Puumerkki cottage, the cottage of stories


Every place has its own story, but others have more than one

The Puumerkki cottage in Karjalohja has been offering accommodation for travelers for over 20 years. The yard has seen many games played, the sauna has been used until late in the night and there has been people running naked on the lake pear towards the water. Other good moments include the view of the Karjalohja church tower on the open lake and looking at the stars from the living room window while holding a hot beverage in the hand.

Back in the time Puumerkki was a home to the family Syvähuoko with no less than 10 children. The family still owns the cottage today and thanks to the long ownership the place hides many incredible stories that Olli, the second eldest of the children, likes to share with others.

The story of the roof of the old sauna

The old sauna of Puumerkki stands right at the Puujärvi Lake and when looking from the yard the only thing visible from that direction is the roof. The original roof was made of peat and in the summer time wild strawberries grew there. In the mid 1960s, due the rain water the roof could not bear it any longer and it caved in. The new roof was made on the spot. Sand was brought to the site and a foundation shaped as the roof and on that a 5 – 10 cm thick concrete iron-bound shell was mounted.

Due to the heavy material it was not possible to lift the shell up only by man power. Holes were dug under the shell and large empty air cushions were slipped in. With compressed air the shell rose to sufficient height and the rest of the sauna was built under it by using the timber from the old sauna.  

The story of the lake cottage

In a family of 10 children any parents´ nerves would be tested. Jussi, the family father, solved the situation by building a really small cottage direct on the coastline. On the forest side of the cottage grow blueberry twigs and on the other side lap the waves of Puujärvi. The family father would always retreat to his cottage by the lake after the “ten o’clock news” to have some peace and quietness of his own. Meanwhile the rest of the family, mother and the children, stayed at the main house. Maija, a loving mother and a wife, went every evening to the cottage by the lake to kiss her husband goodnight.

The Story of the mother´s cottage

The father thought that it was only fair that also the mother would have her own resting place and decided to build one 50 meters away from his own cottage, on a mossy rock. To ensure the mother some piece and quietness her cottage was build on a three-meter-high concrete pillar. To be able to get into the cottage the mother had to climb a ladder first up to get to the entrance of the cottage which was a trapdoor. Jussi had thought everything thoroughly. He added bearing under the cottage so the window of the cottage could be aimed to a direction that the morning sun would not wake the mother up.

Maija spent couple of nights in her cottage but then she realized that it was too troublesome and returned back to the main house. This cottage does not any longer exist but the pole where it used to be can still be seen. On the base of it there can still be seen the hand marks of the father and Jussi the youngest of siblings who has already passed away.

The life of the Syvähuoko family in Puumerkki has been filled with family stories alike. The Puumerkki cottage also tells the stories of the travelers. The nature, tranquility and the stunning surroundings offer the travelers a great chance to make stories of their own that will last in their memories.

More information on the Puumerkki cottage can be found at www.freshlakecottages.fi.

Olli Syvähuoko