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  • Writer's pictureVesa Oja

Art Jura South Thomaston 2008

7th Finglish trip August 2008 #6

Art Jura is a 3rd generation “Mainer”, a retired photographer, and the grandson of Finnish immigrants. He sits in the Finnish Congregational Church of South Thomaston. The Finnish Congregational Church and Parsonage is a historic church in South Thomaston, Maine. Built in 1921, with the parsonage (now a Finnish Heritage House) added about 1925, the church represents one of the earliest formal expressions of Finnish-American culture in the region. The buildings were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994.

He has wrote two books about Finnish-Americans and Finland. Fenni, 260 pages of history on Finland, and why Finns left, where they settled, and the organizations, churches, and families they founded. Published 2001 by Picton Press. Fenni-2, 293 pages of history on Maine Finnish families, organizations, churches, vital records, plus North Dakota, Ohio and Cape Cod, MA .... plus 15 short stories. Published 2005 by Picton Press.

Finnish immigration into Knox County appears to have begun in the 1890s, and is one of two places (the other being Oxford County) where Finns clustered in these early years. The earliest documented land ownership by Finns in the county is 1896. The Finnish Congregation was formally organized in 1921, earlier services having taken place at a local school. The church was completed later that year, and the parsonage was added about 1925. It was the first religious building constructed for the Finnish community in the state.

Next Jacqueline Harjula South Thomaston Maine USA.

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