Kaivoshovi - When the parties and laughter turned into silence

Kaivoshovi is an old community center at the edge of an old mine village, Lampinsaari. The building is an important part of the village’s history. It was once a place filled with dance, laughter and all kinds of entertainment. Now the place is a shadow of itself – if even that.

Lampinsaari is a small mine village in North-Ostrobothnia, in the former area of Vihanti. Now the village is part of the city of Raahe.  From 1952 till 1992 the village had the biggest zinc mine in Europe. The mine was owned by a company called Outokumpu Oy.  Lampinsaari was originally built on top of a swamp, and it is a distant location – the closest store is now 12 kilometers away. The company wanted the workers and their families to enjoy the life in Lampinsaari, so they provided all kinds of services. In the late 50’s an entire community had formed around the mine. 

The original place for entertainment was called Tervahovi. All the parties and meetings were organized there, but on the third of December 1964, a brand new community center was opened to the public. This place was called Kaivoshovi. Architect company Blomsted-Penttilä designed the building, and it covered an area of 1370 square meters. When the new place in the main street, Kaivoskatu, was put in use, Tervahovi across the street was torn down. 

Kaivoshovi made a real difference to the mine village. The event hall was designed for 200 guests and in the main floor there was also two club rooms and bowling alleys. It was possible to do pretty much anything in there. Basketball, volleyball, dance, parties, gym – you name it.  

Downstairs was reserved for ping-pong and archery. There was also a possibility to train shooting with a pistol and an air rifle in the shooting range. In the basement there was a small gym where people could wrestle and box. On Sundays villagers used to gather in Kaivoshovi to watch movies. 


In 1988 Kaivoshovi was sold to private investors, and soon after that the doors were locked and the building was left on its own. Now the only solution is to tear down the building, but that costs a lot of money and the village community doesn’t have funds for that.  

When you look at the building now, the stories about Kaivoshovi seem unbelievable. The moldy, abandoned place waits in silence for its final sentence in the best location of the village.