Previous Page Search Again Next Page

Cherry had its own post office for a time, with Gust Tamminen in charge. Later, however, the mails were delivered from Iron, and Finns have been the carriers throughout, beginning with M. Virta, followed by A. Sompakka, William Hautala, Niemistö, Newman, Jacobson, and Matt Jussila, he for the last 30 years.

With the early settlers of Alavus growing old and dying, that name has given way to Cherry. Second and third generation Finns live here now, and the very countryside looks different. It is now a neat, wide cultivated expanse. The roads are good, no longer the trails cleared through forest and wood. The schools are modern, and no longer do the children have to go to the neighboring township to a one-room schoolhouse as an older generation did, with the smaller children hauled by Elias Tusa in his horse-drawn `bus,' the bigger ones reluctantly walking. Of the early Finns, only a very few were left in the 1950s: John Takala and his wife, and Andrew Sandi, Maria Tusa-Granholm and Hanna Erickson.


The last significant Finnish center in the ring of farmlands formed around the Iron Range was the 'Palo-Markham country' in the southern part of the Town of White and in Colvin. The old Vermilion Trail went through that area where Finns, having crossed the St. Louis River, began to settle down. One Al Johnson, who lived by hunting and fishing, was the first white person to live here. A more permanent settlement was born when Alfred Blomberg, John Kilpelä, John Liimatainen and Henry Muhonen started clearing land there in the autumn of 1902. That winter, and during the spring of 1903, they were joined by Henry Hokkanen, John Perämäki and Isaak Sahlberg, and of these all, Muhonen was in a sense the senior: he had signed for homestead land here two years earlier. Alfred Lumberg, Alex Nopola and John Uusitalo are also listed as mong the early settlers. When these men came, there were no roads here, no shelter from the rain, no protection from the cold. The Siirtokansan Kalenteri of 1945 contained an article showing what life was like in Palo in those earliest years:

"I was one of the first settlers here. Dense forest was everywhere round about. There was plenty of game, bears came snooping about, the howling of wolves woke me up many a night from peaceful sleep. Life was comfortable on the whole, but


Previous Page Search Again Next Page