An Elementary Location

In Vaasa there was a place, which had intrigued me since my childhood for several reasons. First of all the place was located by the old highway to Tampere. A motorway had been built in the 1960’s, and the section of the old road became a ramp to the road for slow traffic. When the motorway was extended further South, the section was closed from cars. It was a bike path after that.

I loved long bike tours as a child, and seemingly also abandoned places, as I always paid close attention to the premises next to the bike path. There was a large building made out of concrete elements and corrugated iron. The yard was growing weed and trees, which were so high, you couldn’t see the building in the summer. There were electrical outlets for cars scattered around the yard, and in general the place looked neglected. There was a fence, which had collapsed on the front side, but was in good shape on the back side.

There was also a more modern concrete building on the premises, where they sold scooters and other light bikes. In the junction of the main road and the old highway there was a one family house. I never saw any life in it, but I knew there had been some. As an eight-year-old I had been there. My neighbours invited me to visit their grandparents for pancakes, and If I remember correctly, they lived in that house. I found the location pretty frightening back then.

The factory was the element factory of construction business K.E. Nyman. The company was founded in 1949 and was one of the largest builders in Ostrobothnia before bancrupcy in 1993. That was 24 years ago, and since then the place had stood apparently more or less abandoned. The one family house was apparently the caretakers’ home or something like that.

I had always wanted to explore the place, but I wasn’t really sure, if it was abandoned or not. When they started planning a huge supermarket to replace it, my friend, whose relatives had worked at the factory asked, if I could accompany him there. Of course I agreed to.

The gates were locked and the main road running from in front of the building was very busy. We didn’t want to enter the area from the old highway, either, as the caretakers’ house was on that side. We therefore went from the back through the thickest forest. The lot was now covered in trees, but when approaching the building, we saw that it had definitely been an element factory. There were huge rusty steel racks and even some elements left behind.

There were also racks made out of wood, but the 24 years since the bankrupcy had taken their toll.

It was extremely difficult to move on the premises. There was all kinds of old building waste sticking from everywhere.

The racks streched far behind the building. This must have been an open field back in the days of the factory, but now it was a forest.

This was as far as we got, but we couldn’t get further. The caretaker’s potentially still inhabited house was to the top right of the picture, there was a road on the left side and the main road on the opposite side.

There was random scrap and surprisingly modern cars behind the building, and we weren’t quite sure, if the place was in some use anyway despite its derelict looks. We didn’t explore further.

The building was demolished in late 2019 and a supermarket was constructed in its place. It will open any day now.

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