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Watermills in Kainuu region

An unique cultural historical treasure



It is estimated that hundreds of water mills were built in Kainuu's long water courses and streams. They have retained different age and type, and their history derives from the sparsely populated forest region's self-sufficiency period.

Small water mills are often located away from other settlements in good habitat locations and they may have been in use for centuries. The mills are usually modest log buildings. The complex includes a mill or a water rig, and a docking station. In addition to grinding equipment, the interior is usually equipped only with a seat bench.

The most common type of water mill in Kainuu has been “a milling or bull mill”, where the rotating wheel is placed inside the mill. The second most common type has been a wheel mill. In addition, there are also a few turbine mills with a machine. Bull mills have been gradually abandoned as turbine mills became more common.

In Ristijärvi there is the Karppala turbine mill. The mill building belongs to the Karppala and Virpelä yards. The mill complex is one of the most established complexes in Kainuu together with Hyrynsalmi Komulanköngäs bull mill and Korkialehto wheel mill.

Kainuu region creek mills, in total of 16 mills, are classified as RKY 2009 (Nationally significant built cultural environment).

Korhonen, Teppo: Vesimyllyt. Historia, rakenne, käyttö ja kunnostus erityisesti kainuulaisen myllyperinteen valossa. Kainuun museo & Museovirasto 1993. 

Misikangas, Liisa: Kainuun vesimyllyt kylien voimavaraksi. Opinnäytetyö 2018.


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