The Sodankylä Local History Museum introduces village life in the early 20th century. Almost all 13 buildings in the museum grounds have artefacts on display. The museum provides the visitors with a clear picture of the local domestic and village culture and the trades practised in the Sodankylä region.
The museum project started when the Sodankylä-Seura Association started collecting artefacts and preserving traditions in 1949. The main building is originally from the village of Riesto and was erected in the museum grounds in 1962. It was built in 1906 and was owned by the Kuukkeli family until it in the 1950s was transferred into the ownership of the Kemijoki company.
The main building consists of three rooms: living room, dairy, and the main room. The living room has been furnished following the local agricultural tradition. The bags on the wall are made of the skin of Black-throated Divers. Hunters used them for storing small tools and talismans such as frog’s teeth. One of the bags belonged to the famous reindeer herder Aleksanteri Hihnavaara, also known as Mosku from Sompio. The oldest item in the museum, an approximately 700 year old ski, is on display in the main building.
The other buildings in the museum grounds also introduce the local history. Erkkilä’s shed is over one hundred years old. In the past, it was used to store meat and fish and has also served as a sleeping place for youths and servants. The holes on the wall of the shed are caused by target shooting. The same bullets have been shot time and again.
The summer cowshed is a helm-roofed building that served as an animal shelter in summer. The ventilation tower in the middle of its conical roof got rid of insects that bothered the animals in summer.
A circulating school previously operated in the premises of Lapintalo, the Lappish House. Students and teachers lived in the building for five weeks at a time while studying. Currently, reindeer farming equipment and a seita stone, which the Sami people used in their rites and worship ceremonies, are on display in the Lapintalo.