July 24 – 28, 2024

Along the south shore of Lake Superior in Douglas and Bayfield counties are found the oldest and most extensive Finnish farming communities in Wisconsin. We will visit several sites, including the Davidson Windmill, an engineering marvel from 1900 that ground 300 pounds of grain every hour, the Eskolin house, and the historic Waino Chapel. The Oulu Cultural & Heritage Center in Bayfield County features several historic Finnish buildings along with period artifacts. The site includes the John and Justina Palo Homestead, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The tour will demonstrate the efforts of local volunteers in the preservation of the Finnish culture. An ethnic Finnish-American lunch consisting of mojakka, riisipuuro, pulla, rieska, garden vegetables, and beverages will be served in the rustic timber frame pavilion at the site. Presenters: Duane Lahti and Jim Pellman.

Presenter Bio: Duane Lahti is a founder and president of the Oulu Cultural & Heritage Center and a member of the Bayfield County Historical Society and Oulu Historical Society Board Directors. His involvement with historic preservation and building restoration extends back several years. As a lifetime resident of Oulu, these restoration efforts hold a special meaning as we work to show the future generations what life was like during the settlement and development of the Finnish communities in northern Wisconsin. Jim Pellman is a founder and member of the Old Brule Heritage Society. He is well versed in the history of the area and has given several presentations as well as being a leader in the preservation of the Davidson Windmill site and the Monticello School. He has strong family roots in the Maple community of Douglas County.