2013 Fall Festival

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2013 Annual Meeting

Dear Friends,

It’s time to get out and visit with Friends of the Wirtanen Pioneer Farm. Pam Brunfelt will be our guest speaker at the Annual Meeting on Monday April 15th at 7pm. We will be at the Colvin Town Hall in Markham, MN and have a small dinner in the Finnish tradition following the meeting. The program, “Visions and Realities of the Iron Range”, explores what it means to be an Iron Ranger. Through the use of themes such as Continuity and Change, Extraction and Exploitation, Distrust, Hope, Foresight, and Loyalty, the history of the people of the Iron Range is explained. The program is revealing to both Iron Rangers, who will recognize themselves, and to people who know little about the area and its unique heritage.

Several people have come forward with donations to the Wirtanen Pioneer Farm Memorial Fund honoring those who have passed. Plans with these funds are for a new sign at the entrance to the farm and also a memorial plaque to be displayed at the Colvin Town Hall. Thank you all who have donated to this fund.


Darlene Saumer President

*Just a reminder* Dues are payable in April and are still $15.00 per individual. Memberships, donations and fundraisers are our means of support and we thank you for it!

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2012 Fall Festival

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Newsletter – Spring 2012

Dear Friends,

Hello, as we look forward to spring it is time to think about out Annual Meeting.  It’s our time to get together and talk about what has been happening at the farm over the last year. You will remember that I talked about the work on Eli’s residence last fall.  The house got a new foundation last summer. Come visit with some of the people that worked on it.  It is an education.

Pam Brunfelt will be our guest speaker at the Annual Meeting on Monday April 16th at 7pm. We will be at the Colvin Town Hall in Markham, MN and have lunch in the Finnish Tradition following the meeting. Ms. Brunfelt is currently a member of the faculty at Vermilion Community College in Ely, where she teaches coursed in American History and Political Science. As a life-long Iron Ranger and historian, she has the unique capability to blend ger deep regional knowledge with her scholarship in American History.


Darlene Saumer – President

Just a reminder – dues are payable in April and are $15.00 per individual. Memberships, donations, and fundraisers are our means of support and we thanks you for it!

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Newsletter – Late Fall 2011

Dear Friends,

The Wirtanen Farm Day Festival event took place on Saturday, September 11, 2011 from 10 AM to 4 PM. Do you remember how cold and wet it was last year? What a contrast to the dry heat and sunshine this year. The Strawberry Farms draft horses came back and they also brought a wagon and gave rides! We had musicians performing all day. Art Lehtonen wouldn’t miss it and provided us with Finnish music. John Berquist sang and told stories. And for something different we had Rafter Shock and Jammin’ Joe with a little bit of Rock & Roll. Everyone, no matter their age, enjoyed it. There were artisans and crafters demonstrating and selling their wares. Lou Campbell gave antique appraisals to people that brought treasures. People came steady all day to “Experience old world serenity“.

Work was done on Eli’s residence this summer. The house was raised by H. J. McGregor House Movers.  The footings and foundation were put in place by Hakala Construction. Take a look at the bottom row of logs that Harold Johnson & Norm Jarva dovetailed together.  The restoration project was made possible through a grant the farm received.  This landmark will be standing for many years to come, thanks to the effort of everyone involved.

Are you ready to bake? In the mood for eating? Maybe shopping or hunting? If you are going to do any of the above, make sure to participate in the Annual Bake Sale to be held on Friday, November 4th & Saturday, November 5th from 8 to 5. Donated baked goods can be dropped off Thursday, November 3rd from 4 to 6 at the Colvin Town Hall. This year we plan to have lunch available for purchase between 11 and 4 (or until we run out). Cookbooks and postcards will also be available for sale, they make great gifts.

Thank you for your continued support.  See you at the bake sale.

Darlene Saumer,

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Video – John Berquist performing at the Fall Festival 2011

John Berquist singing a northern Minnesotan folk tune about our iron ore industry.

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2011 Annual Meeting

2011 Annual Meeting

When: Monday April 18, 2011 @ 7:00 PM

Where: Colvin Town Hall, 2577 Vermilion Trail Makinen, MN 55763

There will be a short meeting followed by a presentation on The Iron Range in World War II by Ms. Pamela Brunfelt.

Pam is currently a member of the faculty at the Vermilion Community College in Ely, MN. She teaches courses in American History and Political Science.  As a life-long Iron Ranger and historian, she has the unique capability to blend her deep regional knowledge with her scholarship in American history.

Food will be served in the Finnish tradition.

If you have any questions, please contact Darlene @ (218) 638-2859

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