Kivestö forest ranger farm

Kivestönpolku Lestijärvi


The forest district of Lestijärvi was established in 1860, comprising the state lands and forest ranger districts located in Kannus, Toholampi and Lestijärvi. In the Lesti forest district, there were several forest ranger farms and crown crofts. The forest rangers who lived in them and maintained them were in charge of supervising the use of crown forests and intervening in misuses. The Lesti district rangers are said to have been fair-minded and taken into account local people’s needs. They would give, for example, bread, flour, grain and potatoes to people in need of help. Many of the rangers were also known as rather unusual personas. When encountering actual illegalities, they had to strictly follow the instructions they had received.


Fredrik Juhonpoika Kivestö, aka Veelu (1864–1940) served as a forest ranger in the house that had been officially nominated as a forest ranger farm already in the 1860s. As was usual with forest ranger farms, Kivestö was located in a remote area, far from the parish village of Lestijärvi. Smoking his pipe, bearded Veelu would circulate his district wearing clothes made of coarse homespun cloth and shoes lined with sedge. He was known as a versatile, helpful and religious man. He used to give bread to the poor, practise folk healing and nurse sick animals. He is also said to have had supernatural skills. Later in life, Veelu and his wife Marjaana moved to the village and continued farming there, and their son Johan Emil, aka Eemeli, continued as a forest ranger on the Kivestö farm. In autumn 2018, the foundations of the buildings were still clearly visible.