The Finnish Settlement Museum
History of the Settlement Farms
After World War II, Finland was forced to give Karelia and Petsamo ( and to lease Porkkala) to the Soviet Union. The area which was handed over was 12 % of Finland, and over 420 000 people had to be evacuated, most of them Karelian. Over half of the evacuees were countryside people, farmers, who needed a chance for a new beginning.
Following the land acquisition act, passed in 1945, 45 000 new farms and 56 000 households were formed. Entitled to land were: evacuated farmers, soldiers with family, war invalids, war widows and war orphans. This huge work was completed by 1959 and it had widespread consequences: self-sufficiency with food products, less serious lack of apartments, and improved quality of living.
Carrying out the settlement project meant a great financial investment for the Finnish society, and an enormous amount of work for the settlement organisation. But the biggest work was done by the settlers themselves as they cleared fields and pastures, raised new houses, cowsheds and other buildings, and built roads to their far-off farms in the backwoods.
Most of the settlers placed in Lapinlahti, northern Savo, were from Salmi and Suistamo areas. Almost 10 500 hectars of land was settled and 160 settlement farms were formed.
The Mure Farm
In 1947 Yrjö Mure, evacuated from Salmi, near Lake Ladoga, signed a contract for managing a farm in Alapitkä. A cowhouse was built the following year, with Yrjö and his sister Anni living 4 years in its little dwelling room. The new home was ready at last in the spring of 1952. There were people living regularly on the Mure farm up until the 1970's.
This settlement farm, which consist of a main building, a sauna, a cowhouse and a threshing house, has remained very much in its original shape. There is a wide range of things and equipment of the farm, from 1930's to 1970's. Mure farm has been museum since year 2000.
Yrjö was the youngest child of Tatjana and Andrej Mure. Other members of the family were sisters Klaudia and Nasti (midwives), brother Johannes (cantor) and Anni. Andrej died in Salmi and left the farm to his son Yrjö. This meant that Yrjö was allowed to continue farming in Alapitkä, Finland. Anni followed Yrjö to live in the same household with him. Mother Tatjana, also planned to live together with Yrjö and Anni, but she died of cancer in 1947, in their temporary apartment in the Alapitkä school. Other sisters and brother visited Alapitkä during their holidays. They were also in frequent contact by mail. The Mure family were Greek Catholic.