The foundation of Kilens Hembygdsgård got its name from the old fishing area called Kilen in Sideby. The ground where the museum is situated today has also been used for saw- and shipping industry.
The initiative to establish the museum was made by Harald Teir in year 1967. All buildings have been moved to the area from other villages in the municipality of Kristinestads The museum area was planned by architect Erik Kråkström and the construction of all buildings was done by volunteers. The foundation of Kilens Hembygdsgård was established in 1968 and Kilen was consecrated in 1969 by the President of Finland at that time, Urho Kekkonen. From the establishing of the museum the activities at Kilen have both grown and included a lot of variety.
The establishers of the foundation were people who wanted to preserve the culture and history of the Swedish speaking Finns through promoting research of peasant culture and spreading the knowledge. They wanted to give the inhabitants of the area a place to use for gatherings and leisure as well as promote the sense for the home village among the youth, as well as responsibility for the nature, culture and fellowmen.
Already in the beginning the emphasis was put on Kilen to be a vivid museum, and this aim has been fulfilled.At Kilen you can find many different kind of activities. The beautiful museum area, several hectare in size, including altogether about 30 buildings, operates as a centre for culture among the Swedish speaking Finns. Courses, camps, exhibitions and parties that have been held at Kilen are innumerable. Kilens Hembygdsgård is well known in the Swedish speaking parts of Finland and has reached interest also among the Finnish speaking population.
The buildings in the area form a cultural environment. The area around Kilen has been included in the nation-wide cultural areas concerned by the ministry of environment. The flora in the area is unique and according to research the area should be taken good care of in order for the flora to maintain. Kilens Hembygdsgård is an excellent place for seminaries, camps, family parties, excursions and representation. You can experience a different day in a vivid museum area in the beautiful area close to the coast.
Harald Teir and President Urho Kekkonen