Finnish Language Tune-Up Class To Be Offered starting January 4, 2014

Want to learn Finnish?

Marja-Leena Bailey, department chair of world languages and English as a Second Language at Middlesex Community College in Massachusetts, will once again bring her enthusiasm and dynamic teaching style to midcoast Maine when she will offer on January 4, 2014 an intensive one day Finnish Language Tune-up for beginning and returning beginners. However, all students of the Finnish Language are welcome.

The class will be held in Jura Hall beneath the Finnish Congregational Church on Route #131 in South Thomaston, Maine. The day will include instruction from 10:00 to 12:00 followed by an hour lunch break and then instruction from 1:00 to 3:00. The cost for the day will be $45.00. If you interested in this opportunity please contact Steve Gifford as soon as possible by telephone (207-989-1971), by mail (4 Park Avenue West, Brewer, Maine 04412) or by email (gifford7tree@gmail.com).

Marja-Leena will be offering a series of Finnish Language Classes on Saturdays later in 2014. These language classes are sponsored by the Finnish Heritage House (www.finnheritage.org).




It will again be time for some Finnish Fun !

On September 21, 2013 from 9 am to 2 pm

Our popular Finn Fling Day will be here soon. This will be a joint event with the Mid-Coast Finn-Am Society. Mark your calendar for Saturday, September 21 from 9 am to 2 pm.

2013 Finn Fling Schedule

9:00 to 12:00 - Coffee and pulla at Finnish Heritage House
- Register for Door Prizes
- Purchase Rag Rug Raffle Tickets
- Complete the 5th Annual Finn Trivia Quiz
- Shop at the FHH Tori
- Food Sale
- View this summer’s exhibit “Honoring Finnish-American World War II Veterans”
- Sign the guest book.

9:00 to 9:30 - Jura Hall
- The DVD “Tradition Bearers:Finnish American Folk Artists” produced by UpNorth Films and featuring folk artists of the Great Lakes Region will be shown in Jura Hall during this time.

9:30 to 10:00 - Jura Hall
- “Suomalaiset Jouset” Kantele Ensemble Concert

10:00 to 11:00
- Jura Hall - Finnish-American woodcarvers Ray Tapio and Ed Numelin from Rutland, Massachusetts, will demonstrate their craft and have items available for sale.

11:00 to 11:45 - Jura Hall
- Ed Kaarela from Fitchburg, Massachusetts, former Consul for Finland, will speak on the origin of Finnish Independence Day (December 6th).

12:00 to 1:00 - Jura Hall
- Lunch Buffet ($3.00 Adults, Children 12 and under Free)

1:00 to 2:00 - Jura Hall
- Finnish Heritage House and the Finnish-American Society of Midcoast Maine will conduct brief business meetings
- Drawings for Door Prizes and Rag Rug Raffle
- Announcements
- Finn Trivia Quiz Due.

Don’t miss this exciting event!

We will look forward to seeing you there


This year's prize is a
Finnish style woven rag rug, in many shades of blue and white, measuring 27” x 80”, made and donated by Tooty Wilson.

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The tickets will be $1.00 each, or 6 for $5.00, and will be available for sale at FHH, with the drawing to be held at our Finn Fling on September 21, 2013.

Bake and Tag Sales

at The Finnish Heritage House

Saturdays 9:00-12:00
March 16, 2013 through Mid·December, 2013

(click here to see a list of items available in our Tori)

Shop in our Tori, chat, view the exhibits, and remember ...

The coffee (kahvi) pot is always on !



The 2013 Summer Exhibit at FHH will be titled: Honoring Finnish-American World War Two Veterans
Two hundred and fifty surveys have been sent to members of the Finnish Heritage House and the Finnish-American Society of Midcoast Maine. Completed surveys are beginning to be returned. The centerpiece of this summer’s exhibit will be the “Honor Roll of Veterans” currently displayed in the Mietinen Room at the back of the Finnish Congregational Church.

Ann Mahonen Little holding the Honor Roll

However, there are a number of veterans missing from that document and it is hoped that information regarding their service in WW II will be forthcoming and can be included in the exhibit. If anyone has any material regarding any Finnish-American veterans including photos, newspaper clippings, documents, awards, and certificates, please contact
Steve Gifford at 4 Park Avenue West, Brewer, Maine 04412 or naskali2@hotmail.com or 207-989-1971. Our combined efforts will make this summer’s exhibit the best ever at Finnish Heritage house. The exhibit will be displayed at Finnish Heritage House from the third week in June until the middle of October. Kiitos.

Previous exhibits have included:
Remembering Grandmother and Grandfather” compiled by Steve Gifford. This exhibit featured the memory boards from previous exhibits (sauna, Finnish-American music, blueberry farming, granite industry and the poultry business) and photographs of Finnish families of the midcoast.
Finnish families who settled along the River Road (Route 131) in South Thomaston, St. George & Tenants Harbor compiled by June Ranta. This exhibit included a number of interviews with those who grew up along this stretch of highway and contained many interesting insights into the families and villages along this road. The centerpiece of the "River Road" exhibit was be a 15-foot map of the road, with ownership designations and illustrations. This exhibit also included a special feature regarding the Finnish girls who worked as maids (Piikas) for well to do families.
"Finns and Feathers: The Poultry Industry in the Midcoast" compiled by Steve Gifford. This exhibit focused on the years 1930 to 1970 when the Finns played a major role in the local poultry industry. Topics covered included: the poultry farmers, the local poultry processors, the egg business, the hatching egg business, the Belfast broiler industry and the United Farmers Co-Operative (UCF).

These exhibits at the Finnish Heritage House would not have been possible without the assistance and generosity of the local Finnish community. Kiitoksia paljon.

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Betsy Hannula, a director of the Westminster (Massachusetts) Historical Society views this summer's exhibit at Finnish Heritage House "Honoring Finnish-American World Two Veterans".


July 21, 2013 - 3:30 pm - Odd Fellows Hall - Tenants Harbor, Maine

Sattuma (a family folk music group)
Sattuma band pic

Sattuma, a family folk music group from Petrozavodsk, the republic of Karelia, NW Russia, started in 2003 and has performed in festivals, clubs, concert halls, private parties and schools. The band performs traditional music from Karelia and Finland. Their program includes instrumental music such as polkas, waltzes, shottish and songs. Songs are traditional from Karelia, Ingria, Finland, and performed in local dialects. Sattuma also composes its own songs in folk style. Their arrangements use traditional elements but are also open to more modern rhythms. Link to a YouTube video of the group.

Sattuma will be performing at the I.O.O.F. hall (Odd Fellows Hall) in Tenant’s Harbor, Maine on July 21, 2013 at 3:30 pm. The performance will be a 2 hour show with an intermission with refreshments. There will be Finnish Pulla (nissu ~ Finnish coffee bread) brownies and cookies with coffee, punch and bottled water.

Admission is $12.00 at the door, refreshments included.


Yvonne Lockwood, Finlandia Foundation Lecturer of the Year
May 18, 2013 - 1:00 pm - Finnish Congregational Church

The Finnish Heritage House and the Midcoast Finnish American Society are pleased to sponsor a free lecture presented by Yvonne Lockwood, Finlandia Lecturer of the Year on May 18th at the Finnish Congregational Church. Yvonne Lockwood was Curator of Folk Life at the Michigan State University from 1981 to 2009. The title of her presentation will be
“Traditional Material Culture In Modern Finnish America”. Her illustrated talk will include such Finnish traditions as rag rugs, looms, spinning, knitting, foodways, sauna, woodworking, visiting traditions and will show how the skills brought to America by the Finnish immigrants have been altered and adapted in this country. This is a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with the life our ancestors left in Finland and what they brought with them to the United States.

The program will be preceded by a potluck luncheon for our members and guests in Jura Hall at noon followed by Yvonne Lockwood’s presentation in the Church at 1:00 pm. Members are asked to bring a salad, or main course, or dessert if possible. Coffee and drinks will be provided.



Suomalaiset Jouset
(Finnish Strings)

The kantele ensemble, sponsored by the Finnish Heritage House, was organized in July 2010 and continues to hold regular rehearsals, with up to twelve students at each session. The ensemble meets bi-weekly for rehearsals in Jura Hall beneath the Finnish Congregational Church in South Thomaston, Maine. Eleven string kanteles are made for the group by craftsmen in Finland and cost about three hundred dollars.  The ensemble is learning many new Finnish and American songs, including those with layered harmonies, chords, and harmonics. The talented members often utilize other folk instruments in their performances including guitar, autoharp, mandolin and violin.

A limited number of instruments are available for loan to beginning students including children (ages ten and up), teens and adults.  The cost of lessons for adults is thirty dollars for 5 two hour lessons with the fee waived for children and teens. 

The ensemble performed 39 concerts in 2012 at nursing homes, retirement communities, senior citizen groups, historical societies, schools, museums, and churches.

If you would like join the ensemble, observe a rehearsal, or schedule a performance please contact Celia Jones (Musical Director) at 594-4506, Jackie Harjula at 354-6547 or Steve Gifford at 989-1971. email address: finnstrings172@gmail.com

Jouset-Kantele 005
Suomalaiset Jouset (Finnish Strings) and the western Maine kantele ensemble A'Chordin to Kantele appeared together in concert  at the annual Fall Finn Fling in September 2012.

Suomalaiset Jouset (Finnish  Strings) provided music for the Christmas Service at the Finnish Congregational Church in South Thomaston in December 2012.




The Finnish Heritage House has prepared a cookbook titled "From A Finnish Kitchen".

It features recipes from members of our Finnish community.
The cookbook is bound and is sure to be treasured for many years.
The book makes a wonderful

The Cookbook is available at the FHH Tori for $12.00. For an extra $4.95 it can be mailed it to your home.

Thank you for your help with this project.