Mihkli Farm in Malvaste village is an excellent example of the rural architecture of Northern Hiiu County. The buildings are mostly from the 19th century and there, visitors can get to know the local construction practices and household items. Ordinary in how it consists of numerous buildings and in the layout of its yard; special because of how intact the archaic ensemble of the buildings is.
Until the deportation of 1781, the farm was home to a family of Hiiu Swedes. The last residents left the farm in 1987.
The farm’s spacious courtyard is perfect for organizing various events, having a picnic, and simply spending some lovely time. The location is exciting for children and adults alike. Children can play a fun game which helps discover the museum on their own and as they run around.
It is in this small area, where cultural phenomena have gradually merged and adapted to the new circumstances, because both Estonian-speaking and Swedish-speaking people have lived on this farm. The latter were among the Swedes living in Reigi parish who were deported to Southern Ukraine in 1781. After that, new, Estonian-speaking inhabitants, who were also Hiiumaa natives, settled on the farm. Yet, time and again, some people of Swedish origin ended up living here as well.
Even though the current buildings of the farm were mostly built in the 19th century, the last owner, Joosep, still lived in them in the 1980s. After his passing from this world, the farmstead was gradually converted into a museum, where it is possible to have a look at a living environment that has remained almost unchanged for 180 years. At the same time, it is a centre of living heritage, oﬀering chances to learn something new, to polish some skills, to work along, to share experiences, to play, to try out, but also simply to observe and watch.
What is experienced here might help us understand where we come from and what we have brought along from the past. It helps us notice our intangible heritage.
Facts about Mihkli farm:
- In the 1880s, the size of farmlands was 86.22 lofstelles or 15.5 hectares.
- In 1932, the contract of purchase specified the size of farmlands as 76.14 hectares, incl. 44 ha of pasturelands, 21 ha of
meadowland, and 7-8 ha of hayland.
- In 1920, there were 10 people living here – 6 adults and 4 children.
- The last inhabitant of Mihkli farm was Joosep Saarlaid (birth name Joosep Simmer, 1904–1987).
It is a waypoint on the journey
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