Varjakka


Varjakka is a small village located across the bay from Oulu, Finland.
It has a school, harbour, manor house, bar and is currently home to around 400 households.
A small deserted Island sits just off the coast, accessible by boat or cable ferry in the Summer, and by walking or skiing when the sea becomes frozen.

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This was not always the case.

100 years ago, Varjakka was a busy industrial centre, with the island home to Varjakka Sawmill – one of the biggest in Europe at the time. The mill attracted workers from all over Finland and Sweden and Varjakka was home to most of the 700 employees. In 1929, the Wall Street crash had affected international trade and when the main drive shaft failed, it was decided that the mill was no longer viable. Gradually the island became abandoned. During the second world war, prisoners from the nearby POW camp worked on the island making charcoal. It was a holiday camp in the 50s and 60s, but today it sits quietly, waiting for its uncertain future.

 

Varjakka Sawmill    copyright: © Kansallisarkisto/Uleå oy:n pääkonttorin I arkisto