As far as is known, the house is the oldest remaining building in Lestijärvi and its original floor plan has largely been retained. The small fragments of wallpaper found on the walls during repairs, as well as the originally whitewashed ceiling, probably reflect the wealthy and progressive past of the house.


In the course of its history, the main building has played a central role in the parish as the venue of parish/municipal meetings and parish catechetical meetings (kinkerit). In other ways, too, the heads of this house have been locally influential persons as, for example, lay members of the court. The house was last owned by Juho Oiva Josuanpoika Lappi and his wife Helmi. Oiva was a police officer and took care of the local people’s economic and legal affairs as well. The couple sold – or finally donated – the Lappi house to the local heritage association in the 1950s. Before that, the house had been inhabited for about 170 years.


Tar burning was a significant – and in some cases the only – source of livelihood in Lestijärvi. In the parish meetings held in the Lappi house, the bailiff’s proposal to end tar burning was firmly rejected in the 1830s. The state finally separated crown forests from common forests in the 1880s, and tar burning decreased significantly in the region: the acquisition of pitchy wood became more difficult because it was forbidden to collect it from crown forests.