Photo exhibition

Photo exhibition “Story of Miner´s Family”             

General information: Exhibition describes the story of a miner´s family from the beginning of 1960´s till the end on 1980´s. Meinhard (born in Võru county) and Õie (born in Setomaa) started  developing here in Ida-Virumaa their home in 1961. Three children born to the family. In addition to their main job, a husbandry was built up with a big garden, farmland, animals, greenhouses and apiary.

  • For visiting the exhibition, call +3725150818 (Aare)
  • Exhibition was completed in the spring 2023

Stand 1: Meinhard, the miner

Meinhard came from Võru county to Ida-Viru county after the Russian military service. It was 1955 and he was 23 years old. His first working place was the 4th mine in Sompa. During his miner career he worked also in the 6th mine (it was also in Sompa)  and in the 8th mine in Tammiku. He retired in 1982, when he was 50 years old. Being retired Meinhard devoted to the husbandry, but had also job in the collective farm of Tammiku. 


  • Brigade of miners in 1968.
  • Meinhard worked as a miner during 1955-1982, being most of the time a driller.
  • Mine of Tammiku (the 8th mine) operated from 1951 till 1999.

Stand 2: Õie, the zoo technician

Meinhard brought Õie to Virumaa after their marriage in 1961. aastal. Õie´s first job was milkmaid in the cowshed of the lfarm of Tammiku. After that she worked long time  (till 1992) as zoo technician and as young herd brigadier.


  • Õie with a cow and milking machine.
  • Cheerful female family of the cowshed of Tammiku in 1976. Õie is the second from the right.
  • Long-time chairman of the Tammiku collective farm Einar Aun gives to Õie a letter of honour for the good work of being zoo technician.

Stand 3: Granny Anne and grandpa Villem

Õie´s parents moved from Setomaa to Tartu county after raising up their children. When they retired they moved to Tammiku to live with her daughter´s family, but after few years they went back to Tartu county. After the death of Villem grandmother Anne moved to Tammiku, lived at daughter´s place for the rest of her life, and was caring housekeeper and sweet granny to her grandchildren. Now Villem and Anne rest  together in the Raadi cemetery in Tartu. 


  • Grandmother Anne (Anna Metslind 1921-2007) worked mainly in animal husbandry. In the picture she brings cow Mustiku (who was family´s favourite cow) back to the pasture after the daily milking.
  • Grandfather Villem (Filipp Metslind 1906-1985) was most of his life builder. 
  • Granny and grandpa already being retired.

Stand 4: Collective farm of Tammiku.

Collective farm of Tammiku was in Kohtla-Järve district always at the forefront of  work results. Even parties were exemplary organised. In 1980s the parties in the club of the collective farm (nowadays it is called the community house) were crowded and spirited: there were birthday parties, dancing evenings, theater performances, the busiest programme was always on the election day (participation in the elections were always 99,9% as in everywhere in Soviet Union!).

Photo: Harvest festival of the collective farm of Tammiku. Õie and Meinhard are in the middle of the back row.

Stand 5: Rebban´s family

Meinhard (1932-2021) and Õie (1943) have three children: son Arvo (1962), daughter Urve (1965) and son Aare (1967).


  • Wedding photo of Õie and Meinhard, 2nd of September 1961 in Elva.
  • Family picture in 1969.
  • Family picture in 1979.
  • Family picture in 1970.

Stand 6: Mum Õie in greenhouse

In the backyard Meinhard built two greenhouses: one for tomatoes and cucumbers and later the other for roses. Now in the foundation of the roses´ greenhouse has established a square bed for flowers.

Photos: Õie is planting tomatoes in the greenhouse, but most of all she loved flowers, especially roses. Winter evenings passed with embroidering, knitting and… repairing clothes.

Stand 7: Dad Meinhard´s favourites

Meinhard was a tough workman – he spent all his free time on household works. Only in wintertime he found some time also for singing, playing checkers and reading books. Love of his life were horses and bees. His last horse Tuuli passed away in 2009 and beekeeping took over his son Arvo in 2018. 


  • Beautiful picture from 1970.
  • In the best times Meinhard had 7-9 beehives, in some of those were two bee colonies and there was so much honey that Õie had to bought additional pots for honey.

Stand 8: Children – Arvo, Urve and Aare

Arvo went his first two years in Kambja´s school (in Tartu county), after that he came to the Kesleri´s school in Jõhvi and after 8th grade he continued his studies in Väike-Maarja. Urve and Aare spent their first years of school in Kesleri´s school in Jõhvi and continued in the 17th scool in Rahu street. After that Urve went to technical school in Väimela and Aare graduated secondary school in Kohtla-Järve 32nd quarter in Maleva street.


  • Urve 5 years old, Aare 2 years old and Arvo 7 years old (in 1970).
  • Urve 22 years old, Aare 20 years old and Arvo 26 years old (in 1987). Behind you see family´s sidecar´s Dnepr MT9 front window. As from the family nobody joined the Soviet party, then they did not get the car purchase admission. Therefore the family did not had the car and either the phone. If they wanted to make a call, then they had to go the neighbours´place.
  • Urve 13 years old, Aare 11 years old and Arvo 16 years old (in 1978).

Stand 9: In the kitchen

KItchen is the centre of the home – it was this way also in Miner´s house. Usually family ate together, except when father worked in the night shift. Most of the food game from their own husbandry, including the main food – potatoes, meat and milk. The shop list usually began with: 3 white bread, 3 black bread and 300 g sausage. (By the way – in these times bread in the store was not sliced and was not in the plastic bag and the sausage was packed in the paper on the spot.) 

Photo: Mum Õie and dad Meinhard are sitting in the kitchen. Picture is taken in 1990.

Stand 10: Activities in the garden

There wasn´t much time for resting, as there was always something to do at home. In the youngest son opinion, you could rest and play only when the the sun went down.


  • Daughter Urve in the greenhouse of tomatoes and cucumbers.
  • Mother Õie and the youngest son Aare are busy in the yard.
  • Father Meinhard and the oldest son Arvo ploughing the potato field.

Stand 11: Real home got ready in 1972

Family moved in their real home in 1972. In the winter, before moving to the house Õie and Meinhard slept in the attic above the barn in hay and children slept in the garage (behind the warm wall of the sauna). House and all other buildings around the house built Meinhard with his own hands and with the help of construction books. Children´s task during the construction of the house was to hand over and “hold” the tools.


  • View from the street in 1987. 
  • View from the yard towards house in 1979.
  • Shed on the picture was the first building on the plot. When household got also the neighbouring plot, then the shed was demolished. A birch was planted as a symbol of the family around the place where the corner of the shed was. After the birch was broken, the flagpole was placed there. Picture from 1980.

Stand 12: Children of the family

Good omens can be found in the photos. The older son Arvo is still a big fan of technology. The youngest son Aare became an entertainer. Daughter Urve has been a caring person all of her life.


  • Urve with dog.
  • Aare, the scarecrow.
  • Arvo in his first car.

Stand 13: New Year´s Eve 

The most important events of the year were making hay and picking potatoes. Parties – even Miner’s Day and New Years´ Eve – were overshadowed by them. In Soviet times we did not celebrate Christmas, only New Years´ Eve that was called `näärid`. The New Year’s reception took place with the neighbours: one year at the Rebban family’s side and the second year at the Vesikko family’s.


  • Spruce was brought in the house and decorated about one week before the New Year, i.e. in  Christmas Eve. There was a big difference between us and our neighbours in decorating it…
  • In the picture – New Years´ Eve in Vesikko family side. Irina and Vova are also in the picture. In the back, under the shiny fear, is the spruce.
  • Amazingly father remembered poems from his childhood. By the way, the man in the black, is Santa Clause.

Stand 14: Husbandry

In the busiest times, 2 horses, 4 cows, 4 sheep, 2 pigs, chickens-roosters, geese-ducks and of course a dog and a cat were kept in the household. Family’s farmland was located in three places: the garden was around the house (in addition to greenhouses and plenty of flowers), the field was cultivated behind the village and hay was made wherever possible, including at the airfield and forest meadow kilometres away behind Ahtme. Everything they grew and produced – milk, butter, curd, honey, potatoes, carrots and anything from the garden – was sold in Jõhvi, Iidla and even in Vana-Ahtme. Of course, everything was transported by horse.


  • Born cow calf was for the family as the blessing! Photo is taken in 1981 family´s meadow. This picture was also on the board of honour of the Tammiku´s collective farm.
  • To get more milk, was part of the field under the fodder beet. In the picture is Meinhard on the beet field.

Stand 15: Happy childhood

It can be said that the children of the family had a happy childhood. A lot of work was done, but after pleading, there was also time for playing. Most important was, that children had their OWN home and yard and always a clean and warm room. And the children were engaged with their hobbies and could visit their friends and invite their friends over. And the house was full of people and food was cooked with a big pan and pot so that there was enough for everyone. And that was a story just a one family…

Photo: Sulev Seppern (1965-2014) was the youngest son´s best friend and was like a stepson for the family.