Parish maps from the 1840s
National Archives

Geographical mapping was at a standstill after the year 1809, when Finland was attached to Russia as an autonomic grand duchy. After a proposal from the Russian military authorities, a programme was started in the 1840s in the main land surveying office of Finland to draw new geographical atlases. The programme included drawing of new parish maps and a new general map of the country. Some parish maps were drawn in the 1820s on the basis of the surveys done in conjunction with the land reparcelling, but now the programme was extended to the whole country.

Most of the parish maps were drawn during the 1840s and 50s, but in some provinces the work continued into the 1860s and 70s. The maps of the Häme province were mainly drawn by the year 1842. The maps were drawn in the scale of 1:20,000 and using the old method of drawing onto one large paper instead of dividing the area into map pages. To make handling the huge maps easier, they were cut in the 1950s by the National Archives into modern map pages and glued onto cardboard to prevent stretching. The maps were to be drawn and coloured according to the instructions given in 1852; lakes in blue, fields in yellow, meadows in green, hills and mountains in grey and so on. The new land division was not completely finished when the new maps were drawn. This is why the new borders were sometimes marked by glueing the new part on the old map, and this has somewhat affected the beauty of the original, old parish maps. The maps of Jämsä do not contain many glued parts. The following six map pages represent Jämsä and Korpilahti.

Copy: Heikki Rantatupa