Dwellers of the Homestead

Around 1910, Jooseppi (Joosef) Juhonpoika Sallila from Parkano and his partner Matilda Lehikoinen came downstream and onto the bank of River Luttojoki. There was a sauna that had been built by two reindeer men named Uula Valle and Arvid Pokka in the middle of wilderness, and Jooseppi and Matilda settled down in the sauna building. They made their livelihood from gold digging, pearlfishing, fishing, hunting and reindeer husbandry. They also bought cows and sheep to the farm. One sign of prosperity was the large potato field. Hay was mowed from the grounds and the nearby island.

Raja-Jooseppi Homestead nearby the Luttojoki River. Photo: Nina Raasakka

Within ten years, a group of hand-made buildings appeared on the grounds. First they lived in the sauna building, but soon they built a new cottage with wall logs that were carved white. The cowshed was made for two cows, but at its best it housed four cows. The potato cellar, which was dug upstream, was absolutely necessary for storing food. The baking oven was set up outside. The grounds and the surrounding rail fence were completed in 1920.

At the beginning of 1920, a vagabond called Huhti-Heikki from Ähtäri arrived at the homestead. While in Canada, he had heard about the annexation of Petsamo to Finland and came to River Luttojoki to take up pearlfishing. Jooseppi persuaded Heikki to stay on the same riverbank and so Huhti-Heikki built his own cottage at the homestead and stayed there for about four years.

Flora on the Raja-Jooseppi Grounds

The Raja-Jooseppi grounds are driest near the top of the slope, where there are grass fields and hay meadows. The lower parts of the slope are more moist and part of the slope is covered by floodwater in spring. There is also an island in front of the homestead where hay was mowed for cows. Four different species of moonwort have been found on the grounds: grapefern moonwort (Botrychium lunaria), the leathery grape fern (Botrychium multifidum), the boreal moonwort (Botrychium boreale) and the lance-leaved moonwort (Botrychium lanceolatum). They have considerably raised the value of the flora in the area.

The Raja-Jooseppi homestead is managed by mowing. The objective of the management of this traditional biotope is to retain the typical and threatened meadow flora. The aim is also to keep the grounds open and to prevent shrubs taking over the place. The island located in front of the homestead is managed by mowing.

The Raja-Jooseppi Homestead's Site Plan

There are the following buildings and structures on the grounds of the Raja-Jooseppi homestead:

Raja-Jooseppi Homestead´s Site Plan © Metsähallitus 2014


1. Barn
2. Cowshed and dry toilet
3. Well
4. Fish cellar
5. Sheep house
6. Huhti-Heikki's hut
7. Smoke sauna
8. Earth oven
9. Jooseppi's hut
10. Storehouse
11. Pole for attaching reindeer
12. Leather softening tool
13. Trench
14. Foundations of Jooseppi's new house
15. Fence