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of a monument in Sebeka's municipal park, near State Highway 71, to the memory of the community's pioneers:

"This monument is erected and dedicated to the memory of the early pioneers and settlers who came to this community in 1882 and later.

"The courage, perseverance and faith of these early pioneers was instrumental in opening this community to agricultural development. "Their memory lives forever.

"Dedicated by the Finnish American Historical Society, Chapter 38, Sebeka, Minnesota. Erected October 1956."


North of Red Eye Township lies Blueberry Township, in the extreme northwestern corner of Wadena County. Between Spirit Lake and Blueberry River once lay the Indian village of Menahga, the word for blueberry in their language, and a berry which grew profusely there. That Indian place name was preserved by the first whites who came to the area shortly after 1880.

Once covered extensively with great pines, these had been chopped down, and around their rotting stumps alders, birches and aspens had taken root. It was to such an area that an emaciated horse pulling a wagon, followed by a couple of cows, drew up one day. On the wagon rode a frail woman with her children, while the man walked beside the horse and, in difficult spots, even helped the horse forward. A few pieces of simple furniture, and a few pots and pans, made up the load on the wagon.

They had turned from the highway into a side road, barely recognizable as such, where the last wagon tracks were already covered by the summer's grass. The wagon swayed, the cows stumbled along, the horse was reluctant to proceed and had to be urged on by the pleading of a big, giant figure of a man. The woman stared at the landscape with fright, but the man consoled her: "We will soon be there. Only two miles more and we will be home. This isn't a real road, but we'll make it a real road when we have the time.' And the woman smiled. She was small and trim, and still pale from having given birth to her youngest child, but she looked with pride at the giant walking at her side, the man who would most certainly carry her safely through life's storms. And at last the goal was in sight: in the middle of this forest of pine stumps and rank second growth was the old log hut of the lumberjacks, and this was home: "Forty acres of land, and one acre of it cleared." The Finns had arrived. 19

The first white man to arrive was Jacob Lalli, followed by Tapani Erkkilä, and then Aatami Timonen, in the years 1883-84.

19. Rissanen, Kalle. Amerikan Suomalaisia. Superior, Wisconsin, 1924. pp 90-99


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