The mechanical pulp mill at Verla was founded in the 1870s by Hugo Neuman, a Finnish-born civil engineer who had worked in Zurich. The first mill buildings were destroyed by fire in 1892, but were replaced by richly-ornamented brick structures, a mill, a cardboard factory and drying sheds, designed by the architect Edward Dippel. They have load-bearing walls with the intermediate floors supported by wooden uprights and beams. The company village, laid out in parkland, is in much the same style.
Production ceased in 1964, but the buildings have been carefully preserved, and are funded by UPM-Kymmene, one of Finland’s largest wood-processing companies. The village attached to the mill is used by the company as holiday accommodation. Verla is one of the best-preserved company villages in Europe and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.