Russian America Sitka 2009
8th Finglish trip May 2009 #6
St. Michael’s Cathedral, the Orthodox church of Sitka, was built by Finnish carpenters in 1848. The church burned down in 1966 and was rebuilt. Sitka was the centre of Russian Alaska, and two of its governors were originally born in Finland, Arvid Etholén (governor from 1840 to 1845) and Hampus Furuhjelm (in office from 1849 to 1864).
Of all the Russian American settlers, the Finns were among those that traveled the furthest from their homes to seek fortune in the distant, unforgiving American colony. These brave and hard-working people brought invaluable skills from their homeland. They enriched the communities of Russian America and played an important role in its diversity. Finnish settlers contributed greatly to the legacy of Russian America.
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