Onni Lauha

Rådhusgatan 46B - Onni Lauha

Onni Wilhelm Lauha


(b.1902 - d.1968)

Onni Wilhelm Lauha was one of the last old-fashioned tailors in Kaskinen. He both lived and had his shop in this house. The door to the shop has since been replaced with a window.

The house was built by C.D. Renström, who manufactured alcohol in the house next door and sold it in a shop there. It was intended for his daughter. In 1913, lighthouse-keeper John Ahlberg bought the house and gave it the look it has today.

Craftsmanship has a long tradition in Kaskinen. When the town was founded, in 1785, there was hope of attracting professional craftsmen to Kaskinen, so they were granted special rights. In the end, there was a disproportionate number of them - there were not enough customers. Fishing was more profitable, so many plied their skilled craft as a side business.

Besides tailors, there have been shoemakers, bakers, butchers, carpenters, painters, blacksmiths, and masons in Kaskinen. In addition, hatters and wig-makers, coppersmiths, bricklayers, glaziers, and saddlers have made their home here.

Lauha was also a painter, and he sold his oil paintings in his shop. The glass-enclosed veranda at the back of the house was where he had his studio. It was tradition in Kaskinen to buy a work of art from a local painter as a gift when somebody had a birthday. Today, there is still artwork by Lauha in many homes in Kaskinen. Lauha had another hobby too: rowing. He took part in competitive rowing all over Finland.

Lauha's wife was Anni, a midwife. She always had to be ready, for a soon-to-be father could come knocking on the door in the middle of a cold winter night. She would then grab her supply case made from veneer and jump onto the kicksled. Anni's supply case and the sign for her husband's shop are now in the town museum.