Experience Old World Serenity

Tag: farm

2018 Spring Newsletter & Annual Meeting

Dear Friends,

Hope you were able to make it to the Bake Sale last November. It is always a fun and flavorful occasion. It was a good fundraiser for the farm.

We want to invite you to come out and visit with Friends of Wirtanen Pioneer Farm on Sunday April 15th at 3 pm for the Annual Meeting at the Colvin Town Hall on Hwy 4 in Markham, MN.

Researcher Kyle Maunu will be presenting, Co-op Country: Reflections on Nearly 100 Years of Cooperation in Northern Minnesota.  Included in his presentation will be an exhibit of rare cooperative memorabilia and artifacts.

Mr. Maunu is a History graduate from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and has been researching our area’s cooperative movement for nearly two decades. He was curator for the Carlton County Historical Society’s exhibit The Spirit of Cooperatives in 1999. Mr. Maunu conducted an oral history project, funded by the Wirtanen Family Fund of the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation, documenting Carlton County’s co-op history in 2000 and has spoken on the topic of cooperatives from Thunder Bay, ONT to Brule, WI.

There will be lunch in the “Finnish Tradition” following the meeting. Bring a dish to share.


Darlene Saumer, 


Come Explore Eli’s Farm – St. Louis Historical Society

About Eli’s Farm:

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)


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,