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  • Writer's pictureVesa Oja

Tom Nurmi & Kip Aalto Reedley 2009

8th Finglish trip June 2009 #18

Tom Nurmi and Kip Aalto are the descendants of Finnish fruit growers who settled in the Reedley area at the beginning of the 20th century. Finns have lived in California since the Gold Rush in 1850.

Baron Axel von Wrede, who was expelled from Russian Finland, attempted to begin a colony in Fresno County in 1904. He noticed that the Reedley area was suitable for farming. Other deported nobles settled in Reedley, among them Arthur Back, Otto Hendrickson, Gustaf von Mahlberg, also including Astorian fishermen, Dakota farmers, and Washington's loggers.

Many left their farm because of the harsh conditions. The farmers who stayed were Kaarlo Aalto from Uusikirkko, Frank Hakala and Erick Siiro from Isojoki, Henry Hendrickson from Suomussalmi, William Juvonen from Muolaa, Matti Kasari from Ilmajoki, Oskar Kulju from Nurmo, Matti Leino from Isokyrö, Jacob Laukonen from Lapua and Jacob Pänttäjä from Alatornio.

Next California Kanteles Granada Hills California USA

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