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  • Writer's pictureVesa Oja

Stanley Koskinen Waterburg 2007

5th Finglish trip July 2007 #36

Stanley R. Koskinen (1927-2013) was born in Ishpeming, Upper Peninsula, Michigan to Uuno and Vieno (Jarvi) Koskinen. His father died six months before his birth in a mine accident, where there is a monument to the 51 men who lost their lives. Three years later, Stan, Vieno, and Vieno's parents moved to Trumansburg where Finlanders had settled for the well-priced farm land. They purchased 25 acres with a home destroyed by fire and, with the help of fellow Finns, built their home on the foundation.

Before he started school, he had to learn to speak English since Finnish was his grandparents' only language. As a teenager he was his grandfather's accountant, tracking income and expenses of the 300-chicken farm, a time when eggs were shipped to NYC and a family could make a living on such a small scale. After graduating from Trumansburg High School, Class of 1945, Stan purchased his first piece of farm property on Podunk Road at the age of 18.

He worked at Babcock Poultry Farm for five years, learned about the hatchery business, and in 1952 started his own hatchery at a time when it was common to raise a few hundred chickens in the backyard barn. He had an enjoyable and fruitful life as a crop and poultry farmer, eventually farming on 500 acres and tending to 20,000 chickens at a time.

In 1949 he married Laura Riihinen of Ithaca, and together they raised their family of four on the farm, working side by side. He had been an active member of the Trumansburg Rotary Club and the Finger Lakes Finns. In his younger years he enjoyed dancing and socializing. Throughout his life, he savored a hot sauna accompanied by a leap in the pond in any weather--cutting a hole in the ice if need be--and tempting friends to join him.

Next Marja-Liisa Pihlgren Toronto Ontario Canada

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