The Raahe Sea Museum (Pakkahuone) is the oldest privately founded museum in Finland. It was established in 1862 by doctor Carl Robert Ehrström, who was well-known for his varied cultural interests.
The oldest of the museum offices, The Packhouse, is located in the Old Customs House which was built in 1848 and has served as a Seaman's House.
The building has been preserved in nearly its original condition. The museum houses pieces of history which were donated in the 19th century: articles brought from distant countries by sailors as exotic souvenirs, these objects contributed to the establishment of the museum. Later on, articles related to Raahe’s own local history, such as women’s skilful handicraft, dishes and toys. The museum collection relates to Raahe’s history and success as a town for seamen and ship builders. The miniature sailboats, paintings of ships and navigation equipment are an integral part of our town’s marine history. The objects include several rarities, such as the wooden sculptures by Mikael Balt from the first church of Raahe in the 17th century. The sea museum is a “museum within a museum”.
Located near the Raahe Sea Museum, on the other side of Rantakatu, Raahe’s oldest remaining dwelling house, Sovelius house remains open for visitors.
Built in 1780´s, Sovelius house exhibits the wealthy house of one of the richest ship owners at the time in Raahe. The house is filled with beautiful furniture, novelties of the time, as well as various other articles. Sovelius House is an attraction full of feeling suitable for all ages. Upstairs in the Sovelius House, there is a restored home of a shipowner.
The home offers an overview of the wealthy lifestyle of a shipowner and a merchant in the 1890s. The home is full of exquisite heirloom furniture, novelties of the period and various other items. Just like his ancestors, the shipowner worked as a captain on his ships.
The conservator of the museum has recreated wallpapers with silk-screen printing, using the old wallpapers that were found on the walls as a model. The museum office is in the Art Nouveau style downstairs in the premises. The walls of his home were adorned with paintings of his ships that been built for him in foreign ports.
Ernst Bernhardt Lohrman (1803–1870), architect at the office of the State Intendant, designed a new crown granary for Raahe in 1849. The brick granary was completed in 1852, and its capacity was 12,000 grain barrels (one barrel being 165 litres). The Crown Granary functioned as the State’s grain storage until 1910, so all in all, it served its original purpose for over 50 years.
Following this, the Finnish Defence Forces took over the running of the Crown Granary and used it as the main storage facility of the Raahe military district until 1993. In 1995, the town of Raahe rented this cultural historic granary and it was used as a cold storage facility until the town of Raahe finally bought the building from the State in 2001.
The Crown Granary of Raahe is a storage, exhibition and office space for the museum. The Crown Granary opened to the public on 21 October 2012, the 150th anniversary of the Raahe Museum.
Current the famous "Old Gentleman" of Raahe is housed here along with multimedia presentations of Raahe.
The collection at the Old Pharmacy is one of the most valuable collections of pharmaceutical objects in Finland. On show are wooden medicinal product boxes from the early days of the pharmacy, hundreds of apothecary jars from different centuries – the oldest of them dating back to the 18th century, various equipment used in the preparation of medicines, ceramic round jars used in the storage of medicinal products and chemicals, pharmaceutical retail packages from the 19th century and numerous other interesting objects. Many of the old jars still contain old medicines.
The pharmacy history of Raahe begins from the year 1793, when apothecary Jean Galenius founded the first pharmacy of Raahe. There is no certainty about the location of the first pharmacy in the early days of its first apothecaries but at least from 1820 onwards the main pharmacy was located in Kirkkokatu, just across from the church. In 1924, the pharmacy moved to the premises in Kauppakatu where it operated until 1998.
Pharmacists Väinö and Paavo Mäkinen kept and cherished the unique old artefacts in their pharmacy, and in the spring 1999 the town of Raahe acquired the collection. At the same time, the town rented the pharmacy premises in order to maintain and display the valuable collection in its authentic surroundings. The entrance to the Old Pharmacy is guarded by the very same eagle whose imposing presence adorned the entrance of the pharmacy on Kirkkokatu. The furniture of the Kirkkokatu pharmacy, renewed in 1900, was also moved to the premises in Kauppakatu.