This exhibit is a recreation of the popular Eli Wirtanen Finnish Farmstead. Eli, an immigrant of Finland, was 34 when he homesteaded this property in 1904. The farm stands as a tribute to our area’s early settlers. A child sized corner log cabin is surrounded by a garden, chicken coop, and sauna. This interactive learning experience offers hands-on educational opportunities. Children can learn, through play, as the perform chores typical of daily life on Eli’s farmstead such as picking apples, using a washing board, gathering wood, and much more.
Located in the Depot, this permanent exhibit was grant funded by the Depot Foundation. It was created with the support of the Friends of the Wirtanen Pioneer Farm in Markham as well as the Nordic Center in Duluth.
The original Eli Wirtanen Finnish Farmstead is located 40 miles North of Duluth on Vermilion Trail – (Map)
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.