Transport at the sawmill and pulp mill
Raw material for Jämsänkoski sawmills was mostly brought in by floating. The finished sawn timber was taken along the river to Lake Päijänne and on to Anianpelto, from were they were hauled by horse to Loviisa for sale. Transport was only possible during open water. The first tug-boat to carry sawn timber along the Jämsänjoki river was 'Sampo', which from 1873 hauled timber from the sawmill to Päijänne. More information on craft in the Jämsä waterways under In the study /Old ships in Jämsä region.
Start-up of the pulp mill in 1888 added to the need for raw wood. Timber was brought to the sawmill and factory by floating, and in winter also by horse from local areas. In addition of sawn timber, exports of finished cellulose bales began. In open water season, the products were transported via Lake Päijänne and the Vääksy canal, completed in 1871, to Lahti and the nearest railway. Shipping transport became easier when the river was dredged in 1893 - 1896 first as far as Jämsä village, and in 1900 - 1902 to Jämsänkoski. The river was re-dredged in the 1930s, making the depth of the channel three metres and bottom width seven metres.
In the winter, goods were taken along the so-called pulp road by horse to Vilppula railway station. Initially, the mill’s transport was provided by farmer Pänkälä, but soon there was sufficient freight for other horse owners too. In the 1920s, paper and pulp from the mills were carried both by the company's horsemen and private individuals. Load size was usually 5 - 6 bales of pulp, or approx. 1,000 kilos. The first stop-off was the Syrjälä farmhouse 12 kilometres from Jämsänkoski. The nest rest break was at the Leppäjärvi farm, where the horses were also fed.
In the afternoon, the horse continued to Vilppula, where the goods were offloaded into the company warehouse. As a return load, the company men brought rope and other necessaries to the mills. Private drivers brought goods ordered by shopkeepers. In the early evening, they again arrived at Leppäjärvi, where the company men spent the night. The private drivers stayed the night at the Leppälahti farm. They arrived back home to Jämsänkoski the following day. When the railway to Mänttä was completed in 1928, freight driving by horse stopped and lorry transport began.
Transport quantities grew after paper manufacturing began at the turn of the century. Almost half of the paper made in Jämsänkoski in 1923 was transported via Vilppula by rail. Water transport was almost 50 % cheaper than rail freight. Transport problems were finally overcome only when the Jämsänkoski - Tampere railway was completed in 1951.