Mihkli farm and its inhabitants throughout the centuries

Forty years ago the largest branch of the Saaremaa Museum - the Mihkli farm museum was founded. The farm itself is about 300 years old. In his article engineer H. Tuulik, whose grandfather was born there, gives a review of the formation of the Mihkli farm, its development and its inhabitants over eight generations. The author relies to a great extent on archival material.

The farm was likely established by Wicke Peter shortly before the Great Northern War.
Over the next two and a half centuries 86 people lived on the farm - 64 of them born there. By the early 19th century some members of the large Mihkli family began the construction of a couple of other farms in the neighbourhood.

Most of the farm buildings, built between 1827 - 1876, when Laes Reht was the master, are of great historical value and have been preserved to this day. Building a dwelling - house with a chimney in the 1830s is remarkable.

The fact that the farm's second - to - last master Karl Reht was elected head of the municipality of Kihelkonna at the end of the 19th century, attests to the reputation of the farm. A large proportion of the wooden necessities, preserved to this day, were made by him.

In the 1930s the Mihkli farm was one of the largest (74,7 ha) and most exemplary farms in the village of Viki. The Soviet occupation and forced collectivization ended the normal development of the farm. Two of the larger buildings were also nationalized at that time.

Jakob - Eduard Reht (1886 - 1969), who was the master beginning from 1934, was a forward - thinking man, who kindly agreed to the foundation of a state museum of his farm. The decision was finalized on February 5, 1959. He is believed to have said:
"All farms will disappear but Mihkli will remain." One of the peculiarities of the museum is that almost all of the items on display, were actually used and most of them were made on the farm.

"Yearbook of Saaremaa Museum"