Historical dwelling (Mähle House, The old court house)
The house was built in the early 1900s – it was ordered by a former Kärdla merchant, Mähle. Although the house has undergone some reconstructions over the years, its general layout reflects the expectations that a wealthy provincial merchant had to its home at the beginning of the 20th century and in line with the era, it had to be functional, comfortable and also show the wealth of its owner. Nigolas Mähle owed his wealth to good relations with the administration of the Kärdla factory, which exercised control over the number of stores allowed in Kärdla through the municipal government. Mähle’s goods were believed to be too expensive and he re- acted to the complaints over the too high price of the goods by saying that he took only a small profit: merely one kopeck on every kopeck. As the trading business in the town was controlled, competition was non-existent and he gained more and more wealth. The Mähle family were the first Estonian-born residents in Hiiumaa who could send their sons to a university.
Initially, one end of the house accommodated a store. In 1909, the Kärdla Consumer Association also established a bakery and a small bread-baking plant in Mähle’s store.
After WWI, the building was sold to Kärdla municipality and for a long time it served as the court house.
Since 1996, the house has accommodated the Ave Vita Non-profit Association, which promotes cultural and youth work.
Mähle House has been under heritage protection since 2010.
It is a waypoint on the journey
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