Culture and history

Time stands still on Idö

Written records of Idö and Lidö date back to the 14th century, and the first permanent residents are mentioned towards the end of the 16th century. In 1630, Idö was home for 12 people, 4 horses, 12 cows, 18 sheep, 5 goats and a pig. The island’s farms were burnt down during the Russian raids in 1719. The farms were gradually rebuilt, and had increased to four by the middle of the 18th century. It was not until the land allocation reform of 1897 that Idö residents became freeholders. The number of families has fluctuated between two and four over the years. They have earned their living from fishing, farming and keeping livestock. The Archipelago Foundation bought parts of the island during the 1970s, and acquired the complete island in 1988. Idö has escaped the modernisations of the 20th century: It has no electricity or running water, and there are no proper roads.