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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Local Finnish Heritage

At one of my work sites this week I pictured an old barn.

Finnish log barn

Note that the front quarter closest to the camera is built of squared logs. I encounter old log buildings with some regularity, but this one was a bit of a surprise. It shouldn't have been, really. There are lots of Finns who settled in the area. In fact, there is an entire town, Kaleva, in Manistee County created by Finnish people in 1900. Every street name is Finn. But that's about 20 miles from this barn.

Still, many people from Finland came to the area, not just to Kaleva. There are a good number of Finnish names in the phone book.

How do I know this farm was homesteaded by Finns? Because of an historical tour Marie and I took in St. Louis County Minnesota. That area was also settled by people with Nordic heritage, and Germans too. People from each of those countries had specific ways they fitted the log corners of their cabins.

Finnish log barn

This method, with the dovetailed joints, is the Finnish corner. It's the first time I've seen one locally. Pretty cool. Makes me wonder if those two walls were part of the original cabin where the family lived for a while, and then expanded to build a house, and made this structure into the barn.

The link below is to a picture of one such corner in Minnesota.

See Finnish corner
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Lin said...

Beautiful AND useful! Can you imagine the work that went into that?

Polly Dot said...

Beautifully finished off Joan ... so many skills are being lost over the years, it certainly makes a person ponder. All that snow too! Brr ... I hardly dare say this (think this) we (oh, should I really be putting this into words in case it comes back and bites me somewhere not very nice and certainly unmentionable?) haven't had any snow yet ....... I truly can hardly believe it myself. Plenty of water in the form of rain but in our area we haven't had snow. An omen that is bound to have consequences even if you are not superstitious!

RNSANE said...

Well, the Finns certainly know about cold weather!!! I can see that relocating to your corner of the
U. S. would not be so difficult for them. It is interesting to see their particular building styles and other traditions - all part of the heritages that make our country so special.

Ann said...

That's a great looking barn. Quite interesting about the different building styles. I wasn't aware of that.

The Furry Gnome said...

There's an old log cabin with similar corners near here. I think I might have a picture someplace; I need to compare them.

vanilla said...

A very interesting historical bit about your area!

Secondary Roads said...

I first saw that type of corner joint in The Foxfire Book. The compound dovetail hold it all together without special fasteners, pins or pegs.

I did not know that it was Finnish in origin.

Dennis the Vizsla said...

hello sharkbytes its dennis the vizsla dog hay wow a log cabin!!! trixie tels me she and tucker and trouble and pooh bear livd in a log howse in the mithical land of noo york but i dont think it wuz kwite as historik as that wun!!! ok bye

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