Previous Page Search Again Next Page

During the Civil War, the first mining enterprises in Minnesota, the North Shore Mining Company, had carried out trial borings here, but whatever ore was found was not worth exploiting. For the Finns, therefore, there were no steady jobs in the offing here, but they continued to arrive nevertheless, and Ilmonen states that "a considerable number" of them were there by 1903. Actually, they must have come somewhat earlier, for in 1899 the Finns there started a temperance society, Onnen Tuki, with 18 founding members. (Later, a considerable number of Swedish-Finnish fishermen also lived there.) One Finn, Matti Jackson, used to be the local postmaster, having been appointed in 1911, and he also was local inspector of the railroad tracks along the shore of Lake Superior, the Duluth to Canada line, and he also kept a grocery store.

In nearby Palmer there were, according to Ilmonen, "several" Finnish farmers from 1910 on. At Sucker River there was even a Socialist Party chapter for some time. Later, in Clover Valley, there was a Finnish Aid Committee during World War II, and its minutes indicate that its "founding and active" members were Frank Aho, Adrian Heino, Charles Huhta, Hugo Korkki, Matti Pykäri, John Reini and Sam Saari, as well as their dedicated wives. When the activities of this committee were resumed in 1945, Matti Pykäri was chosen chairman, John Reini, vice-chairman, Martha Huhta, secretary, and Charles Huhta, treasurer, and when activities were terminated again for good two years later, the treasurer reported they had raised a sum of $803 for Finnish aid purposes.

Lakewood : This township, formerly a part of Duluth township, was incorporated separately in 1901. Ten years later, Lakewood had a population of 224. During World War I, several Finns moved here from Duluth, buying themselves, usually, 40-acre plots. However, only a few were able to live off the land completely; others had to find jobs as lumberjacks or stevedores.

In a memorandum prepared for the MFAHS, Lauri Lemberg has listed the names of the following Finns as being among the first to live in the community: Liisa and Matti Aho, Kalle and Lillian Harjula, Esa and Aliina Harrison, William and Lillian Hill, Nante and Tyyne Hirvola, Antti and Miina Karvonen, Arthur and Lina Kivi (Stone), Oscar Laine, John and Lydia Lahtonen, John Lystilä, Antti and Wilhelmiina Niemi, Hjalmar, Ida and Matti Salmi, and Axel Vainio. If in most instances the children of these Finnish families have moved back to Duluth, after World War II


Previous Page Search Again Next Page