The destination of my Lapland excursion in this summer was the Urho Kekkonen National Park (UKK Park), especially the Raja-Jooseppi (literally Border Josef) homestead in the North-East corner of the park. The UKK Park is the second largest national park in Finland (2550 km²) which is in the Inari-Sodankylä-Savukoski region in Finnish Lapland. It has been established in 1983 and Korvatunturi (the mystical home of Santa Claus J ) is located in the area. In 2015 there was some 300.000 visitors in the park.
The Raja-Jooseppi homestead is located on the banks of River Luttojoki, close to the Russian border. The 235 km long river flows through the eastern parts of the municipalities of Inari and Sodankylä in Finland and in the southern part of Pechenga in Murmansk Oblast, Russia. The entire river was within Finland’s borders during the years 1920‒44. Behind River Luttojoki, there is a gorgeous view of the hills on the Russian side. The site has remained almost unchanged: the buildings have been renovated and the grounds have been kept open. There is also a trench dating from the war (1939‒44). I warmly recommend the site; it is really worth to visit!
A brief history: Around 1910, Jooseppi Sallila from South-West Finland and his partner Matilda Lehikoinen came downstream and onto the bank of River Luttojoki. There was a sauna that had been built by two reindeer herders Uula Valle and Arvid Pokka in the middle of wilderness, and Jooseppi and Matilda settled down in the sauna building. They made their livelihood from gold digging, pearlfishing, fishing, hunting and reindeer husbandry. They also bought cows and sheep to the farm. One sign of prosperity was the large potato field. Hay was mowed from the grounds and the nearby island.
Within ten years, a group of hand-made buildings appeared on the grounds. First they lived in the sauna building, but soon they built a new cottage with wall logs that were carved white. The cowshed was made for two cows, but at its best it housed four cows. The potato cellar, which was dug upstream, was absolutely necessary for storing food. The baking oven was set up outside. The grounds and the surrounding rail fence were completed in 1920.
See more: http://www.nationalparks.fi/en/rajajooseppihomestead