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Archival description
Finnish-Canadians
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Thunder Bay Finnish Canadian Historical Society collection

  • Collection

A vast and varied collection of records documenting the experiences of Finnish immigrants to Northwestern Ontario. Includes correspondence, manuscripts, photographs, interviews, published material, and ephemera. The photograph collection is extensive and covers a wide range of subjects.

The records are arranged into the following series:
A - Bay Street Project
B - Finnpraxis Project
C - Collections
D - Photographs
E - Miscellaneous
F - Finnish Experience

The Finnish Building Company

Account books and minute books of the Finnish Building Company, an organization formed in 1909 to raise funds for the construction of the Finnish Labour Temple (Big Finn Hall) at 314 Bay Street.

Raija Warkentin fonds

  • Fonds

Records of an oral history project conducted with people who travelled to Soviet Karelia. Includes approved and unapproved transcripts, audio cassette recordings, agreements with researchers, and related documentation.

Many of the documents include information that interviewees wish to be kept private. Access will be restricted, except for approved transcripts, and when appropriate measures or agremeents are in place.

Other Ledgers

Ledgers and account books for a variety of organizations.

  1. National Joint-Stock Bank Account Book, probably from the Hoito Restaurant, February (March 1930) to November 28, 1939 (Balance note April 30, 1940), sum of money listed both in Finmarks and dollars

  2. M. Kaartisen’s Accounts. No organization name given. Entries vary – mostly subscriptions to papers, August 24, 1932 (9)? To March 29, 1943

  3. Social Democratic Party of Canada (P.A.)? January 1915 to January 1918. Records of:
    1) Expenditures
    2) Membership ledger (1915 and 1916)
    3) Accounts (1915)
    4) Stamp account (1915)

  4. Finnish Hall Co. Receipt (or Account) Book, June 1910 to June 14, 1911.

  5. Various Subscription Records, 1928 to 1939, no organization given. Book kept in turn by:
    1) M. Kaartinen
    2) Mrs. Lankola

  6. Notebook, Hoito Restaurant(?), listing meal tickets sold. 1910.

  7. Minute book, Theatrical Society Executive Committee, October 22, 1927 to September 28, 1930.

  8. Subscription Records Ledger for the publication ‘Tie Vapauteen’ (Road to Freedom), 1921 and 1929

Miscellaneous

Articles, clippings, research notes, correspondence, copies of organizational minutes, diaries, and other materials not categorized elsewhere in the TBFCHS collection. Includes materials related to the Finnish Building Company, Otava Male Choir, and a diary of the Finnish Civil War.

Labour Temple Time Capsule

  • Collection
  • 1909

This time capsule reflects the intentions of the builders of the Labour Temple at the start of construction. It demonstrates an awareness of posterity and their hopes for the cultural significance of the building. The documents clearly reflect the socialist beliefs of the builders.

  • Copper box, damaged during retrieval in 2022.
  • Printed text of a speech given by Moses Hahl during the dedication.
  • Minutes of the Executive of the Finnish Building Company, October 25, 1909.
  • Two copies of Työkansa newspaper (Port Arthur), October 21, 1909. One printed on paper and the other on silk.
  • One copy of Työmies newspaper (Hancock, Michigan), October 16, 1909.

Kajander Family fonds

  • Fonds
  • 1900 - 1970

Einar and Hilma Kajander were immigrants from Finland, and were active in local organizations. Their son Art was a lawyer, and later Finnish Consul. Grandchild Ann is faculty at Lakehead University.

These photographs depict the Kajander family and their friends, in and about the Port Arthur area, approximately 1900 to 1970. The photographs include studio portraits and candid photographs printed at a variety of sizes. The images primarily depict family life and outdoor recreation.

Einar Kajander (1882-1973) and Hilma (Muhonen) Kajander (1886-1965) met in Canada and married in Port Arthur in 1909. Einar worked as a miner, and later opened a grocery store in Port Arthur. Both were involved with local sports organizations and the Finnish Labour Temple, and Hilma sang in Oras Choir.

Aatto Arthur Kajander (1913-1998) attended university in Toronto, was a lawyer in Thunder Bay for 55 years, and served as Finnish Consul appointed in 1957. He was also heavily involved in music and outdoor activities.

Hoito Restaurant

The Hoito Cooperative Restaurant was established in 1918, to serve the needs of Finnish-Canadian workers in Port Arthur, and still operates from the Finnish Labour Temple, 314 Bay Street.

This collection is made up of minute books and account books covering the early years of the restaurant's operations.

Finnpraxis Project

Collected records related to organized labour and the Finnish community in Thunder Bay. Include records related to the Canadan Suomalaisen Jarjesto (Finnish Organization of Canada), Vapaus Publishing Company, Canadan Farmarien Yhteysliitto (Farmers' Unity League of Canada), Lumber & Agricultural Workers Industrial Union of Canada.

Also includes forms and notes related to oral history interviews.

Finnish Radio Tapes

  • Collection

Recordings of radio programs produced in Finnish.

Finnish Building Company fonds

  • Fonds

The Finnish Building Company was formed in 1909 and raised funds for the construction of the Finnish Labour Temple (Big Finn Hall) at 314 Bay Street.

Finlandia Club collection

  • Collection
  • 1903 - 1965

Collection is organized into the following series:
I. Hoito Restaurant
II. Port Arthur Workingmen’s Association: Imatra no. 9
III. C.T.K.L. (Canadian Industrial Unions: Port Arthur’s Finnish Association)
IV. C.U.T. (Canadian News Service) and C.T.K.L.
V. Finlandia Club
VI. Finnish Socialist Local no. 6: Port Arthur
VII. Lumber Workers’ Industrial Union of the One Big Union
VIII. New Attempt Temperance Society
IX. Finnish Athletic Club: Nahjus
X. Finnish Building Company
XI. Miscellaneous

Collections

Original records and research collections arranged by a variety of subjects and creators.

  • Bay Street Project research materials
  • Business & industry
  • Genealogy, people, & families
  • Greeting cards
  • News articles
  • Einar Nordstrom collection (phonographs & transcripts)
  • Organizations (including Suomalainen Osasto (Finnish Association), Finnish Building Company, Canadan Teollisuusunionistinen Kannatus Liitto (CTKL), Canadan Uutistoimisto (CUT), Vapaus Publishing Company, Tyolaisnaisten Liitto, Port Arthur Finnish History Society, Port Arthur Finnish Language School)

Canadan Uutiset fonds

  • Fonds
  • 1935 - 1975

The correspondence, receipts, newspaper clippings, and several articles of the Canadan Uutiset, a Finnish-language newspaper based in Thunder Bay.

Canadan Teollisuusunionistinen Kannatus Liitto (CTKL) fonds

  • Fonds
  • 1909 - 1979

The CTKL fonds receives its title from Canadan Teollisuusunionistinen Kannatus Liitto, the Finnish organization which translates to the Canadian Industrial Union Support Circle. This organization was the majority shareholder of the Labour Temple at 314 Bay Street in Port Arthur from 1925 to 1972 and was disbanded in 1979. Prior to 1926, the central administration of the CTKL was in Sudbury after which it relocated to Port Arthur.

The CTKL was made up of supporters of industrial unionism who formed associations in their own local communities and observed rules and regulations as established by an executive committee. This executive committee, the Toimeenpanevakomitea (TPK), was comprised of members of the CTKL elected annually from the central administration and from the local associations. This committee managed the affairs of the league and supported industrial unionism through agitation by engaging speakers, supporting workers in their union activities, and through monetary assistance, as well as writing, publishing, and distributing written materials.

Significant cultural and social events at the Labour Temple and at other branches were supported by the CTKL during the peak years of labour organization.

The records contain minutes of meetings, correspondence, financial records, publications, and miscellaneous items. The fonds has been divided into series as follows:
A - Finnish Building Company
B - Hoito Restaurant
C - One Big Union
D - CTKL
E - Industrial Workers of the World
F - Lumber Workers Industrial Union #120
G - Canadian News Service
H - Miscellaneous

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