Getting to know Pudasjärvi
Pudasjärvi is a town of about 8 100 inhabitants in Northern Finland. From Pudasjärvi it takes only an hour to reach the capital of the northern Finland, Oulu by car. Thanks to the modern information network communications, the significance of this distance has practically vanished.
The nature in Pudasjärvi is very many-sided. The southern and the western parts are lowlying swamp area divided by islands of forest. The swamps are mostly very open and wet. Often they are fen swamps which are very difficult to travel and they have a lot of small, deep ponds. The exuberant spruce swamps are spred out by the brooks.
The Pudasjärvi area is one of the most swampy areas in Finland. Half of the commune area is swamp area. Some of the swamps have been drained to get forest area and arable land, and nowadays to produce peat.
The scenery in the eastern parts of the commune consists of hills and even mountain fells.The most highest mountain fell is Iso-Syöte which is the southernmost mountain fell in Finland.
The forests in Pudasjärvi are mostly pine, and in the eastern parts the hills are covered with spruces.
Over 200 sq km of the Pudasjärvis' area is water. The river Iijoki flows through the commune from east to west. Many other rivers and waters join the river Iijoki. The territorial waters in the south join the river Kiiminkijoki which is a part of an international protective program.
In the eastern and in the inner parts of Pudasjärvi there are big lakes in the hillscenery. Most of the lakes, ponds and rivers in Pudasjärvi are however quite small.
For example the lake Pudasjärvi with its' islands and capes is known for its' rich bird population. The waters have plenty of fish for fishermen to catch and the forests have game for hunters. Even some quite rare wild beasts still live in the untouched wildwood.
Before the Lapps populated the river basin of Iijoki, the area was populated by hunting and fishing stoneage people. Many place-names date from the Lapps settlement, places like Lapinniemi, Puhos and Kollaja.
About a thousand years ago the people of Häme came to the river valleys of Iijoki to their huntingtrips.
In the 13th century the coast of the northern part of the Gulf of Bothnia was populated and the area became a hunting area for the coasts' inhabitants. The people of Russian Karelia and Ostorbothnia used the river Iijoki as a route on their trade a nd persecution journeys. The waterway with a lot of islands was named Pudasjärvi.
In the 1570's a dozen families from the Savo settled down in the basins of the river Iijoki and river Livojoki. They were attracted to the area because of the good burn-beaten land.
In 1639 Pudasjärvi became an independent vicariate.
The 18th century was a time of development after the period of Great Hate. The settlement spread by the rivers and so were the present main villages in Pudasjärvi born.
In the 19th century the area encountered the years of crop failure. People had to eat bread which was made of straw and inner bark of trees. The population had septupled in 120 years. The sparce population gave protection against epidemic diseases and the birth rate was high.
In 1865 the municipality of Pudasjärvi was founded due to the differentation of the congregational and municipal administration .
In 1872 elementary school started in Pudasjärvi. Because of the vast area and the sparce population ambulatory school became necessary. The last ambulatory school closed in 1952, it was propably the last ambulatory school in Finland. In 1972 t he comprehensive school started.
Until the 20th century the population in Pudasjärvi earned their living from hunting, fishing, reindeer management, agriculture and forestry. Pudasjärvi was a significant producer of butter and tar.
In the beginnig of the 20th century industry was mainly home industry. The only industrial establishments were the flour mills and sawmills. It wasn't until after the wars that small-scale industry was developed.
In 1903 the telephonecompany from Oulu (Oulun Telefooniosakeyhtiö) finished the telephone line in Pudasjärvi. There were 18 subscribers.
The times of war were very hard for Pudasjärvi. In all 417 men from Pudasjärvi were killed in action in the Finnish-Russian war, in the Continuation War and in the Lapp War.
In the 1940's began the electrifying.
Until the 1960's the people of Pudasjärvi were employed in the construction of roads and bridges. But during the same decade began the strong removal, because Pudasjärvi was mostly agricultural and forestry region and couldn't employ the great age groups.
In 2004 municipality of Pudasjärvi changed its name to city of Pudasjärvi.