The history of Kuusankoski and its surroundings is often combined with the
history of paper industry. In the past Kuusankoski was well-known because of
its two mills which produced paper and raw materials of paper. Even today
Kuusankoski is known as a remarkable papermaker. Frequently only the
achievements of the paper mills attract attention and the people and their
contribution to papermaking is ignored. So now I intend to unite the industry
of Kuusankoski and the people. The phases of papermaking are a part of the
In the early 20th century paper industry offered work which
lured people to move to Kuusankoski. Families rented building sites from
the company and settled in so-called "factory-villages. The
workers formed a new social group: the working class. The company gave
the workers wood for building houses and loaned money which was paid off
from the wages. The paper mill also made it possible for its workers to
use a common "baking room until families could bake their bread
in their own ovens.
A worker's house in the 1990s. The well-kept garden
tells about more spare time when people can take up hobbies and
When the World War broke out the paper mill had to reduce its production. That
affected the workers' lives as well. In bad times smaller houses were built and
more people lived in them. Lack of building material caused that people got the
wood for the houses from oldhouses of wealthier families.
The 1920s brought a better life. At that time the basic population of
Kuusankoski was formed. The workers were chosen among them and their children
inherited the jobs. New inventions like the electric lamp became more
common making life easier.
The 1930s brought signs of urbanization. Industry was strong and more
products were bought in stores, though handicraft was still appreciated.
Stone was used as new building material: the church and the town hall
became centres of the community. Those buildings are still standing in
their original form with some renovations.
The interior of this room is typical of the 1930s.
Increasing affluence can be seen in the wallpaper and the furniture.
The manners of family life changed. As to food production people were
self-sufficient until grocery stores came along and farms were turned into
gardens. Everyday life changed from work-centred life to free-time and hobbies.
Education became more common. The mill had its own trade schools into which
girls were also admitted. The authority of the church lessened as time went by.
Everything began to develop, and both technology and industry became an
important part of life. Though modern times have brought new views for
building we mustn't forget the old days. Without those diligent workers
we might not have such an advanced environment. The whole tremendous development
originated from the times when things were simple but people were content
with their achievements. It's great that we still have the possibility
to study the history of our area on the basis of the existence of the