The journey from Metsäkymppi’s company-owned house to Fishing and Accommodation Vonkale
The main building of the Pökkölä farm located by Lake Keitele was built for the owner of Metsäkymppi and his family in the early 20th century, when Finland’s forest industry was booming. No road led to the farm, and people had to use wooded footpaths and waterways to move around the area. As was the custom, trees felled in the forest were pulled to the shores of Pökkölä by horses and rolled into the lake for log floating while the lake was unfrozen. A proper road to the area was not built until the 1960s.
The people living in the outhouse kept cows, swine, sheep and chickens. Small cultivated patches, now covered by the forest, provided feed for these animals. The people grew hay, oats and even barley as well as potatoes and vegetables. The family let out the upstairs of their house to a migrant family and offered accommodation for forest worker trainees and substitute teachers from the nearby school.
In the 1950s, boating became a popular activity at Lake Keitele and many campers discovered its islands. There was a popular dance pavilion in the cape of Kovala opposite of Pökkölä. The tradition was to burn a Midsummer bonfire first on the shore of Pökkölä and then in Kovala at midnight.
Over time, the Pökkölä farm was deserted and left to the mill. Then, the recreational committee of the Äänekoski branch of the Paperworkers’ Union took an interest in the area. In 1977, the mill let nearly ten hectares’ worth of land out to the Äänekoski branch at a reasonable price. The branch established a holiday resort for its members in Pökkölä. Many parties, camps and events were held at Pökkölä over the years.