Village and schoolhouse

Tipu belongs to the younger villages in Soomaa Nationalpark. The foundation can be dated back to the 1860-ies, when, at the instruction of the landlord of Suure-Kõpu Alexander von Stryk, a saw mill was build and the surrounding grounds were distributed amongst peasants. Sawn boards were brought to the shores of Halliste river. In early spring, when floods were on decrease, boards were bundled together and rafted to Pärnu for sale. At the same time the landlord let also build a road between Kõpu and Tipu. Later the settlement spread and farms were also built in the nearer and more far away forests.

The village developed quickly, its period of prosperity being in the first half of the 20th century. It had a running dairy, schoolhouse, a machine co-operative, post office, library and active communal life and independent associations. At its high season about 240 people lived in the village and 40 to 50 children visited school. The main occupation was animal husbandry, because flooding could always damage the grain on the fields. Eggs, butter, milk, cream and meat were produced. Between Tipu and Tõramaa, as well as in the village of Halliste milk collection stations were located.

World War Second and the following built-up of kolkhozes led to destruction of the strong and lively farms. Land was nationalised in 1940. A lot of farm owners were deported, those that remained were forced to join the kolkhoz. The number of people living in the village declined rapidly.

Today, the borders of Tipu reach from the village of Iia to Tõramaa, the border to Pärnu district. Thus, Tipu is the village located most west of the 9 villages in Kõpu county. Its total area comprises 8737 ha. The main area of the village (6630 ha)  is located in Soomaa Nationalpark.

The school was run at first in the pub that time, which was then inaugurated as schoolhouse in 1895. Later, in 1932, a separate schoolhouse building was built at the former location of the saw mill, which has preserved until today.

The schoolhouse was closed in 1964, due to lack of a sufficient number of pupils. Henceforward the schoolhouse was used by the villagers as community house and library. Since 1968 Tartu University used the schoolhouse in Tipu as an education base. In the course of almost twenty years the schoolhouse served as research base for 1200 interns.