Kytäjä’s colourful history
The area’s history is fascinating and eventful, involving several notable Finnish persons.
The events at the Kytäjä manor have made the area a unique cultural landscape. Field Marshal Åke Henrikinpoika Tott established a manor at Kytäjä in 1634. Over the centuries, the manor has been managed by many well-known figures. Åke Tott’s successor was General Governor Fleming, who belonged to the same family.
The Fleming era lasted for around 70 years, after which the manor was taken over by Captain Wulcrona. After his death, Wulcrona’s widow Sofia Barck remarried. She and her new husband, Captain and Knight Carl Armfelt, had two sons, Carl and Cristoffer, who both in turn managed the manor in succession.
The heyday of the Kytäjä manor started in the 19th century when it was owned by the Linder family. At the end of the century, the manor was the largest private estate in the Nordic countries and had its own currency, dairy, shop, school, power plant, and spirit factory. The son of the family, Hjalmar Linder, followed his father Konstantin as the head of the manor. Hjalmar was married to Sophie Mannerheim, who was the sister of Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim, a Finnish military leader and statesman.
Hjalmar Linder had a progressive approach to management. The new operating principles adopted during his time include an eight-hour working day and free medical treatment. He also had workers’ housing built. The manor’s sawmill operated in three shifts, and the railway tracks were based on Hjalmar Linder’s plans from Hyvinkää to Karkkila, mainly for the transportation of timber and iron.
Hjalmar also bought Finland’s first car, in 1903. At its best, the estate covered 50,000 hectares, so he could travel from the Kytäjä manor to Svartå manor (which he also owned) without once passing through someone else’s land.
After the Linder family, Kytäjä was managed by the Vähäkallio family from the late 1910s, when Finland gained independence, to the 1970s. During their rule, the estate covered slightly over 10,000 hectares and the farm had 1000 cattle including 600 milking cows. Also during that time, Väinö Vähäkallio designed a church and two apartment buildings at Kytäjä. Mrs. Astrid Vähäkallio was highly popular with the locals. During the war, she founded a rehabilitation home in the manor house. At the time, the most notable Finns gathered at the manor to go on hunting trips and enjoy the tranquillity of the natural world. At present, the Kytäjä manor and its surroundings are owned by Yrjö Laakkonen. Today, the estate covers 4,880 hectares, of which around 400 hectares is cultivated land. In addition to agriculture and forestry, income is derived from the rental and renovation of existing buildings and new construction.
The future of Kytäjä looks bright, and many intriguing plans have been made for the area.