My family and I went on a drive after lunch today.
Many years ago my wife used to teach English in this primary school in a rural area. A long time after she got a new position in a different school extensive water damage was discovered and the school was closed. The roof had leaked. This particular school building is 120 years old. It was finally closed two years ago.
I've been to the schoolyard a few times. I've been inside the building, too. I think the last time was some time in the spring about six years ago. The building did seem to be in a lot better shape at least externally.
My wife taught in this school for a year. The kids liked her. When she showed up for her classes the kids were typically out on recess. (All schools in Finland have 15 minute recesses between classes.) She says they were enthusiastic at seeing her and not mean at all. A bit like puppies. One of them once wrote on his desk that "the teacher is a chicken" meaning my wife. It was more endearing than insulting. The headmaster had a talk with him afterwards. He'd said to the pupil that he had written on "municipal property" and doing so was a bad thing. :)
The wing on the left contains an apartment build for the teacher. Back in the day, teachers were often unmarried women and they'd live right next to the school. Most schools built earlier than the 1960's have this type of apartments or separate houses built next to them for the teachers. Rural schools typically had only a few teachers.
Notice how the school is built on high ground and how the foundation is high and it seems to be immune to capillary moisture originating from the ground. The space under the floor is also well ventilated, which means that the wooden structures are well protected from rotting. It was actually the leaky roof that was the undoing of this 120 year old building.
But the school would've been closed soon anyway because of the decreasing number of children in rural areas. Many schools like this have been closed in the last ten years in this municipality alone. This particular municipality, Nastola, was abolished itself, too, in 2016 when it became part of the city of Lahti.
The view from the classrooms on the back side of the house is fantastic. This is one indication of how schools and education were valued in the past.
This is a storage building. Can you guess what it was before that? It was an outhouse before the school was renovated and before electricity, running water and the sewer were installed.
Everyone got fresh apples straight from those trees.
This is where the kids played football and ice hockey in PE.
We drove on and stopped by at a village for coffee at a cafe by an old mill.
This is the cafe itself. They had seating areas around the yard.
That's the rapid. The mill is in the red building.
We went into the mill.
This is where you put the grain I think.
A beer commercial from 1910.
The municipality of Nastola was hiring a male assistent primary school teacher for the next academic year in April 1919.
That machine is a patented grain sorter.