Oulu 1801 - 1869

population about 2,000

The Treaty of Hamina, signed after the Russo-Swedish war of 1808–1809. As the result of a lost war, Finland was separated from Sweden and became an autonomous Grand Duchy within the Russian empire for over a hundred years. The most significant battles of the war were fought in Ostrobothnia. Oulu was one of the most important service bases for the army.

population about 3,300

Fire destroyed most of the wooden buildings in Oulu. According to one source, 330 houses were burned to the ground, with only 65 houses surviving the fire. The following year, the population decreased by 260 people.

population about 4,100

The first newspaper published in Oulu was in Finnish, despite the fact that educated people were mostly Swedish speaking until the end of the century. Oulun Wiikko-Sanomat (Oulu Weekly Gazette) was first published in 1829 by Evert Barck, and it was the third Finnish-language newspaper in the country.

population about 4,230

The church (Oulu Cathedral), damaged by fire, was rebuilt on the old stone walls. The new Empire-style church was designed by architect C. L. Engel. The tower was completed in 1844. The following year, the city commissioned a clock for the tower from Ilmajoki-based master watchmaker, Johan Yli-Könni.

population about 4,300

The first magazine published in Finland, Mehiläinen (Bee), was printed in Oulu, at the Barck printers. The magazine's journalist, Elias Lönnrot, had by then moved to Kajaani, having lived in Oulu from 1832 to 1833.

population about 5,800

The Crimean War was fought between Russia and Turkey. The Turkish alliance included France, Sardinia and England. The war reached Oulu at the beginning of June 1854, when an English naval detachment docked on the Oulu roadside. The people in Oulu did not engage in armed resistance, but surrendered and provided the Englishmen the provisions they demanded. The city was not burned down. However, the English did cause some damage when they set fire to several trading ships, including ones under construction, and granaries filled with goods.

population about 6,630

The Veljekset Åström (Brothers Åström) leather factory was founded in Myllytulli. The factory and its production range soon expanded. They began manufacturing mainly base leather, but other products were soon added to the selection, including upper leather, machine belts, shoes, briefcases and harnesses. By the end of the century, the company name had been changed to Veljekset Åström Osakeyhtiö (Brothers Åström Ltd.) and it employed nearly 600 people. The company exported mainly to Russia and continued to grow.

Today (in 2000), the old factory buildings are used by various organisations, including the Oulu Art Museum and the Oulu Adult Education Centre's Hotel and Restaurant programme, which has educational facilities and teaching restaurants in the old buildings.

population about 6,870

Bridges across the River Oulujoki through the Linnasaari and Raatinsaari islands were completed.