Our story

The first steps towards the establishment of the Forssa Museum of Natural History were taken in 1951, when The South-West Häme Commission on Conservation of Nature was founded as a division of The South-West Häme Regional and Museum Society. This society - Finland's first local one of the field - became an independent registered society in 1956 as The Nature Conservation Society of South-West Häme.

The founder of the society and from then on its chairman, Torild Brander, then immediately started the systematic inventory of South-West Häme minerals, flora, and fauna - in the 50s it was far from clear as it is today what species inhabit the society's geographical area of activity. During this inventory quite a collection was gathered for the museum of natural history. The collections were at first, from 1957 to 1967, stored at the society's office and archives on Vapaudenkatu, Forssa. Specimens would occasionally be brought out on display for example at exhibitions in local schools.

Gradually the collections grew so that the so-called public section of the collections was separated into its own entity. The first public museum was opened in the spacious second floor of Virastotalo on Kartanonkatu 10 in 1968. The more properly scientific collection remained private. The public section was named the Forssa Museum of Natural History, today the Forssa Nature Museum, as an expression of gratitude to the Town of Forssa.

In 1973 the exhibition moved from Virstotalo to the first floor of the town's fire station, a much smaller space. The Town of Forssa built the first premises especially designed for museum use on the first floor up in the waste spinning mill building of the old Finlayson premises. These premises became utilized as the museum in 1988. In addition to its exhibitions, the museum now has closed rooms for scientific study and a private library on natural science for the members of the nature conservation society.