Möhkö ironworks 1849-1908

Möhkö Ironworks was built in the middle of wilderness in the eastern part of Ilomantsi, by Möhkönkoski rapids of Koitajoki river. Together with the factory the village of Möhkö began to develop.

Ilomantsi born Carl G. Nygren got the permission to build the ironworks in 1838. Adolf von Rauch from St Petersburg had the factory built between 1847 and 1849. Industrialist Nils Ludvig Arppe modernised the ironworks.

The conditions for the foundation of ironworks were lake ore lifted from the bottom of approximately a hundred lakes, cheap charcoal, water routes for transport and hydro power of the Möhkönkoski rapids.

At times Möhkö was the largest ironworks in Finland and it employed 2000 people. Thanks to the ironworks, Möhkö grew into a village of 600 people. The factory maintained a shop, a school, a library and a reading room.

The ironworks was closed down in 1908. Reasons for that were, for example, the remote location and the falling of the rocky ore prices. W. Gutzeit & Co. Bought the factory and the forests.

After the ironworks had been shut down, lumbering and log floating work provided a living for the people of Möhkö and Ilomantsi.

The Second World War destroyed Möhkö badly. It took away approximately a third of the territory of Ilomantsi. The automatisation of lumbering and migration to towns quitened Möhkö in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

 

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