Kaskö / Kaskinen


Kaskinen (Swedish: Kaskö) is a Finnish city located on the west coast of Ostrobothnia, on the island of Kaskinen. Kaskinen is the smallest municipality in Finland using the name of a city in terms of population and the second smallest in area. Kaskinen is also the smallest municipality in the province of Ostrobothnia in terms of population.

In the 18th century, a town plan based on a grid pattern with long, straight and wide streets was drawn up for the city, and the plan prepared for a clearly larger population than has ever been settled there since. Thus, there are still many undeveloped plots in the city, and the urban settlement hardly extends beyond the original zoned area. Kaskinen is also popular for wooden house construction.

The municipality is bilingual and the majority of 64.1 per cent of the residents speak Finnish and 29.2 per cent speak Swedish. Foreigners make up 5.4 per cent of the city’s population (2013).



The city of Kaskinen was founded in 1785 by Gustav III, and is thus the second youngest Swedish-speaking city in Ostrobothnia and the last city founded in Finland during the Swedish rule. Kaskinen was a locally significant port even before this.

Merchant Johan Bladhilla and his family play a significant role in the history of the city. Bladh moved from Vaasa to Benvik Farm north of Kaskinen and worked hard in front of the city. Kaskinen at the time had a good harbor, with a well-protected deep waterway and good access to the open sea. By Bladh, a customs and loading dock was established in the port. I signed the city’s founding declaration two years after Bladh’s death.

Johan’s son, Petter Johan Bladh, developed the city’s business community. Benvik’s farm developed into a model space for trying new ideas. Bladh built his own merchant ship, which traveled to many foreign ports. The merchant fleets were destroyed during the Napoleonic Wars and the Bladhi's wealth was destroyed during the Finnish War. Benvik's farm was partially destroyed and Bladh was imprisoned.

Until the 19th century, fishing and trade were the most important occupations. In the 20th century, a railway and a larger port were built in the city, sawmilling, large boarding houses for the shipment of sawn timber, other industry and a fish salting plant. The Defense Forces operated in the city after the wars when the Optical Department was located in the locality.

Metsä-Botnia's current Metsä-Fiber established a pulp mill in the city in the 1970s. It changed the city greatly, as many Finnish-speakers moved there and Swedish-speakers remained a minority. M-real has a factory completed in the autumn of 2005 in the city. On January 14, 2009, Botnia announced that it would close the Kaskinen plant. In August 2013, Metsä Wood, part of the Metsä Group, decided to close down its processing operations in Kaskinen and lay off 60 employees.

In the 1980s, the city had a KG-Line ferry connection to Gävle, Sweden. On 6 October 2008, the Estonian Baltic Scandinavian Lines started regular services from Kaskinen to Härnösand, Sweden, by the ro-ro cargo ship M / S Gutella. The ferry connection was discontinued in early 2009.

In Kaskinen and Närpiö, the local government was voted on 18 November 2019. The Kaskinen council rejected the joint by 9 votes to 8.


Etymology of the name

The town was founded in 1785 on an island originally called Kaskinen. The older names of the island found in the documents are Kaskisöyen (1546), Casköö (1553), Kaskisöö (1573) and the later city of Kask, ie Kyperäsaari (1844). Although the oldest known written mention of the name Kaskinen for the city dates back to 1863, the Finnish name is original. This is also indicated by the fact that the old Swedish names of the island have the body of the name Kaskis, to which an explanatory remainder “ö” has been added, which means island. The most likely interpretation of the island’s original name is Kaskisaari. The island has therefore been cultivated in the early days.