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Johan Lang received his merchant rights in 1771. When Johan’s house burnt down in the fire of Raahe in 1810, he claimed two plots in the new town plan near the Big Market Square, which was a real cornering. In 1811, he had Lang’s Lower Manor House built on the north-west corner of the Big Market Square and the Lang main building in 1812.
The trade name of Johan Lang is one of the oldest in Finland, still trading in the same location on the Big Market Square corner where his father used trade. At its largest, Johan Lang’s fleet included 11 ships. These ships may have already covered their building costs in the first year they sailed.
Johan Lang was a wholesaler, like many shipowner-merchants were at those times. He brought many articles ranging from ship-building materials to food items and all kinds of trinkets to Raahe from abroad. Smaller merchants and shop owners, in turn, used to buy their goods from Lang’s.
Johan Lang was one of the front-line merchants in his time in Raahe and in the whole of Finland. In the year 1800’s income taxation, he was among the 4 wealthiest merchants in Finland.
Johan Lang was hard-working and frugal. He asked a lot of himself and of his subordinates. In his home life, he had a modest behaviour and a plain, old-fashioned looks. People in Raahe had a lot of respect for him. This respect was shown in many positions of responsibility he had locally and all the way to being a member of the parliament.
Through the windows of the Patron’s Chamber, Johan has been able to follow the life on the square. At his desk, he could have written letters, with a quill and ink by candlelight, to sea captains and other merchants. The patron started his days early with meeting other merchants and captains at the Big Market Square, which nowadays called the Pekka Square. At the square, you exchanged greetings and listened to news from the world and shook hands on building a new ship!