The Development of Certain Details in the Construction of the Old Wooden Town

During the 1600s and still at the start of the 1700s, windows were small and placed in lead frames. Only during the last part of the 1700s did windows become larger and wooden frames come into use. The six-paned vertical window became standard in Raahe. The classic six-paned window later evolved into a transformation in which the two lowest panes were combined. The four-paned window with equal-sized pieces of glass has never been used as a window for residential buildings in Raahe.

Window 1A classic, six-paned window, in use during the entire 19th century





Window 2A four-paned version of the previous design.





Window 3A Russian T-window, in use starting in the 1880s.





Window 4A Jugend window from the beginning of the 20th century.







Jugend windows were multiformed with many sizes of panes comprising diagonal lines and many kinds of moulding, which were often embellished with plant or animal ornamentation.

Painting with red ochre became common in the 1700s, at which time log houses had no siding. However, there probably were not any red ochre houses in Raahe adjacent to the streets. When Alexander I, Czar of Russia, visited Raahe in 1819, the magistrate ordered all the houses of the town to be painted. The paint was presumably yellow and red ochre. During the beginning of the 1800s, when log houses started getting siding, light-coloured paints also came into use.

In a manner similar to that in which red ochre imitated brick surfacing, yellow ochre imitated sandstone. Different shades of yellow from ochre to light yellow wall paint became common. Light grey and light green were used in wall surfacing. For the entire period of the early 1800s mouldings, pilasters, corner pilasters, and often, the walls' upper parts, the frieze, were painted white. The most used wall colour was yellow. The general impression emanated by the town during the first half of the 1800s was one dominated by homes and shops painted yellow, with mouldings and window frames of white, and outbuildings of red ochre.

Towards the end of the 19th c. also buildings in the style of classicism were painted in combination of lighter colours for the walls and darker colours, for example brown, for the mouldings, door and window frames.

Mouldings of this period were painted with colours darker than the walls, and the facades were divided into sections with boards going into different directions. Different shades of brown were common on these buildings.

The stuccoed houses were given a light-coloured paint. In these the window and door frames were painted with a darker colour, brown or grey.

The ancillary buildings by the street were often given a siding only of the part facing the street, and only this section was painted in the same colour as the main building. Log surfaces were painted with red ochre.

Mouldings in Jugend style houses were usually painted with darker colours than those used on walls. Wholesome brown, grey and reddish shades were used.

Cladding or Boarding (Siding) became common in Finland at the beginning of the 1800s. The oldest type was vertical boarding in the form of either staggered or lathwork cladding. At first the boards and laths were simple, without ornamentation. In Raahe the oldest preserved examples of lathwork cladding are embellished with grooves. Often lathwork cladding is topped with a semicircular frieze, which is usually at least six inches wide. Examples are the Sovelius house, Leufstadius house and the Oinonen house. Later on, vertical boarding and vertical lathwork cladding were relegated to the finishing of ancillary buildings.

Shiplap (tongue and groove) cladding was developed in the early decades of the 19th c. as an imitation of neoclassical stone facades. Shiplap was used in both horizontal and vertical applications. For example, Heikki Sovio’s house and the old building of the first Pharmacist’s.

PatalaPatala, Brahenkatu 17. Empire boarding and rustications.










Ruohonen house, Kauppakatu 10. Classisistic horizontal boarding and a rustication.








Wide horizontal siding was first used in classic wooden and Empire style buildings. In Raahe horizontal siding was used in the same way from the 1820s to practically the end of the century. The board is an open-seamed bevel siding. Examples are the Himanka house, the Ruohonen house at Kauppakatu 10, and the Rein house at Brahenkatu 11. Towards the end of the 1800s siding became more decorative, and wall surfaces were divided into areas by different types of mouldings. In different areas the boarding may have been of different types and may have been placed in different directions, vertical and horizontal. In the lower parts the boarding might have been ornamentally framed. Decorative shiplap came into use. The siding on some of the houses in Raahe was given that style repair only in the bottom part of the wall, which is most susceptible to rotting. For example, the Freitag house, the Lang house, Brahenkatu 10.

In the Jugend style siding at the beginning of the 20th c., many types of mouldings are used for boarding the surfaces in different directions. In many cases gable eaves were also decorated.

Already during the 1600s plots were separated from public areas by fences. The oldest fences were vertical board fences. The fence was high and completely closed. In the beginning, different plots were not separated from each other by fences, but for the keeping of domestic animals fences between plots became common. With the spreading of horizontal siding for buildings, fences also for the most part became horizontal in structure. From the first decades of the 1800s, fences began to have stately drive-in gates. The poles on the sides of the gates were high and often decorative. The gates themselves were two- sided and had, like the fence, no space between their boards, thus offering complete protection.

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