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out of the surrounding forests. The Finns, however, did entertain just such thoughts.

"Health is more important than the riches of the world," wrote the Päivälehti in 1902; " `Back to the land,' is the motto of those whose health is threatened in the mines," wrote the Amerikan Suometar in 1909. But the Finns were motivated much less by the instinct for self-preservation of health than they were by the mining strikes of 1907 and 1916. The consequence of these strikes was the shutting off of the main possibility of gainful labor from the majority of the Finns in this region of mines, and there was not much of a choice left: either leave the mining region, or settle down there as farmers.

The history of agriculture in St. Louis County is characterized by sudden spurts of growth, resulting from just such external factors as strikes in its mining regions. If the iron ore area is considered as the core of the county, Finnish farming regions did begin to spread out from that center toward the northeast and southeast during the homesteading era in the late 1890s, while expansion toward the south began at about the turn of the century and toward the northwest in 1906-07.


Embarrass Township, located just northeast of the Range and north of White (previously considered in these pages), was among the first places where Finnish pioneers arrived in northern St. Louis County. Actually, a fairly extensive area was included in Embarrass, which gets its name from the French fur traders and refers originally to a log and debris jam in a river or more generally to a river in which such jams occur. Such was the case with the Embarrass, flowing through the region in question. The township of the same name was not organized until 1905, but a railroad stop of that name existed as far back as 1892. A primitive store, a small school and a few French inhabitants were on the scene when the first Finns arrived in 1894.

According to local historians, the Finns moved there both because of the miserable working conditions prevailing in the mines and because the lack of jobs in those mines forced them to it. The first to arrive was Alex Palo (Palokangas), native of Kortesjärvi in Finland. He came from the Virginia mines, and his success as a pioneer led to a group of his working comrades "rising up from below the earth to its surface."' Since the lands

1. Bercovici, Konrad. On New Shores. New York, N. Y., 1925. pp 101-18.


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