Ruusa Village

Ruusa Village is located in Põlva County, in Räpina Rural Municipality. Ruusa Village covers an area of 6.83 km2 (2.57 % of the total area of Räpina Rural Municipality). According to the rural municipality register there are 243 people living in Ruusa Village (as of 1 August 2012), which means more people are living only in the villages of Linte and Ristipalo. Twenty-one households are in use all year round (as of 2006).

Ruusa is located in the picturesque valley of the Võhandu River. Historical sources state that during feudal times there was a poor German named Kruss acting as the landlord – this is why the manor was called Krusa Moysa, and later Ruusa, giving name to the village. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Ruusa served as an auxiliary manor to the Toolamaa manor. In the beginning of the 20th century the manor was owned by Ludwig Hammer, who also owned the Toolamaa manor.

From 1929 to 1931, the wide-gauged rail road of Tartu-Pechory was built, along with a railroad bridge over the Võhandu River, as well as a large station building following a standard detailed plan. Enterprising farmers built two-storey houses near the rail road and opened trade spaces on the lower floors of these. There were large storage areas at the rail road. In the beginning of the 1930s, Ruusa manor was bought by Marie Puhk, a sister of the successful Estonian businessmen. When fixing the manor house she had the wooden mansion doubled in size, as well as added porches and terraces which enabled magnificent views. Ruusa was the place where Joakim Veimarn, the son of Marie Puhk, spent his youth. A place he always looked back to and missed.

The manor has since been demolished and replaced with a new building built at the end of the 1980s, serving as the home of the currently active Ruusa Primary School and Ruusa Cultural Centre. A number of quarrystone buildings from the Ruusa manor house complex still remain: the stable and coach house, cowshed, storehouse-drying house and sauna. There are also some old apple trees left from the old Puhk garden, and there is a circle of linden trees in the park. The August storm of 2010 felled a linden, and while digging out its roots a sword of the tsar’s army was found. In the Ruusa village centre building, at the end of Mõisavahe Road, there is the Räpina nursery school group Vikerkaar, a library and a post office. There is also a shop and a public sauna in Ruusa. The latter is used by the local people for organising various get-togethers. People find jobs in the local wood company that is mainly active in selling garden furniture. The fields of the area are cultivated. And the village movement is active, both among the youth and adults.

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