Kolga farm

Tenant farm from the latter half of the 19th century

Kolga farm is an example of a Hiiumaa tenant farm and how it developed over time. The buildings are from Emmaste parish. The farm was opened to visitors in 1984. The role model for the typically spacious farmyard seen on Hiiumaa was Pendi farm in Lelu village, which still had the old fencing that partitioned the yard.

Most Hiiumaa islanders lived less than 8 km from the coast, and thus they were seafarers and fishermen as well as farmers. Diversification was required to survive here, so they also engaged in woodworking for sale. Thanks to the location and the settlement history, Hiiumaa has been a cultural bridge between Estonia and Scandinavia.

1 – barn-dwelling, 2 – storehouse, 3 – storehouse/cattle shed building (presently unrestored), 4 – sauna/summer kitchen, 5 – smithy, 6 – cellar, 7 – well

Did you know?

  • In the 13th and 14th C, Swedes settled on Hiiumaa. In the 18th century they belonged to the Kõrgessaare manor overlord K. M. Stenbock who refused to honour their freemen’s papers that would exempt them from corvee labour. The dispute was resolved by an ukase from Catherine II, whereunder the Swedes were resettled to the River Dnepr. But the region retained its Swedish cultural influences.
  • In 1911, Kolga farm was acquired as a freehold by Mihkel Pruuli. He bequeathed the farm to his son Ruudolf, a seaman (born 1890), who had earned enough money on his voyages to help buy the farm. Ruudolf was also a local community leader.
  • Kolga farm had 50.9 hectares of land, of which 5.8 hectares was fields.
  • At Kolga, a Swedish-style bench, rocking chair, and rag rugs, chequered pillowcases and carpets typical of Hiiumaa can be seen.