Sunday, July 14, 2019

"Lempi of Finn Hollow": children's viewpoint of immigrant life for Finns in late 19th century

The children’s book “Lempi of Finn Hollow” is a large-format children’s paperback sold ($5) on the groups of the Finnish Heritage Museum in Fairport Harbor, Ohio, north of Painesville (on Richnmond Highway and SR 385, just about three miles, on Lake Erie).

The book is authored by Elaine Lillback and is based on the life of Lempi Johanna Sironen Juuti Tokka (1889-1987) and is a sequel to “Finn Hollow of Fairport, Ohio”.  The publisher is Painesville, Publisning Co in Painesvlle (about 25 miles east of downtown Cleveland on US 20). There is no ISBN apparent or UPC code. 

The book describes a difficult ship crossing of immigrants from Finland, becoming less hospitable because of Czarist Russian influence.  Lempi is born two or so years after the crossing on High Street, a few blocks from the Lake.

The immigrants are opportunistic in terms of work all over the northeast, including the iron mines in Minnesota, to heavy steel and tool industries in the northeast.  But many of them settle in northeast Ohio and work for a shipping company.

The families go through the labor of manually moving their homes when the docking company demands their land, and the experience is seen through children’s eyes.  Families get together and raise money to start cooperative retail businesses.
Religious upbringing is very communal.

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