The main attraction of the Kuru Open Air Museum is Ensign Stål’s cabin from the 1750s. This is where Ensign Karl Gustaf Polviander lived. He fought in the Swedish army against Napoleon’s troops in Germany in 1807 and took part in the War of Finland (1808–1809). As a young student, a certain J.L. Runeberg often visited Polviander’s cabin, where he heard war stories that inspired many of his poetry collections, including the book The Tales of Ensign Stål. Many objects made or owned by Ensign Polviander are displayed in the cabin, including a bed he crafted himself and a bridal chair that he gave to his bride-to-be as an engagement present. Polviander’s war chest – reinforced with iron and covered with seal skin – can be found in Polviander’s room.
In addition to the ensign’s cabin, the open-air museum consists of a loft storehouse and two smaller storehouses that were originally located elsewhere and moved to the museum later. Legend has it that one of these was built in the late 17th century, which would make it one of the oldest wooden buildings in the region. Displayed in the storehouses are objects to do with food, handicrafts and historical ways of life in general, including distilling equipment and a vat and barrel used in the making of the local beer, sahti. There is also a smoke sauna from the early 19th century outside the house. The river Hoppasjoki runs through the herb-rich forest adjacent to the museum grounds. At the end of the path that starts at the museum you can find a foot mill from the early 19th century. It was repaired in 1921.
Museum’s 10 Gems
Photos © Ylöjärvi Local History Museum 2011