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It should be stated, however, that this society tried to continue the tradition of Finnish organizations with their musical and dramatic evenings. (They had a hall to perform in, of course, since the Finns had built one in Fairbanks village in 1908 - a second was built in 1918 farther north to serve Bassett - and later a third in nearby Lake County.) The Brimson thespians had no permanent director, of course, but whoever was interested enough assembled a cast and put on a play. Musical activity was a bit more formally organized, with a band started in 1923 by William Ahola, who had previously conducted the band in Hibbing, and there was also a choral group, directed by Reino Koski. The band performed so credibly at the Hibbing Fair that it won a first prize, while the chorus gave performances not only locally but sang at summer festivals at Ely and Virginia.

St. Louis County Superintendent of Schools Arthur Lampe, who supported all cultural activities eagerly and was a warm friend of the Finns, opened an evening school at Brimson in 1938, with courses particularly in agriculture and dairy farming, with Felix Nylund as instructor. There was also a more informal group for a time in Brimson, with an interest in home economics; the county agricultural extension service used to send instructors to address meetings of this group, of which Selma Kaikkonen was chairman.

The first cooperative enterprise in Brimson saw its beginnings in 1908 in the form of a consumers' group, started with a capital of $125. By the following year it purchased the one-room camp owned by John Pernu, and in that the store was set up, under the name Finnish Supply Company, with Saku Kärki as its first business manager. The store was open three days a week, and supplies were brought in from the station in Fairbanks, 8 miles away, over the road made for logging operations. Obviously, in an enterprise this small, one of the main difficulties was in keeping competent business managers, because there was not enough business to make a decent salary possible. However, with the enterprise prospering slightly, a new building was planned in 1910: a two-story affair, with a hall for meetings on the ground floor.

Because of the complicated geographical picture of the Brimson area, a second cooperative was established in 1913: the Farmers Store Association (its first business manager was Ed. Petrell, to be succeeded by August Mankinen and then Konsta Nyman) which was also kept open three days a week. If this new enterprise also prospered enough to build itself new business premises in Brimson, it was also caught in the dissension within the


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