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Pearsgården, OHF Farmstead Museum in Sviby
"When we entered the farm, it looked as if the owner had hung his cap on a nail and left. Everything was in place in the outhouses, just as he left them fifty years ago... "
/ Nils Gärdström, Ormsö Local History Society
or "Pers gård", is one of the few farms left on Ormsö that can tell us what the island farmsteads looked like just before the Second World War. Traditionally, farms were always laid out along the same lines, with a residential building, a number of outhouses, a barn and a sauna. During the Soviet occupation, the farm buildings were left to decay, although many of the objects that had been stored in the outhouses had remained untouched since the time when the Estonian Swedes were transferred to Sweden.
In 2000, the Ormsö Local History Society bought the farm from the daughter of the original owner. Thanks to generous support from various foundations and private individuals, the Society has little by little been able to restore the farm with a view to showing what life on Ormsö could be like during the first half of the 20th century.
Pearsgården and the Sviby fire
Sviby was one of the largest villages on Ormsö, with a population of 350 people during the thirties. The village was home to both Estonians and Swedes. On Monday, 13th June, 1932, a fire broke out in a house in the middle of the village. It spread quickly, and by the evening 21 of the village farms had been reduced to ashes. Nobody lost their life, although one third of the village’s inhabitants were now homeless. Pearsgården remained unscathed. The accident in Sviby caused so much damage that relief funds were raised in Stockholm, Helsinki and Reval/Tallinn. During his visit to the island during the same summer, Crown Prince Gustav Adolf also contributed a sum of money towards the reconstruction of the village.