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original selectmen of Vermilion Lake Township when a local administration was set up in 1913. Other town officials in that administration were Charles Tarkman, chairman of the board of selectmen; Erick Koski, Matt Luoma and Henry Simonson, selectmen; Uno Huttula, treasurer; Olof Määttä and Peter Mustonen, constables; Matt Hill and Matt Lehtinen, inspectors of roads.

By this time, of course, the Finns had already established typical organizations of their own. In the spring of 1909, Esa Torkko arrived from Soudan to begin organization of a temperance society: Valon Tuote (Product of Light), organized in May of that year, immediately joined the Temperance Brotherhood. The first officers of the local society were Henry Simonson, chairman, and Ida Männikkö, secretary. Within two years, a hall was built, with the local National Church congregation sharing in the project. Once the hall was up, the younger members of the temperance society also built themselves a dance pavilion on land donated by Charles Niemi.

Another hall was built, in 1914, by the local workers' society. Support in this group, however, was weak and began to decline, and the hall was eventually taken over by the temperance society, which in turn later put it at the disposal of the local farmers' club. This Finnish hall of Payla was used by dramatics groups and choruses; for several years Emil Björkman used to come from Virginia to conduct the chorus rehearsals.

The Payla congregation, naturally a small one, was already in existence at the turn of the century, when Heikki Sarvela used to visit Payla to hold services. In 1932 the congregation decided to affiliate itself with the National Church, and since that time the services have been conducted by pastors from Ely. In 1949 there were but 30 parishioners left, plus 11 children. Services apparently had been conducted from the very beginning of local Finnish settlement, and their church, built of logs, was originally a school. In front of the church stands a red marble marker, with names of those Finns who had arrived here by 1903. inscribed on it. This memorial, unveiled in 1950, was erected by the Pioneer Reunion, whose purpose was to preserve the traditions of the Finnish pioneers.

In December 1946 a local chapter of the MFAHS was also established here at a meeting held at the Vermilion school. Its first chairman was Peter Hiltunen; vice-chairman, Eino Salo; treasurer, Matti Holappa. Interest in the local Finnish pioneer past has also been in evidence among the younger generation,


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