Halsua local heritage museum

Uudentalontie 69510 Halsua


The local heritage museum of Halsua is located in the Meriläinen village. The two museum courtyards comprise about twenty buildings, most of them from the 1800s. The building called Kraatarintupa, from the 1820s, stands on its original location. There are also hundreds of objects and tools representing old peasant culture. Many of the buildings and objects have been donated by local people. The museum area is open to the public regularly in the summer and at other times as agreed, and events and occasions are organised as well. The area also features a granary displaying objects used in tar manufacturing.




A man called Old Meriläinen used to live in a house near the local heritage museum. He was widely known as the strongest man in Halsua. The story goes that one winter day he left for Pietarsaari with his farmhand in order to bring a huge mast tree to a shipyard. The day happened to be freezing cold. The horse was old and a little decrepit, so they stopped to feed it and give it a rest at Kälviä, which was located along the sleigh road. Since it was Sunday and the church service was beginning, the men dropped into the church. In the meantime, the men of the village decided to test the legendary muscles of Old Meriläinen by freezing the sleigh runners to the ground with buckets of water from the well. Then the men hid themselves around the corner to watch how the strong man from Halsua would manage the tough situation. Coming back from the church, the surprised farmhand expressed his worry to Old Meriläinen, who spat on his hand and told the farmhand to grip the bridle. At the same time as the horse started to pull the load, Old Meriläinen pushed at the rear of the sleigh. The heavy sleigh broke free from the ice with a huge crash, but it got going so fast that the base of the mast hit the corner of a nearby two-storey granary, making the granary move from its footings. Both the church folk and the men who had played the trick were left terrified, their mouths gaping. One had to admit that “this was handsome travelling” (Hietalahti 2015, 39).




Halsua museum main building


In the museum main building


In the museum main building


Halsua museum courtyard


Kraatarintupa on its original location (1820)


Tar manufacturing objects in the granary