Eteläkarjalainen maisema

Eteläkarjalainen maisema
Tässä blogissa on sekä kuvia että tarinoita upean Etelä-Karjalan luonnosta, ihmisistä ja kulttuurista. Kuvassa toukokuinen näkymä Kuolimolle Savitaipaleella.

maanantai 27. maaliskuuta 2017

Finnish Pioneer Monument in Minneapolis

The Finnish Pioneer Monument in Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis in 2004


Minneapolis Star, June 22, 1958


I published an interview of Mr. Peter Saarenpaa some weeks ago. He was one of the early Finns living in Minneapolis and described his life in citys Finntown from the year 1878. Saarenpaas interview was made in 1939. When Saarenpaa moved to Minneapolis, the number of Finnish immigrants was quite small. In a letter, published in Amerikan Suomalainen Lehti in May, 1884, it was estimated to be under one hundred. The Finnish "invasion" from the rural Finnish colonies in Minnesota, like Cokato and Franklin began however, in the 1880's.

The Minneapolis Finns gathered once in year to celebrate juhannus, midsummer, in Glenwood Park/Theodore Wirth Park, west of Finntown.  You can find news of these gatherings in the local newspapers from mid 1920s. This park was a natural place for an erecting of a Finnish Pioneer Monument, which was planned to be part of Minnesotas centennial celebration. Funds ($ 1200) for this monument was raised by Minneapolis Finnish American Society, which was originally organized in 1939 to send clothing and money to Finland. Finland fought for its survival in the Winter War (1939 1940) against Soviet Union at that time.

Some 400 Finnish-Americans gathered, with well needed SISU, to dedicate this monument in a rainy day, June 22, 1958.  I myself have visited at this chunk of Minnesota granite twice. It would be interesting to know whether Minneapolis' Finns gather still in the park?

I collected some newspaper clips related to the monuments funding and  dedication.



The Minneapolis Star, June 26, 1958
The Minneapolis Morning Tribune, June 23, 1958


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