Peasant farms by rivers and lakes

The farms located in the Jämsä river valley are famous for their large size and fertile fields. The first settlers of the fertile fields by the waterways and the lake Päijänne arrived in the prehistoric era. During the next centuries agriculture and later cattle-breeding were the main means of livelihood in the area. Farms were owned by peasants and only a small fraction of the farms in the area belonged to the upper classes. It is notable that almost all building activity was closely connected with farming until the end of the 19th century. The building of peasant farms can be seen as the traditional way of building of the area. Its building techniques and basic building types remained relatively unchanged for centuries.

Settlement locations

Only a few cluster villages were formed in the area since the 16th century. In these villages the houses were situated close to each other and the fields were divided amongst the houses according to the division system in use at the time. However, farms mainly developed, even before the 16th century, out of single houses built in the middle of forests in uninhabited places. These single houses developed into communities over time, when the main farm was broken up into smaller holdings. The main farm or the original farm usually lent its name to the village that had formed around it.

Kuva: KSU / Silén 2003

Copy: Saija Silén
Keski-Suomen museo: Rakennusinventointitiedot
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