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post which only a few lumberjacks had reached. A few Finns, also, have always lived there, and in 1950 there were still 22 Finnish-born residents. For them, and for the Finns round about, radio station KBZY used to send out a daily program in the Finnish language. The listeners were, perhaps, the Finns who lived along the road which was built out of Grand Rapids in 1907 toward Deer River and to a settlement called Suomi.


In Finnish, the word for the name of their country is Suomi; it is also a place name in Minnesota. Its history begins with a Finnish land agent in Duluth, one A. W. Havela, owner of a real estate company called Pellervo. Havela succeeded in getting the sales rights to lands near a small body of water, Bowestring Lake. He advertised this land in all the Finnishlanguage newspapers, and he attracted buyers : in 1930, for example, there were 164 Finns in Suomi, and only one `foreigner.'

The first to come here was Jaffet Heikkinen, who built his log cabin a scant 3 miles from a railroad stop called Elbow. Later, when all the forests had been felled, the railroad was removed, and the colony was left without communications. The railroad roadbed was taken over and used for a road, and later it was widened and improved and is still being used for a road. The first child born here was Mildred Juntunen, in 1919, while Ida Maria Heikkinen and the only bachelor in the colony, Otto Salo, were the first couple to be wed here, in 1920. The inhabitants were given permission to name their community as they chose, and since the landscape was similar to their native one, and since these colonists still had strong affection toward what had been their home, they chose Suomi.

The postal authorities protested : the name, according to one inspector, was too foreign. The same gentleman went on to blame the Finns for being so clannish, so thoroughly Finnish in their colony, that it was impossible to even find a non-Finn for postmaster. This attack was countered in the Finnish-language press, and attention was called to the fact that this very clannishness was what had cleared the wilderness of Northern Minnesota: "Criss-cross through this northeastern corner of Minnesota's forests and moors, its swamps and endless bogs, and say how many real farmers you will find who are not Finns," urged the Päivälehti. In the end the place was named Suomi, and the name did lead to considerable confusion, for much mail, accord


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