Suomi Park Newport 2008
7th Finglish trip August 2008 #10
Sugar River Suomi Park in Newport New Hampshire was a meeting place for Finnish immigrants in the early 1900s. Finns began to move into the Newport New Hampshire area in 1887. The Sinivuokko (Blue Anemone) Temperance Society was organized in 1907. In 1908 the society acquired a hall on Sunapee Street. Sinivuokko was dissolved in 1940.
A Newport Finnish socialist osasto was organized in 1907 and the Finnish Socialist Society Hall was built on Winter Street for their community of approximately 600 people in 1911. The hall became a focal point of community activities including the production of a Finnish language play every three weeks, orchestral concerts, weekly dances, a gymnastic club and frequent gatherings to discuss upon local, national and international events.
Across the Sugar River from the hall, now Sunapee Street Bedding, the Finns built a park, usually referred to as Finn Park, Suomi Park. It provided an athletic field and hosted picnics and festivals.
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