By surface area Toolamaa Village is one of the smallest in the Rural Municipality (4.66 km2, accounting for only 1.75% of the surface area of Räpina Rural Municipality), but according to the density of population it ranks as one of the most settled in the rural municipality (approximately 10.3 people per km²). According to the Rural Municipality register there are 44 people living in the village (as of 1 August 2012), 52% of the people are male and 48% female. The Tartu-Värska Highway and the Toolamaa-Kureküla Road pass through the village. Farm houses are mainly located near the state roads. Bus connection with the rural municipality and county centre of Põlva is convenient (bus time table available at: www.peatus.ee). The nearest shop is located 2.6 km from the village, in Leevaku Village; the nearest general school is Räpina General Upper Secondary School, located 6 km away. The nursery school is also located in the school.
History of Toolamaa Village
Toolamaa manor (German: Tolama) became an independent economic unit in 1810. It used to be the herd manor of Räpina manor. The main building of the manor is an archaic wooden construction mounted on a high stone socket with a mansard roof. The building has been assessed to date back to the first half of the 18th century. It is also believed that at least some of the parts of the manor date from the 17th century. After the manor became independent (in 1810) the buildings were rebuilt to an extent. A number of classicist auxiliary buildings date from the 19th century, many of which are located along the road leading to the main building. (http://www.mois.ee/voru/toolamaa.shtml)
At different times the manor has been owned by many different people. From 1850 to 1875, the Toolamaa manor was owned by somebody named Schmidt. Coming from a family of a merchant, Schmidt was known as a skilled and friendly man. He tried to keep good relations with everybody and it was during his time (1864) that the selling of farms began. During the period when farms were sold, many families from Pärnu and Viljandi County came to Toolamaa Rural Municipality. At the same time as Schmitdt, three brothers named Kalts came from Vändra and bought farmhouses in Võuküla Village, in Toolamaa. Around the same time, another 2-3 families came from Viljandi County and bought farms here.
In 1875, Schmidt sold his manor to Ludwig Hammer, who held the manor until the land reform of the Republic of Estonia in 1919. According to the recollections of Gustav Tanning, there was a very bad, malicious landlord in Toolamaa before Schmidt. The people still remember him as the wicked Järst (the real name of the landlord is unknown). Järst was said to be a very brutal man and had people ruthlessly beaten at the manor. At the time, his minion in the brutalities was the well-known bailiff Joosep Ootsing. He was even more notoriously brutal and bloodthirsty than his master. Even the smallest mistake resulted in a bloody beating at the manor stable. If a peasant was a few minutes late, he was driven away from the manor so that he would be that much earlier the next morning. In exchange for his loyal services, the landlord gave the bailiff a farm in Leevaku, now know as the Serna farm. Before the bailiff, a peasant named Serna had lived there; but he was made to leave in order to make space for the favourite loyal servant of the landlord.
Events of 1905 at Toolamaa manor
Gustav Tanningi recollects the unrest of 1905 as follows: the Leevaku beer shop was burnt down and the vodka monopoly was also torched, but the police and local people managed to extinguish it in time. At the same time, the rebels of Toolamaa also beat up the local administrator, Telling. At the manor, the rebels broke into the distillery and the cellar and vodka was given to anyone who was man enough to drink it. Even the beer cellar was emptied. After the rebels had drunk enough, a number of men went to the landlord, Hammer, to demand higher wages. The result was an argument, as a result of which the drunken workmen attacked Hammer, with Hammer being severely injured in the resulting scuffle. The beating took place on a Sunday, but already by Monday night the punitive troops had arrived from Võru. The guilty were caught and locked up in the empty beer cellar. On the second day 14 men were tied up and taken to Võru. Some of them were let go without additional punishment, but some had to stay in jail for a longer period of time. The maximum punishment given to the rebels of Toolamaa was imprisonment of two-years.
Life in Toolamaa from 1940 to 1993.
In 1940, when the land was nationalised and property collectivized, collective farms were formed. In autumn 1949, the collective farm named “Tulevik” (“Future”) was formed in Toolamaa Village. In the former house of the farm hand, which belonged to Jaan Möller, there was a public meeting with the representatives of the executive committee, where the former farm owner Jaan Möller, who had an education in gardening, was selected to be the leader of the collective farm. Pärja-Renate Lajal was selected to be the collective farm’s accountant. In 1950, she passed a course in accounting for collective farms, in Võru. The animals were collected together in the Möller farm’s shed. In the 1950s, following an order given by the executive committee, collective farm Tulevik and collective farm Lembitu were joined together. During the operation of the collective farm, the Lembitu Ojaveere farm house was reconstructed as a pigsty. In the beginning of the 1960s, the named collective farms were formed into the collective farm “Ranna” and a 100-cow milk herd shed was built on the lands of the former Möller farm. It was possible to buy milk from the new farm. In the 1970s, the dairy cows were brought together on the Tammistu state farm, located in Linte Village, and the Toolamaa milk shed was reconstructed to be used as a young herd shed.
In the 1960s, the former Toolamaa spirits distillery which distilled alcohol, even during war time and the years that followed, from the potatoes bought from the farmers, belonged to the integrated industrial and trade plant of the Tarbijate Koperatiiv (Cooperative Society of Consumers) of the Räpina region. The aim was to reconstruct the factory into a cannery for the canning of vegetables and fruits. But since there were problems with its management, the former distillery was handed over to the Räpina state farm technical school in 1961. The school started to prepare canned vegetables and soups and make lemonade from berries and fruits. The cannery worked until 1992 when, in connection with the agricultural reform, it was reorganised and a new owner was found for the building. In 1993, with the reorganisation of the Ranna state farm, the Toolamaa Village young herd shed and cannery were left empty.
The following sites have been entered in the national register of cultural monuments:
Vodka storehouse of Toolamaa manor
Toolamaa manor smithy
Toolamaa manor farm-hand house and stable
Toolamaa manor cellar
Main building of Toolamaa manor