The name of the village derives from Lake Lapa, which is surrounded by hills and ridges. The village has had settlement for one hundred years in a bush house of Tiikkaja. There have been many great logging sites in the 19th and 20th centuries, too. In the spring of the general strike in 1905, the lake was full of logs. After the strike, the logs were drawn to the shore. Next spring they were floated down the rivers Lapaoja and Kursujoki to Kasmäjoki, and further to Suomulahti. From there along the river Kemijoki all the way to Kemi.
A Stone Age chisel has been found on the fields of Tiikkaja. Similarly, another Stone Age tool has been found in the lands of Lakela, in Haapaniemi. When digging a duct during the reconstruction of the village, an ancient hearth appeared. However, the surroundings of this fireplace were not explored more at that time. "Deer graves" on a hogback of Lapajärvi are still visible and preserved from the time of forest Sami people. Sami people were living in Vuonanniemi, in Kursu. They were hunting deer in the forest of Lapajärvi. Kursu as a word is originally Sami language, and means valley in Finnish. Vuonna is Sami too, and means sand. The name Lapajärvi refers to the shape of the lake, which is similar to a blade of a reindeer, when it is hung to dry. The lake has plenty of whitefish. Its birth lies in stamens, which bubble pure water from the hills and ridges. The deepest point of the lake is 24 meters.
After the Second World War in 1948, people from Lampela village, from Old Salla, settled to live on the south coast of Lapajärvi. Lampela was located in the region of "Old Salla", which Finland had to cede to the Soviet Union according to the terms regulated in peace treaty in 1944. The region was half of the county of Salla in size. The village of Lampela was in the east of Sallatunturi fell, current Rohmoiva, with the distance of 12 kilometres to the church of Salla. Half of the inhabitants of Salla had to leave their homes, and they were given new residences in state lands of remained deserts. Life started with nothing, after the years in evacuation. The only aid was a strong belief in tomorrow, when there was hard work ahead. This is the story how Lapajärvi was populated
And that is what I want to tell you, dear visitor of Lapajärvi homepage. I hope it inspires you to come and visit our village, and become acquainted with a cultural history of those people who went through and gave up in many things. Nevertheless, they did not lose their self-esteem, but instead defended and loved their home and country, for what they sacrificed their most precious one, their health and soul. They built better life for their successors. These men lived in their dreams from day to day, and returned to Old Salla and Lampela in their stories even on their death-bed.