cover of book

Finns in Wisconsin
by Mark Knipping
Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2008
Paper: 978-0-87020-390-9 | eISBN: 978-0-87020-532-3
Library of Congress Classification F590.F5K5 2008
Dewey Decimal Classification 977.500494541


From mining to logging to farming, Finns played an important role in the early development of Wisconsin. Although their immigration to the state came later than that of most other groups, their contributions proved just as significant. Finns pride themselves for their sisu, a Finnish term which, roughly translated, means fortitude or perseverance, especially in the face of adversity. They needed their strength of character to help them face the difficult task of building a new life in a new land. Many Finns arriving in Wisconsin, unable to own land at home, hoped to establish themselves as small independent farmers in the new land. They settled mainly in northern Wisconsin, due to jobs and land available there.

This book traces the history of Finnish settlement in Wisconsin, from the large concentrations of Finns in the northern region, to the smaller "Little Finlands" created in other areas of the state. Revised and expanded, this new edition contains the richly detailed story of one Finnish woman, told in her own words, of her hardships and experiences in traveling to a new country and her resourcefulness and strength in adapting to a new culture and building a new life.

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