Story of Taulun Kartano
The Estate property was owned by the State until 1940, when Väinö Pänkäläinen acquired it. The Penkäläinen family first leased the property and beginning in the 1940s owned it for five generations, until it was purchased by Jyrki and Riitta Halttunen. Alina Pänkäläinen, the current owner’s paternal great grand-daughter, was among the Taulu daughters and married forest ranger David Haluttunen, in 1892.
The Kankainen municipality’s Lauka property dates back as far as 1776. The area was for the most part uninhabited wilderness. Gustav III’s construction of a military road from Laukka to Kangasniemi through Mikkeli was significant for the area during the Russo-Swedish War (1788–1790).
Finland’s diplomatic relations with Sweden broke down due to the Finnish Ware in 1808-1809, after which Finland was made an autonomic grand duchy of tsarist Russia. As the war dragged on, Russian Tsar Alexander I ordered the Finns to attend a meeting Porvoo, Finland, in March 1809.
Establishing the Taulu Estate
Taulu was established in 1849 in the context of distribution of disposable land to the Crown, i.e. 1/8 of the region’s new military housing, which was given 275 hectares. The house became subject to the Kangas military authority which had served from 1698 as the office of the commander of the Sysmä Company. As the actual reserve army had been ceased at the Porvoo conference in 1809, Taulu never served as a gratuity for army officers but was instead leased out.
The Taulu area was burned as clear as early as 1830. The first farmer to till the soil was Matts Filipsson Puikkonen (1799-1862), who was presumably the first to lease the Estate. He married Matts Filipsson Puikkonen (1799-1862). Their daughter, Anna Lena Mattsdotter, married Johan Mattson Pänkäläisen.
Life under old laws
A leaser’s rights with regard to rural parish and responsibilities to pay taxes were the same as those who had inherited Estates, but they did not own the property. Forestry rights were more restricted and products grown could not be freely sold. The Estate, field, forests and building had to be tended to. Rent was a fixed sum based on the size of the property and was paid annually in cash.
Maintenance of the Taulu property was reviewed annually by a residence inspector, who documented it. If deficiencies were found repairs could be required. For example, in the 1930s a reviewed required that the “cellar door be coated with tar.” The inspector was an important state official, who was well respected and tolerated.
Establishing crofts had originally been a privilege reserved for the crown and the nobility. Rectories and official offices were also allowed to establish crofts, and as of 1664 also inns. A contract was always made when establishing a croft, and was often oral. The Land Lease Act of 1902 required new contracts to be made in writing. Taulu has four crofts, Lapinniemi, Ohrakytö, Rasinaho and Aittokangas. In payment for use of the croft the renter had to do free day labour on the croft, which varied from a couple of weeks to nine weeks a year. The crofts were divided into separate properties in 1928, and the corvée responsibility ended.
Making a living in olden times
The Estate made a living through agriculture, with a maximum of 20 cows and five horses. At the time, it was also common to ensure agricultural solvency by raising sheep, chickens and pigs.
In the 1920s the Estate had a gang saw run by a steam engine. The steam also ran a generator that provided electricity for the house.
In the 1950s the Estate served as a forestry station, and also had a mill for its own needs and a shed. After the war, accommodation was established for Metso’s migrant workers. The Taulu Estate has also served local residents in a variety of ways. The leadership or Kankainen’s first grammar school was selected on 5 June 1906, and the school began operating in what had been Taulu’s military offices on the border with Kangasniemi. The school’s first teacher was Tyyne Repo. The school operated in Taulu until 1936, when construction of a new town school was completed.
Starting in 1932 Taula served as a post office. Post handled on newspapers and letters, not payments. In 1946 it was changed to handle second-class mail, and later first-class mail. The post office operated in Taulu until 1985.
Over the years the house adapted to meet new needs. Soon after the war the Estate’s large cottage (the current hall) became a store and Osuusliike Vaajala started running the store in Taulu in Kankainen. Keskimaa ran the store until the 1960s, when the Taulu store was rented to private storekeepers until the 1970s. The floor above the store was renovated into a two-room flat with a small kitchen and WC that was rented to the storekeeper’s family.