Life here at Meleski seems to be as dead as the disused factory chimney stack. The factory building in its present state – with empty door and window openings and crumbling granite walls in a no-man’s-land – is a standing reproach to people who shrug their shoulders and don’t do anything about it. The long one-storeyed workers’ houses of wood that line the village road seem to be as worn-out as everything else. You walk in the ruins of a lost world.
In 2013 two people were employed in the village: a shopkeeper and a librarian. A year later the shop looks abandoned, although one of the two men who made our acquaintance at the bus stop hinted that we can have all that we need in the shop. Just imagine that in the 19th century hundreds of people lived here... When jobs go away, people start leaving.
In August 2011 the Ugala Theatre mounted a production Through the Glass in the old factory. In the stories written for the stage by Mats Traat, the former glass factory came alive again for the time being.
The history of the Meleski Glass Factory and specimens of its production are displayed at the Meleski Glass Museum. This is a private museum created in 2002 by Astrid and Ville Dreving.
The museum is located in Kivikingu farm (Tel. 564 89 406; email: email@example.com), about 700 m south from the glassworks. Look out for Palandi bus stop before the path towards the museum.
Daila Aas, September 2014
Ville Dreving. Meleski klaasivabriku kolm sajandit. Eesti Ajalookirjastus, Tartu 2013.