The Maternity Hospital 1897
Blacksmith Herman Toivola bought the lot on the corner of Läntinen poikkikatu and Rantakatu, which are now known as Cygnaeuksenkatu and Hannikaisenkatu, in 1891. The yard and its occupants had been familiar to him since 1880 when he had rented an apartment for himself from the owner of the property, shipping captain Johan Sparvin.
The main building was built in by Herman Toivola in 1897, according to plans drawn up by Oskari Toikka, along what is now Cygnaeuksenkatu. The building was unique at the time due to its exterior design as well as the techniques used in its construction. There were two apartments upstairs, a small retail space, a residential room, a kitchen, and a laundry room.
The building received a long-term tenant in 1899 when a private maternity hospital was established.
The former maternity hospital, located at what is now Kauppakatu 31, had been destroyed by fire in 1899.
Herman Toivola, both a dedicated volunteer firefighter and advocate for the residents of Jyväskylä provided space for the maternity hospital in his recently completed building. The midwives, maternity hospital servants, and washerwoman lived on site. The everyday routines of the maternity hospital were made easier when electric light were installed in 1903, and when the building was connected to the water mains in 1910. The maternity hospital was in active service until 1919.
The Toivola House
Jyväskylä suffered from overcrowding during the so-called ”log fever” timber boom of the 1870s. During the relatively short stint of Abraham Hoskari, a landowner from Keuruu, as landlord, the lot was developed and the number of tenants increased.
While he was still a tenant, Blacksmith Herman Toivola’s house was completed in 1890. It had an entryway, a kitchen, two bedrooms, and a living room on the street side of the building.
A few years after completion, the exterior of the house was sided in the typical turn of the century fashion, in which the boards were installed horizontally and vertically. Also typical of time period, three-paned “t-windows” brought light to the rooms inside. “T-windows” became common towards the end of the 1870s. Roofed with asphalt roll roofing, the house was painted with oil paint.
Blacksmith’s workshop 1890
The workshop, designed by blacksmith Herman Toivola, was built in 1890. The workshop had an earthen floor and of course included a forge. The workshop was built of brick and its wooden roof was covered with asphalt roll roofing. Already in 1891, Herman Toivola had drawn up plans for an expansion of the building, which included three residential spaces complete with fireplaces.
The risk of fire at a property occupied by a blacksmith was substantial. As a dedicated volunteer firefighter, Herman Toivola outfitted his property with high quality firefighting equipment. This equipment included two fire hooks, two buckets, and four ladders. Also in service was a portable fire extinguisher, manufactured by Toivola’s workshop, which was capable of “spraying 21 liters of water per minute, at the very least”.
Construction master Otto Ekman designed a new outbuilding as an extension of the workshop. The old outbuilding, which had been built of boards in 1861, had to be removed to make way for the extension. The building had been remodeled between 1879 and 1880.
The outbuilding designed by Ekman was completed in 1896. It was connected to the small residential dwelling next to it by a covered passageway. The outbuilding featured two warehouses with attics, two woodsheds with attics, and two outhouses in the fifth section, with dung chamber below, featuring a new stone sewage tank. There was also a barn and a stable for the horses. The warehouses, barn, and stable were made of log, while the woodsheds and outhouse were built of boards. The building was painted with red earth paint, also known as Falu red.
The Sparvin House 1861
Johan Sparvin, who started out as a carpenter and later on became a ship’s captain as well as a merchant, received the lot from his mother in the early 1860s. The lot had belonged to his father Anders, who had purchased it in 1844; however, title to the lot had been transferred to Anders’ widow upon his death.
Johan Sparvin built a few small residential structures in order to house his family and relatives as well as renters. Of these, a three-room residential dwelling, completed in 1861, is still standing.
The building was painted soon after completion with red earth paint prepared on site. The rooms were heated with tiled stoves, and the kitchen had a wood-burning cook stove.
The roof was built of boards, according to the standards of the time. The building is the oldest of its kind in the downtown area of Jyväskylä. Herman Toivola did major repairs to the house in 1892. The building finally received siding of boards which were finished with oil paint. The old six-pane windows were preserved and the shingles from 1874 were replaced with asphalt roll roofing.
In 1863 Sparvin also built a second residential dwelling in the middle of the lot, which was torn down in 1893. During Sparvin’s time, the oldest building on the lot, a small log house built in 1840, was still in use. It stood along Cygnaeuksenkatu until the 1910s.
The Museum of Central Finland’s craftsmen’s houses
The Museum of Central Finland’s craftsmen’s houses – the coppersmith’s house and the cabinetmaker’s house are the oldest Jyväskylä houses still in existence. They are rare examples of the original buildings of Jyväskylä, which was founded in 1837. The earliest homes were hip-roofed log buildings sided with wide planks attached to the building horizontally and had six pane windows. Craftsmen’s homes were often smaller than those of the merchants.
The craftsmen’s houses were taken down in the mid 1950s. They were relocated to the Ruusupuisto park next to the Museum of Central Finland, where they were fitted with furnishings from the late 1800s. The houses were moved to Toivola Old Courtyard during the winter of 2010.
The Coppersmith’s House 1842
The coppersmith’s house was built by cobbler Samuel Lindqvist in 1842. Carl Erik Sjöblom, a later owner of the house, expanded the house in 1850. The house was taken down from Vaasankatu 27 in 1953.
There was plenty of activity in the house in days gone by. In addition to the cobbler’s large family, the dwelling housed a journeyman, an apprentice, renters, and visiting customers. The house includes a kitchen, a bedroom, and a living room, the clerk’s widow’s room, and the cobbler’s rooms, as well as the coppersmith’s and the cobbler’s workshops
The cabinetmaker’s house 1844
This little yellow house was built by hatmaker Erik Fagerlund in 1844. Later owners included a teamster, a merchant, a butcher, a sausage maker, and a market vendor. The cabinetmaker Johan Edvard Bäckström became master of the house in 1913, and after that it was left to his heirs. The house was removed from Cygnaeuksenkatu 12. The cabinetmaker’s house includes a workshop and the journeyman’s room.