Papula area was known for its brickworks already in the 15th century. The inhabitation was scarce and not until the end of the 18th century some villas were built on the rugged landscape of the northern coast. Papula mansion was already mentioned in the Middle Ages, but its exact location is not known. Supposedly it was not located in Papula suburb. The earliest map-based data on Papula mansion dates back to the 1790s and in the map of 1839 it is called Marienhoff. It was located in the place of the barracks area. Papula had its street plan in 1861. Building of the barracks area started at the end of the 19th century and new inhabitation started from the beginning of the 20th century.
The road bridge from the centre towards Papula across the railway yard was first wooden but in 1913 a new bridge was made of steel with separate pavements and rails in the middle. The road from Vyborg to the north went through Papula. Its route was largely the same as the one of Papulankatu street as was the bridge across Papulanlahti. It was wooden until the middle of the 1930s when a new concrete bridge was built for traffic to and from Imatra, Antrea, and Heinjoki.
A barracks area of the Karelian guard was located in Papula. In the middle of the barracks area there was a headquarters, which worked as Behm school from 1853. It was closed down in 1881 and the building was incorporated into the barracks area of Vyborg battalion established in the same year. Its buildings were built in 1881-1884 on the lands of the former Marienhoff mansion. More stone barracks and residential buildings for staff were built in the 1890s.
A county prison was located in south-eastern Papula. The prison was opened in 1884. The prison buildings were surrounded by walls and the staff buildings were located between the prison and Papulanlahti. For example, Viipurin Makeisteollisuus Oy, Margariinitehdas Karjala, Papulan Vesitehdas Oy, I. Siljanderin autokorjaamo ja –maalaamo, and K. Widingin Auto- ja Moottorikorjaamo were also located in Papula.