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  • Writer's pictureVesa Oja

David Niemi Cave Hill 2011

11th Finglish trip July 2011 #16

David Niemi's grandfather Johan Aukusti Niemi moved from Tampere, Finland to Black Hills, South Dakota, at the end of the 19th century to avoid being drafted in the Russian Army. David´s grandmother Ida Sofia Niemi nee Tilus was born in Himanka, Finland.

Johan Aukusti initially worked at the Spearfish hydroelectric tunnel site near Homestake Gold Mine but had to leave due to a strike. With Charles Kalle Oja he moved from Spearfish to Cave Hill to start a homestead farm. There were more than fifty Finnish families in Cave Hill in the early 1900s, among other, Seppälä, Penttilä, Tuovinen, Rasmus, Tilus, Juntti and Salmi.

David Niemin cares for a hundred cows and several hundred sheep that graze on his grandfather's old prairie pasture. In October there will be heavy fog, then it will snow. Water availability is always a problem on the prairie. The normally dry yellow prairie shows green patches this year.

Next Finnish Lutheran Church Juhala Hill South Dakota USA

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