February 2008 Oral History Digitization Project

Finnish American Historical Archive | Finlandia University

General Interviews



Overview:

The following interviews, part of Finlandia University's Finnish American Historical Archive's 1970s Oral History Project, have been transcribed and recently digitized. They include oral histories with immigrant and first generation "Finns" before they passed on, capturing the knowledge, thoughts and voices of a generation that is now gone. This sampling also contains non-Finnish American interviews with influential Copper Country residents and two interviews from areas outside of the Copper Country. These interviews contain invaluable information from a by-gone era on ethnic relations, folk-ways and the Great Depression; they contain a great sampling of what Finlandia University's Finnish American Historical Archive's 1970s Oral History Project has to offer researchers.



Copyright:

The Finnish American Heritage Center is very proud and excited to make samples of its Oral History Collection available to the public. However, Finlandia University, formerly Suomi College, holds the exclusive copyright to these files. Any utilization that does not fall under the United States standard of Fair Use (see U.S. Copyright Office, Library of Congress), including unauthorized re-distribution, is a violation of Federal Law. For any other use, express written consent must be obtained from the Finnish American Historical Archive: archives@finlandia.edu.



Excerpts of General Interviews:



Click to view
larger image
Dr. Armas Holmio. July 1972. Author and former director of Suomi College Archive. Interviewed by Rev. Dr. Arthur Puotinen.

Holmio1.mp3  10:23, 4.75 MB (Tape 1 Side 1, 0:00- 10:23)

Interview introduction. Franciscan Monk tradition and merchant trade in Rauma, Finland (Holmio’s birthplace). Primary, Secondary and University Schooling. Religious movements in Western Finland and seminary.

Holmio2.mp3  3:26, 1.57 MB (Tape 2 Side 2, 9:27-12:54)

Finnish unity and nationalism in the United States and Finland. The role of a “Common Danger.” Finnish Relief during WWII. Pastors Art Puotinen and Armas Holmio’s message to future listeners of the Oral History Collection and a message concerning the Suomi College [Finlandia University] Archives.




Photo credit: Peter Oikarinen
Click to view
larger image
Alex Nelson. 28 July 1972.

Nelson2.mp3  4:03, 1.85 MB (Tape 2, Side 2, 0:00 - 4:03)

“I have a very high regard for the young people today.” Frisbee tournament. “I don’t judge a man by the length of his hair.” Predictions about the Copper Country.




Photo credit: Peter Oikarinen
Click to view
larger image
Jean Nicholas. 6 August 1972. Interviewed by Paul Jalkanen.

Nicholas1.mp3  8:39, 3.96 MB (Side 1, 15:00 - 23:40)

Teaching in Champion, Michigan during the Great Depression.




Photo credit: Peter Oikarinen
Click to view
larger image
James O’Meara. 13 July 1972. Interviewed by Rev. Dr. Arthur Puotinen.

OMeara1.mp3  10:52 4.98 MB (Side 1, 0:30 - 11:12)

Moving from Ottawa, Canada to Detroit Michigan. An Irishman marries a Finn. The Great Depression in the U.P.




Photo credit: Peter Oikarinen
Click to view
larger image
Hattie S. Bartanen. 1 August 1972

Bartanen1.mp3  7:57, 3.63 MB (Side 1, 0:00 - 7:57)

Emigration from Finland. Father was bi-lingual. School and homeownership. Home remedies. Cupping.




Photo credit: Peter Oikarinen
Click to view
larger image
Theodore Rogers. 7 August 1974. Former Keweenaw County Sheriff

Rogers1.mp3  9:55, 4.53 MB (Tape 1 Side 1, 15:58 - 25:52)

Early police cars, communications, and ambulance services. Crimes.




Joseph Kezele. Photo credit: Peter Oikarinen
Click to view
larger image
Joseph Kezele and Willard Forman. 17 August 1974. Keweenaw County Probate Judge Kezele and Keweenaw County Mine Inspector Willard Forman. Interviewed on location at Clark Mine by Wally Anderson.

Kezele1.mp3  5:11, 2.37 MB (Side 1, 0:00 - 5:11)

History of Clark Mine. WPA bar fights. Mining Company control.

Kezele2.mp3  3:08, 1.43 MB (Side 2, 0:04 - 3:12)

Slaughtering of pigs, cows, and codfish.




Joseph Kezele. Photo credit: Peter Oikarinen
Click to view
larger image
Arvo Pyorala. 13 July 72. Interviewed by Rev. Dr. Arthur Puotinen

Pyorala1.mp3  3:59, 1.82 MB (Side 2, 0:00 -3:59)

Train robbery story. An explanation for the lack of crime in the Copper Country.




 no
image
available
Al Harvey. 18 June 1973. Interviewed by Rev. Dr. Arthur Puotinen.

Harvey2.mp3  5:25, 2.47 MB (Tape 1, Side 1, 2:07 - 7:30)

Father worked Tamarack Mine. Mining accidents. Working conditions. Ethnic makeup and community togetherness. Primary school and learning English.




 no
image
available
Jack and Mrs. Ruohonen. Undated. Interviewed by Rev. Dr. Arthur Puotinen

Ruohonen1.mp3  7:58, 3.65 MB (Side 1, 0:00 - 7:58)

In Finnish - American “Finglish” dialect, birthplace (kotipaikka), etc.




Links:




Return to the February 2008 Oral History Digitization Project main page.

Created by Kent Randell, Spring 2008.
Overview written by Gary Kaunonen.
Portraits were photographed by Peter Oikarinen
      (except the portrait of Dr. Armas Holmio).