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Although all the above bands by no means limited themselves only to the workers' hall, it was in every case their headquarters after its establishment. When the hall was sold in 1939 to the cooperative, the various bands had also lived their day and were heard no more.

Sports in Finnish-American Life

Located near the northern border of Minnesota, Ely has always offered the Finns there an opportunity to take part in those winter sports which they had already learned in Finland. Of the early Finns in Ely, the name of A. Autio is remembered particularly, for he was a very fine long distance skier. He made his own skis and equipment, made his own ski waxes, and participated successfully in many big competitions. His supple and smooth style became known far and wide, and he taught many other Finns the proper way to make skis. Athletics in general, however, did not begin to gain any significant ground until the athletic societies Jyry (started in 1904) and Eteenpäin (1907) appeared on the scene.

Prior to this development, sports had been a purely individual concern, and the new surroundings and the hard work meant that little interest was on hand. Not until the number of Finns had grown large enough to make possible the temperance society and later the socialist chapter did the instinct for competitive sports appear among the young and cause them to practice and then measure themselves against each other within the framework of the athletic groups started among the various societies. As soon as these societies managed to have their own halls, the era of physical culture really began.

Those societies which happened to be started in the first decade of the century generally tended to give encouragement to gymnastics, and many exhibitions of the skills developed in this field were displayed at special evening programs. Just before World War I, however, there was a gradual change, and gymnastics gave way to athletics. Wrestling was in vogue, and track sports also gained support, and in winter skiing and skating grew in popularity.

"Although the Atlantic separates the Finns of Finland from those in America, it has never been wide enough to break the bonds which tie these people of Kaleva together. These ties have been closest in the hearts of the athletes, for they have felt more strongly and visibly than have others the strength which


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