Gandrud Grocery store, 1900 Western Avenue --- 1925
Photo and below text credit: Mn Historical Society (accessed 2016.dec12)
""Lewis A. Grandrud Grocery, 1900 Western Avenue, Minneapolis. ... 1925""
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Following text credit: Article in the fall 1988 issue of 'Hennepin County History' magazine:
FINNTOWN, MINNEAPOLIS - AN AMERICAN NEIGHBORHOOD
. . . by: K. Marianne Wargelin
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The Finntown as an American Neighborhood
The Finntown now operated on its own momentum. Young people met there, married there and found an apartment there. Business continued to grow. Dr Vaino Luttio's dentistry practice expanded the already-existing Finnish-language medical facilities in the neighborhood. Businesses changed hands rather than closed - Aalto's Bakery became Lehto's Bakery. Public saunas expanded. Charles (and then Ina) Hokans ran a sauna at 1726 N. 3rd St. after 1915. Ernest Sairanen ran a sauna at 1109 Western Ave. after 1921. Werner and Hulda Manner, managers of the Wells sauna, opened their own sauna at 1409 Western after 1927. The Haralas took it over when the Manners left.
The Finnish and Finnish American population in the Finntown reached about 4,000. The community also included many "live-in" domestics, who technically lived in places like Wayzata but called Finntown home. Finntown too claimed them as part of its own. In Fact, its residents relished stories like the one about how the older Mr. Pillsbury learned to like "puuroa" (Finnish-style porridge) because of his Finnish cook.
Finntown was not simply an immigrant community. The adult descendants of immigrants lived there too, bringing their own view of Finnishness to the community. People with no personal memories of Finland, they still spoke fluent Finnish but raised children whose Finnish was accidental. Their sense of Finnish culture was Finnish American. One such family expressed their Finnishness by returning to Frederick (Savo), South Dakota every summer to work as the cook in the cook car and as an "engineeri" in the fields during harvest. Even though they lived in Finntown the rest of the year, the father worked away from other Finns as a boilermaker at McKuen Brothers.
The Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church benefited from the presence of the second generation. When membership amounted to a "mere dozen" in 1918, they began to hold services at Wells Memorial Building and appealed to young second-generation Finnish Americans coming into the city from outstate Finnish communities with Synod churches. By 1926, they were able to call Rev. Antti Kuusisto as fulltime pastor. They organized a combination "folk choir" and "church choir." By 1929, the?ir 400 members financed their own church building at 240 Morgan Ave. N., holding services in the basement until 1946 when the main floor was finished. They became known as Morgan Avenue Lutheran Church.
Migration of second-generation Finnish Americans from outstate Minnesota also led to the development of an entirely new church. In 1923, Veino Niemi gathered Finnish National Lutheran Church people, second-generation migrants from New York Mills, Sebeka, Menagha and other communities in Minnesota, Wisconsin and northern Michigan. they met irregularly until 1924 when pastor Peter Miettinen organized them as the Minneapolis Suomen Kansalliskirkko (Finnish People's Church), which affiliated with the Finnish National Lutheran Church Synod in 1925. In 1936, they purchased a church at 8th and Newton, and in 1947 they hired their first resident pastor, Erick Erickson. As Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, the congregation moved to Russell and Olson Memorial Highway in 1956. This church offered a congregational church structure and an evangelical preaching of the gospel as full and free salvation to all, omitting proclamation of the Law. This church retained a loyal following who saw their church as a clear alternative to the Suomi Synod and Laestadianism.
Through the Fennia Club (a cultural and community support group limited in later years to women), Finntown's second-generation Finnish Americans masterminded a major sporting event for the entire Twin Cities on April 16 and 18, 1925. The Fennia Club Indoor Games were held at the Minnesota State Fair Hippodrome. Young men and women from local high schools and colleges competed in a variety of track events, but the star attraction was Paavo Nurmi, the great Finnish track star who, with Willie Ritola, the equally important but less famous track star, came to the United States to exhibit their Finnish-styly running talents. Even the older Laestadians, who normally would have abstained from such worldly entertainments, were in the stands shouting "Juokse, Paavo, juokse!" ("Run, Paavo, Run!)
Ethic unity was a characteristic of Finntown in those days. It affected the workplace. At Leef Brothers Laundry, Finnish was the primary language spoken, and at Munsingwear a person could work for years speaking only Finnish. When an opening occurred in Finnish-dominated workplaces, a Finn always told another Finn so that non-Finns had a hard time getting hired. Finns took care of each other.
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finntown Minneapolis An American NeighborhoodMarianne Wargelinfinn townfinntown