An idyllic estate
Orion acquires its first manor in Espoo in 1945, when it needs facilities suitable for its serum horses and later for its other test animals as well. In the 1960s, the Espoo town plan is saturated with industrial and residential areas to such a degree that Orion begins to look for facilities a little further away. In 1968, the company finds a suitable facility in Vihti, around 50 kilometres from Helsinki.
Tuohilampi Manor has room not only for animals, but also for growing the feed and grain needed for their nourishment. In addition, a poultry farm with a thousand hens is established to produce eggs for viral research.
Tuohilampi Manor has an impressive history: the first mentions in the land registers of Tuohilampi as a an estate under obligation to equip a cavalryman date back to the sixteenth century. Its owners have changed several times over the centuries, but a story has been passed on since the early twentieth century, when the estate was owned by the von Haartman family – a story that can perhaps be seen as an intimation of things to come.
Carl von Haartman is reminiscing about his childhood. He was playing in the yard, when a stranger arrived in a carriage: “The man presented my father’s visiting card, on which it had been laconically written that he had lost the entire estate in a gamble. Mother stood up, convened the servants and asked them to lock the doors. Then she took me by the hand, and we walked down to the stables. The driver harnessed a white stallion named Orion and drove directly to the station.”
In the 1970s, the old main building is converted into a training centre, and the idyllic Tuohilampi estate becomes popular among Orion’s employees and healthcare professionals at large. Today, around 8,000 people visit the beautiful setting annually.