Tuesday –Sunday 11–17
Industry started gathering in the Imatra region around the River Vuoksi with its many rapids towards the end of the 19th century. Large-scale industry started to form when the limited company Tornator began building industrial plants in 1895 after buying a farm along the river. The farmland included half of the waterfalls of the Niskakoski and Tainionkoski rapids. The area started to become an industrial region.
The company built approximately 20 residential buildings with multiple flats for its work force, first in 1896, and then over the following years. This formed the Ritikanranta residential area, whose buildings were called barracks. The flats, intended for families, consisted of a bedroom and a kitchen as well as a pantry, with a total surface area of 20-25 m2.
The company also built a communal sauna and laundry room with a laundry mangle, as well as a bakery. A grocery store and later on a post office were also established nearby, as well as a school maintained by the company. The residential area was completed with a marketplace constructed in 1904.
The nearby volunteer fire brigade building, also constructed by the company, offered leisure-time activities. It was the birthplace of many cultural endeavours, such as the theatre company, the brass band and the sports club. Later on, the building would also be used for screening films.
Enso-Gutzeit Oy, which Tornator was fused with in 1932, donated the area between Ritikanrantatie and Vuoksi as a museum area for the City of Imatra in 1972. The two remaining buildings in the area were restored to become the industrial workers' housing museum, which was completed and opened in the beginning of May 1975.
The flats in the residential buildings represent the interiors of different decades from the early 1900s to the 1960s. The maintenance building made of bricks has been restored to its former state.
The museum artefacts have been donated by local residents. This will enable future generations to see the housing conditions of industrial workers at the beginning of the 20th century.