Sunday, June 1, 2008


When my great grandfather Villem came to Pirita he and his wife Liisu built a small farm house between the Pirita cloister and the river. It was very much like some of the small farms on display at the open air museum in Tallinn, with a thatched roof and all rooms in a row, including the barn where animals were kept during the winter. We are fortunate to have a picture of this house, with my great grandmother Liisu sitting in front.

When Priit and I first got our land back in 1993 we were not able to start work on the big house because there were people still living there. But the little house, Liisu and Villem’s old place, was empty and we could begin the renovation. The place was in terrible shape, with a crumbling foundation and rotting wood, and full of rubbish -- 50 years of accumulated of trash. We hired a local architect and contractor and got started. They did a great job and brought the house back to life. Here is what it looks like today.

When my father left Estonia in 1944, only a few weeks before the Russians came back, he had folded up an Estonian flag and hidden it under the eaves of Villem’s house. He said later that when he did that, it occurred to him that maybe he will not be around to retrieve the flag, but he hoped that his sons would. We did not find the flag when we renovated the house (there had been a new roof on the house and the roofers no doubt found the flag), but now his sons have raised the flag in front of the house. I think he would be pleased.


Flasher T said...


annika said...
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