history of Kiviranta goes back as far as the history of
Huittinen itself. Indicative of this is the discovery
of an axe made of stone on one of the Kiviranta fields,
which experts say is around 2800 - 3000 years old.
first owner of Kiviranta to appear in official records
was a man named Jussi, in the year 1540. Following this,
the records show names that translate as Matti 'son of'
Jussi, Nuutti 'son of' Matti and so on, up to the end
of the 17th century. Around this time Kiviranta moved
into the ownership of Swedish military families, becoming
a base where soldiers and their horses were kept in readiness
for war. It
remained as such until 1861, when a Carl Duvald sold it
to a 20 year old from Urjala named Oskar Kivi.
its size, when Oskar Kivi became the owner of Kiviranta
it was in bad condition. Only the main building, built
in 1793, was in good condition, with nearly all the other
buildings being rebuilt under his orders. The stone cowshed
(now known as Kivenkolo) was completed already in 1862,
only a year after Kivi's arrival at Kiviranta. Next to
the cowshed Kivi built a dairy using the same massive
stones. Completed in 1876, it became the first so-called
'manor dairy' in Huittinen. The dairy was run first by
a Dane called Jensen, who was succeeded by a Swiss
man named Gerber. The nicely finished stables were Kivi's
last building project.
the beginning of the 1890s, talk of an agricultural school
in Satakunta ignited discussion. In the hope of Huittinen
being chosen as the location for the school, Oskar Kivi
built a large two storey building, complete with two towers
and a grand hall, next to the main house. It was finally
completed in 1899, and it came as a crushing disappointment
when the school was eventually built in nearby Kokemäki.
This building is still known as the Schoolhouse, despite
never being actually used as such. It has, instead, served
in a number of humble roles through the years; accommodation
for the head groundsman and guests, weddings and celebrations
within the family, as a wartime hospital and even as a
Kivi was also responsible for building the required barns,
stores, workers' housing and other buildings at Kiviranta.
When speaking of Kiviranta and Huittinen, one has to give
much credit to this energetic and passionate man. In addition
to his own affairs, Kivi was involved in much of the town's
business, including public building projects and road
those days, Kiviranta was very large, with over 2000 ha
of land. In 1921, the estate was downsized to around 800
ha, of which 158 ha was fields. Land needed for quick
housing after Finland suffered war defeats reduced the
size further, to a total of 355 ha. Of this, now only
70.26 ha was fields.
Oskar Kivi died in 1901, the estate was inherited by his
son, Väinö Kivi. The subsequent owners were
officials who lived in other parts of the country, but
the estate was still run profitably. Kiviranta was well-known
as an agricultural training centre, where many would-be
cattle farmers and agricultural students have had the
privilege of learning their trade.
the death of Väinö Kivi in 1954, his son Paavo
Kivi became the owner of Kiviranta, and he had some of
his grandfather about him. Like Oskar, he was interested
in successfully running the estate, and devoted much of
his spare time to his inheritance. He supported and encouraged
the head groundsman, and did all he could to assist in
and further the work at Kiviranta, particularly the growing
Paavo Kivi died in 1975, the estate was unable to find
anyone to continue in his footsteps, so the selling of
Kiviranta began piece by piece. Eventually the whole estate
was sold. Kiviranta has, however, secured its place in
the history of Huittinen and Satakunta. Its various stages
chronicle Finnish farming and the changes in thinking
through the ages and generations.
text has been translated from a short history written
by the last head groundsman, Heikki Mattelmäki. He
looked after Kiviranta, implementing many new ideas and
methods, for around thiry years.
1984, Kiviranta was divided into land, equipment and buildings
and sold at auction. The buildings were sold to three
businessmen, who turned it into a popular venue for functions
current owners have only been at Kiviranta since 2005.
By coincidence, having already bought the estate they
discovered they had a connection with the last groundsman
- their daughter-in-law is the oldest granddaughter of
Heikki and Hilkka Mattelmäki.