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wife and children had finished all the fall chores before the husband returned home with his wages.

The First Sauna: Isak Parbo (Barberg), together with his neighbors Selvälä and Salmonson, decided in 1868 to build a sauna (Finnish steam bath) in accordance with ancient tradition. They built it on the boundary between Parbo's and Selvälä's lands, and accessible to all three farms. It was a small log building, ten by twelve feet, and seven feet high. There was no dressing room, just the steam room with its pile of stones to be heated in one corner, a high bench along the back wall, ventilation openings up near the ridge to let the smoke escape, and a large wooden tub for water for bathing. The three neighbors took turns heating the sauna every Saturday through the year, unless severe snowdrifts sometimes made it impossible to reach in winter. For twenty years this sauna served the three families well, and nobody wanted to improve upon it in any way.

The members of one family at a time would use the sauna together, all taking the steam at the same time, and when they had steamed themselves enough, they would stand outside, naked, to cool themselves. Within a few years, however, this boundary between the Parbo and Selvälä farms was turning into a country road, and since the sauna stood almost in the middle of the road, people who were not Finns but who used the road had to pass the sauna and thus could not help but stare at the stark naked Finns cooling themselves off in front of it. This, of course, led to all sorts of grumbling and muttering about the strange ways of the Finns. Finally, around 1885, the village authorities ordered the sauna removed "from the middle of the road." But since the authorities refused to share the expense of moving the building away, Nils Selvälä, who had once owned half the sauna and had later bought Parbo's share, started the first Finnish lawsuit in Cokato and won it. The village had to pay him $30 damages and $40 for moving the building away. With the money in his hands, Selvälä tore down the sauna and built a new one on his farm.

Calamities : The elements at times severely tried these Cokato pioneers. There were rainy spells and dry spells, storms and extremes of summer and winter, and to these were added at one time the locusts, which first appeared in the Cokato area in 1876. That first year they did not cause very much damage, but in the spring of 1877 they were already so numerous they threatened many farms with complete devastation. Primitive countermeasures did not help much, but one day, almost as if by miracle,


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