Towards the end of the 1920s, Arvid started courting Gurli, the eldest daughter of the Lönnbergs from the opposite island, Kirkkonummi’s Medvastö.
Gurli, who was the firstborn of a family with ten children, took another 4 years until she accepted Arvid’s proposal and became a fisherman’s wife at the age of 24. A new, modern main building had just been completed, built perhaps for the new bride especially. The wedding took place in December 1929 at the Nyholm estate.
Gurli had primary school education, and she could by all accounts be called a hardworking woman. Once she had settled on Pentala, she started fishing with Arvid. Gurli was a keen gardener, so during her time, the Nyholms estate was filled with flowers as well as edible plants and vegetables. The women of Pentala were famous at Market Square in Helsinki for their spring flowers and strawberries. Gurli took great pride in her flowering garden and its bounties, which she generously shared with her friends and neighbours and sometimes sold. She was always happy to show visitors around her garden. A highly creative lover of beauty, she also weaved rugs and was a prolific writer. Gurli wrote poetry and prayers in verse and kept a journal especially after Arvid died. She was a devout Christian, which gave her certain grounding throughout her life. At least in the 1970s, Gurli was also an active member of the local Marthas, the Finnish home economics association. She collected baking recipes and preserved food obtained from the sea and her garden . Her pickled sprat (kryddfisk) and homemade apple wine were delicacies her visitors knew well.
Gurli and Arvid were thought of as a hard-working and friendly couple. Their relationship appears to have been loving according to others, and Gurli’s journal entries attest the same. Their greatest loss was not having children and, to compensate, the Nyholms often pampered the children of their relatives and friends with gifts and letters. The children of the summer residents also have fond memories of Gurli and Arvid. Many of the neighbours and summer guests who knew the Nyholms remember their hospitality and parties: for example, Arvid’s 65 birthday was a big, memorable occasion. Every visitor to the house would be catered for, as it would have been rude not to enjoy a cup of coffee with the couple, and one seldom left without a bundle of fresh products from the garden.
The main building in Pentala Archipelago Museum is now a home museum where time has stood still since Gurli Nyholm’s last summer, the summer of 1986. The furniture and belongings of the island’s last year-round resident have been brought back to the house. The building and its artefacts tell visitors about the eventful life of the couple who spent almost their whole life on the island.