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  • Writer's pictureVesa Oja

Matti Kurikka´s Sauna North Stonington 2008

7th Finglish trip August 2008 #21

Matti Kurikka (1863-1915) was a Finnish journalist, theosophist, and utopian socialist.

In Finland Kurikka was the editor of the Työmies newspaper from 1897 to 1899. Kurikka moved to North America in 1900.

In 1901 Kurikka helped establish Sointula, a utopian island colony on Malcolm Island, British Columbia based on cooperative principles. He also founded the newspaper Aika, the first Finnish-Canadian newspaper. Sointula dissolved as a utopian colony in 1905 after financial difficulties and a devastating fire, but continued as a fishing and logging based community.

After leaving Sointula in 1904 with half of the near 300 members, Kurikka established a new colony Sammon Takojat, now in Websters Corners in British Columbia. Within months this experiment too failed and in September 1905 Kurikka, disheartened, returned to Finland. But like many migrants he encountered great difficulty in reintegrating into his native society, and he went to the United States in 1908.

He became a columnist for, and later co-editor of the New Yorkin Uutiset, and in 1913 he bought a chicken farm in Connecticut, which he named Penkere. The ruins of Kurikka´s sauna remain in the middle of a dense forest.

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