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  • Writer's pictureVesa Oja

Robert Makela Fort Bragg 2009

8th Finglish trip May 2009 #9

Makela's Boots & Saddlery Repairs, which also operates under the name Makela's Shoe Repair, has been operating for 35 years. Robert Makela´s father Frank was originally Erkkilä but he changed his name to Makela. Robert´s grandparents came from Mäkela village near Turku. They had tickets to sail on Titanic to America but for some lucky reason they could not board the ship.

During the middle 1800's, many Finns migrated to the United States for various reasons, some because of economic pressures, others to evade conscription into the Russian Army. Many of the early Finnish immigrants to the Mendocino Coast settled in an area east of Fort Bragg known as Noyo Hill. Though the wild and busy logging days are gone, industry lives on in small mills, construction businesses, and fishing fields.

The Fort Bragg Railroad was founded to haul logs to the mill. The first rails were run up Pudding Creek and, in 1887, reached Glen Blair. A San Francisco streetcar was purchased to carry loggers and their families on Sunday excursions to the woods.

Among the movies which were filmed in Fort Bragg is 'The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming', a 1966 comedy movie about a Soviet Union submarine that accidentally runs aground off the coast of New England.

Next Dennis Tuomala Fort Bragg California USA

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