Ville Viktor Kasanen
Photographer and chimney-sweep
(b. 1889 - d. 1967)
Ville Kasanen was a photographer and chimney-sweep from Kaskinen. His studio was in this building, which also served as the Kasanen family's home. Portraits of people from Kaskinen were often taken in the garden here. If somebody was not happy with his or her portrait, Kasanen would say: 'better model, better picture'. His darkroom was on the second floor. Still today, the smell of the chemicals from that darkroom lingers in the attic. Kasanen is also known for documenting life at Kaskinen's harbour in pictures.
Kasanen was one of the last fireguards in the old Town Hall tower. The old Town Hall, on Bladhintie 35, was built in 1914 and planned by the town's building constructor, Gustav Rosenlöf. During the First World War, the building was occupied by the Russians. It would not be returned to the town's control until 1920.
The fireguards watched over the town from the tower. They also rang the triangle bell every half hour, so that the people of Kaskö knew the time and to ensure that the guards were awake and doing their job. In the event of a fire, the big fire bell was rung. The fireguards' function was discontinued in 1956.
Kaskinen was never victim of a large blaze. A few houses were lost to fire, but the devastation didn't spread as it did in many other towns. One reason for this is the 1700s grid layout, in which the buildings had assigned plots and the streets kept wide. This prevented any fire from spreading. Another factor was the nightwatch, which began operating back in the 1800s. All men of the town were obliged to take shifts in these duties, with two men patrolling the streets every night. It is thanks to the guards' sharp eyes and quick action that the beautiful buildings here are still intact.