|KURU OUTDOOR MUSEUM
Ensign Stool's cabin
The central sight at Kuru Outdoor Museum is the cabin of Ensign Stool,
where Ensign Carl Gustav Polviander lived. He took part in the 1807 war
between Sweden and Napoleon's army in Germany, also in the 1808-1809 war
of Finland in which he was the standard-bearer of the Royal Pori Regiment.
In this cabin the then young student
J.L. Runeberg heard stories from Ensign Polviander, from which he
incorporated material into many of his poetry collections, e.g. his work
Tales of Ensign Stool/Ståhl.
Originally Ensign Stool's cabin was
situated in Hainari, about 2 km from its present location. The cabin was
built in the 1700s and was moved at the turn of the last century to Turku,
to the outdoor museum of the old Castle, and brought back to Kuru to the
grounds of the newly established Kuru Outdoor Museum.
The cabin has been returned to
its original form
The cabin which was built in the 1750s has 2 rooms that contain many items
made by Ensign Polviander. In the front room, for example, are his
self-made bed and a bridal chair that the Ensign presented as an
engagement present to his fiancée. It is said that Runeberg admired this
chair very much.
On the wall is the pelt of a bear
killed by the Ensign himself, also his war and hunting weapons, for
example, a war sabre and a self-made short-barrelled mouth-loaded air
rifle. On the wall is also an important document, an authority for his
nomination as a "furiiri" or billeter for the Royal Pori
In the front room you can also get
acquainted with ladies' dress fashions. Clothes worn by the Ensign himself
do not exist anymore, for they were destroyed some time ago in a fire.
Pulling out teeth was one of
Ensign Stool also had an important side job, that is told by the tooth
hooks on the fireplace. The Ensign's special interest was to pull out the
teeth of the villagers - thus he delivered many a neighbour from their
agony. On the side wall can be seen waffle irons used by the household.
Beside the fireplace on the floor were a spinning wheel and skein reel so
familiar to the womenfolk, also a tobacco jar - important to the master.
In the backroom is seen a war chest
- reinforced with iron and covered with seal skin and used by the Ensign
and which had also accompanied Ensign's son, second captain Gustaf Maurits
Polviander on the Crimean campaign in 1855-56. Near the door is a hatbox -
made of leather - that had really been used by the Ensign's
On the back wall you see an old hymn
kantele (Finnish instrument like a small knee harp) - the Ensign was known
as a musical man. On the side wall is a Gustavian style rung sofa where it
is said Runeberg had slept. The bed is on the opposite wall was always made
up for visitors. The bedspread on it is original. It is homespun, dyed
with natural dyes and the colours are indelible. The Ensign himself slept
in the front room in the rear bed and the wife in the bed near the door
with the smallest child.
On the sofa table can be seen The
tales of Ensign Stool in Finnish and in Swedish in a deluxe edition.
Ensign Stool's cabin is open to the
public 20.6 - 31.7.day to Sunday from 12.00-18.00. (Closed Mon - Tues). A
guide is on site.
Photos on the website
open air museum – Vänrikki Stool's cottage:
Polviander's sauna behind the office cabin.
Point on map.
Ensign Stool's office cabin.