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  • Writer's pictureVesa Oja

Lempi Issakainen Brooklyn 2008

7th Finglish trip September 2008 #23

The Imatra Society was a society of Finnish immigrants located in Brooklyn, New York. The society was founded by John A. Koski, a building engineer. A preliminary meeting was held on December 6, 1890 and was followed by the founding meeting held on December 14, 1890.

The society built its own house for their activities and moved into it on November 1, 1908. Opening celebration was held on November 18 and 19. They also supplied to their new house a generator to produce electricity. "This was a historical event in the Finntown hill and caused a lot of talk in the neighbourhood since it was the Imatra Society that brought the first electric lights to the buck hill." (the Sunset Park area). This house, later called Imatra Hall, was most important place for the activities of the society and became well known and very popular among the Finnish people.

Only a few years after the 100 anniversary celebration the Imatra Society had come into financial difficulties and in fall 1995 it was so much involved in debt that it was no more able to recover. Imatra Hall was sold and then Imatra Foundation was established with the remaining property. The Imatra Society was suppressed on April 26, 1996.

Lempi Issakainen was the president of the Imatra Society from January 28, 1979 to January 27, 1980. She acted also as the trustee of the Imatra Foundation when the it was terminated in 2008 and its funds were donated to the Raivaaja Publishing Company.

Next Pentti & Marja Liisa Palonen, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA

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