Our first Charcoal Weekend at Malmbacka was held on 8 – 9 September 2012 beginning at 12.00 noon when the hearth was lit. Church services was conducted by the hearth on 9 September 2012 at 12.00 noon.
The manufacturing of charcoal used to take place in hearths, and the charcoal was then used in the iron works. This was an important industry at the traditional iron works in western Nyland.
When the iron works were replaced by modern plants the need for charcoal made from wood from the forests diminished, and nowadays the traditional charcoal hearths are no longer used. The know-how has disappeared and only a handful of people of the older generation know anything about Finland’s charcoal manufacturing tradition. The forests of western Nyland contain remnants of old charcoal hearth bases as evidence of times gone by.
In 2008 we purchased a piece of land adjacent to our property (Lönneberga) and had no plans yet for it. We had different thoughts and ideas but made no decisions. Time passed and some ideas took root and in the summer of 2010 we visited the exhibition ”The Forest’s Black Gold” in the Museum Farm in Snappertuna. We had found a number of pits on our newly purchased property and now we realized what they were. The pits are charcoal pits belonging to three charcoal hearth bases.
Our passion for history made us decide to honor the heritage of charcoal manufacturing and bring it back to life in Finland. We made valuable contacts in Sweden and were trained in charcoal making by a charcoal team at Skinnskatteberg.
On our newly purchased property we are now building a village of cottages and around the charcoal pits we are building charcoal workers’ huts. We have renovated one of the old charcoal hearth bases which will serve as foundation for future hearths, and two bases we have preserved.
We will burn a hearth every year at which time those interested are welcome to participate in the various work phases as well as learn about charcoal manufacturing and keep the historical heritage alive.
Charcoal Weekend will be conducted with traditional clothes, food and a wake at the hearth.