Finnish American Historical Society

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“We remember so that others won’t forget.”

Updated: 19 April 2010

The Cokato Finnish American Historical Society preserves the history of the Finnish pioneers and others who settled in this area of Wright County. The society is a non-profit organization that owns and maintains several historic buildings located three miles north of Cokato on County Road 3. The Finnish Pioneer Park is commonly known as Temperance Corner:

  • Log Cabin – Built in 1866, this 10′ x 12′ cabin was home to 15+ people one winter.
  • Savu Sauna – Built in 1868, acclaimed to be the oldest sauna in North America.
  • Temperance Hall – One of the oldest functioning temperance halls, built about 1896.
  • Lee School house – Opened in 1899 and originally located in French Lake Township.
  • Pioneer Memorial – Erected July 1949 in memory of the Finnish pioneers.


  • Helping Hand – From America to Finland
  • Snap Shot of the Past
  • Shattered Dreams - The Karelian Experience
  • Educational Outreach – Salolampi Winnipeg
  • Expo Display – Past Events – Memorials


  • Saturday, May 29th
  • Temperance Corner, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Honored Veteran – Martin Kotila – Program at Noon.
  • Power Point Presentation – How The Finnish Americans Helped Their Finnish Countrymen During & After the War.

Long time historical society member Martin Kotila will be this year’s veteran honored during the Memorial program, Saturday, May 29th.

Martin Kotila

Helping Hand was a relief organization in the Cokato area which sent aid to the Finnish people in their war-torn country. The noon program will feature pictures and stories of this time, 1917to 1945.


  • Saturday, June 26th, Temperance Corner.
  • 6:30 – Video about life in Karelia.
  • 7:30 – Bonfire and desserts.


  • 2010 Scholarship Winners: Ralph Kilpela and Isaac Mahlstedt.

The membership dues are $10.00 for an Individual and $15.00 for a Family. A Supporter is $25.00 and Benefactor is $100.00. As part of your membership you will receive copies of our three annual newsletters.

Donations to help carry out the work of the society are always welcome. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization so your membership dues and all donations are tax deductible.

Donations can be designated for special projects or for the general fund. They may also be made in memory of a loved one. All dues and donations should be sent to our treasurer: Karen Kotila Goga, 2370 SW Peyton Ave, Cokato MN 55321.

For more information about events, scholarships, or tours contact CFAHS President Harvey Barberg at 320-286-5823 or

For information about the newsletter, contact editor, Susan Keskey at 320-286-5001 or