Finns in Minnesota
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: Minnesota Historical Society Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
Table of Contents
Download PDF (129.5 KB)
Sweden ruled Finland until 1809, when it became an autonomous Grand Duchy of the Russian Empire; Finland achieved independence in late 1917, once Russian rule ended. Because of Finlandâs status as a Grand Duchy, U.S. officials grouped Finns with Russians when preparing . . .
A Finnish Presence in Minnesota
Download PDF (2.1 MB)
Despite their relatively small overall numbers, Finns have been concentrated within a few sections of Minnesota, earning a higher profile in these areas. People residing outside of these concentrations may still have some knowledge of Minnesotaâs âFinnishnessââvery likely the . . .
Early Emigration from Finland
Download PDF (93.8 KB)
Significant emigration from Finland occurred during the 1500s and 1600s when more than ten thousand Finns, most from the eastern region of Savo-Karelia, departed for the uninhabited uplands of VÃ¤rmland and west-central Sweden. Several hundred of these âVÃ¤rmland Finnsâ . . .
Minnesotaâs First Rural Finnish Settlements
Download PDF (1.6 MB)
The first seventeen Finns who arrived in 1864 included three families with eight young children among them: Peter and Johanna Lahti, Matti and Maria Niemi (Johnson), and Antti and Maria Rovainen. The youngest traveler was the Niemisâ . . .
A Minneapolis Finntown
Download PDF (330.3 KB)
Minneapolis served as the first urban center for Minnesotaâs Finns. Early immigrants often paused in Minneapolis before moving westward in their search for farmland or employment, and some farmers pursued seasonal work in the city. Minneapolis also was where Finns from the . . .
New York Mills and West-Central Minnesota
Download PDF (4.0 MB)
While Cokato served as Americaâs foremost Finnish agricultural settlement into the 1880s, another community soon replaced it: New York Mills. This area of Otter Tail County became a magnet for Finns after the first settlers, Antti and Elsa PuuperÃ¤ and Tuomas and Maria . . .
Download PDF (3.5 MB)
The first Finns appeared in Duluth in 1868, but according to one chronicler, âthey did not settle down in that little disorderly town.â There is some evidence that in 1869 fisherman Johan Moilanen became Duluthâs first Finnish resident; only seven Finns, six of them fishermen, followed him over the . . .
Farming the Cutover
Download PDF (6.5 MB)
The dangers of mining, coupled with employment fluctuations, periodic strikes, and the discriminatory attitudes of company officials, led many Finns to flee the range and establish farms in the cutover regionâa vast section of northeastern Minnesota, northern Wisconsin, and upper . . .
Religion, Politics, and Organizations
Download PDF (7.0 MB)
Minnesotaâs Finns formed numerous ethnic organizations, ranging from churches and temperance societies to cooperatives and radical political groups. These organizations played a vital role by assisting the Finns in surviving the conditions they encountered in America and in . . .
Cooperatives and the Common Good
Download PDF (2.5 MB)
Despite their differences, Finns representing a full range of political viewsâ left, right, independent, and indifferentâ often found reconciliation and agreement in an institution based on the common good: the cooperative. While Finns engaged in forming various types of cooperativesâboardinghouses, . . .
Supporting Finland During the 1930s and 1940s
Download PDF (807.9 KB)
For centuries, Finland had remained a distant and unknown place to most Americans. But then, following the convergence of three events during the mid- to late 1930s, Finland suddenly found itself receiving considerable favorable attention . . .
The Postwar Era
Download PDF (5.9 MB)
Finland may have maintained its independence, but the nation still faced years of austerity in coping with the aftermath of war. While Help Finland served as the official source of American assistance, thousands of Minnesota and North America Finns also sent money and untold . . .
Finland Swedes (Finlandssvenskar) share a language with Sweden, but their history has been firmly rooted in Finland for centuries. Finland Swedes, often called Swede-Finns in North America, are concentrated along Finlandâs western and southern coasts and on the Ã land Islands, which . . .
Download PDF (55.0 KB)
Some writers have claimed that Minnesotaâs first Finland Swede came to Minneapolis in 1869; the 1860 census, however, lists Theodore Hubert, very likely a Finland Swede. The best-known early Finland Swede was Kustaa (Gustaf) Fredrick Bergstadius, who arrived in Minneapolis . . .
Download PDF (55.4 KB)
Northeastern Minnesota was the Finland Swedesâ primary domain, and Duluth was their midwestern Helsingfors Duluthâs first pioneers settled by sawmills along the St. Louis River, including in their number Matt and Hannah Kynell, . . .
Download PDF (847.2 KB)
When mining began in northeastern Minnesota, some Finland Swedes immediately made their way to the district; one, Gust Nyman, began working on the railroad between Two Harbors and the Vermilion Range in 1883â94 and was subsequently employed for almost forty years by . . .
Lake Superiorâs North Shore
Download PDF (1.1 MB)
Finland Swedes outnumbered Finns in most of the diminutive North Shore settlements that extended from French River toward the Canadian border. By 1920, the French River area (Duluth Township) was populated by twentyseven Finland . . .
Rural and Agricultural Settlements
Download PDF (621.6 KB)
Finland Swedes were scattered throughout several areas of rural Minnesota, but even when they clustered together their numbers were seldom sufficiently large to give them an identifiable presence, most notably when nearby Finnish or Swedish immigrant communities were larger. . . .
Download PDF (3.0 MB)
Some Finland Swedes sought to link their early organizations to those sponsored by Finnish-speaking immigrants. A few employed Finnish names, others were intended to . . .
Download PDF (730.1 KB)
Little evidence remains of the Finland Swedesâ presence in Minnesota. The most recognizable place is Larsmont, where the residentsâ strong sense of community is displayed by the former schoolhouse, listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1992. . . .
Personal Account: Fred Torma (TÃ¶rmÃ¤)
Download PDF (905.4 KB)
Fred Torma (1888â1979), a Finnish immigrant miner and carpenter, was a Socialist and cooperative leader in Nashwauk. Torma married Hilda LampeÃ¤ (1889â1959) in 1909, one year after she arrived from Alatornio, Finland. The couple had two children: Sylvia and William. Their . . .
Download PDF (45.8 KB)
Download PDF (117.0 KB)
Download PDF (67.4 KB)
Illustration Source Details and Credits
Download PDF (46.5 KB)
Download PDF (46.6 KB)
About the Author
Download PDF (49.6 KB)
Download PDF (459.9 KB)
Page Count: 112
Illustrations: 50 b&w illustrations, 1 map, notes, index, bibliography
Publication Year: 2012
Series Title: People of Minnesota
Series Editor Byline: Minnesota Historical Society Press