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were not particularly adapted to farming, harvesting of timber from one's own land was the first basis of subsistence, with temporary returns to the mines whenever necessary to make ends meet. The railroad was a boon to the inhabitants of Embarrass, for it allowed them to market their timber and later their crops. Subsequently, of course, good roads and highways have been built also, but when the Finns first arrived there were no roads, merely trails through the forests. There were no doctors, not even a veterinarian. Help had to be procured over great distances in case of need. A trophy given to the local schools by the Kaleva Knights, Pohjolainen Chapter, commemorates the trip of a 15-year old Finnish boy in 1901 to fetch medicine in an emergency: Gust Päivärinta ran 25 miles over forest trails and in part through thick forest to the nearest apothecary and 25 miles back, all in one day, truly a memorable marathon run by this Finnish American lad.

In time progress became evident. The forests were felled, the stumps cleared, the marshes drained, and hay fields and tilled land took their places. Horses, and later farm machinery, replaced the oxen and supplemented the farmers' own brawn. "Whoever knows the early history of this region knows how barren it once looked. One must salute these zealous and tough pioneers who alone know the real worth of land they themselves have created by taming the cold forest and winning it to the plow. The Finns have been accustomed to a hard struggle for life in their native land, and here, too, they dare to plunge into the wilderness. They bear up and persevere, and the tough Finns have not only subdued their native wilderness but have conquered Embarrass also," were some of the things the speakers proclaimed on a Pioneers' Day in Embarrass in 1914, according to the Päivälehti.

The haphazard growth and appearance of Embarrass was due chiefly to the fact that an administration was not set up until a decade after the first pioneers had begun to arrive. The farm buildings generally were put up in the fashion traditional in Finland, and the barns which were erected received their share of praise in a study in the 1937 Agricultural History, in which their qualities for drying hay by means of complete air circulation were pointed out. Horace H. Russell has stated that the Finns of Embarrass produced more rye than any other community in Minnesota, although the Finns apparently grew enough only to meet their own needs. 2 The main crop of the Finns, of course,

2. Russell, Horace H. The Finnish Farmers in America. Washington, D.C., 1937. P. 72.


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