Finns in America

Ruth & I never made it to Mesquite, NV because of a massive truck accident. This occurred in the summer of 2021. We finally gave up trying to get to Mesquite, a town we like because we won our only casino jackpot there, and spent the night in Cedar City, UT, a town very different from Mesquite. This required a travel correction the next day so we ended up in Ely instead of southern Nevada. On the road to Basin & Range we ran into delaying road construction and made another correction. That’s why we ended up again in Pioche.

Somewhere along these detouring roads I saw a sign for Little Finland. Because I did not know anything about this destination I wrote down this name. I have always been a fan of Finland and have been there several times. One of my first major trips to Europe included this country, and I quickly took Ruth back to it to learn more about its unique culture and design mentality. Little Finland turned out to be a remote area of the Mojave Desert near Lake Mead. It’s 48 miles from the town of Mesquite and sounds worth visiting. The sources I checked compare it to Goblin Valley, a very unusual state park in central Utah. Ruth & I first heard about Goblin Valley at another great Utah State Park called Dead Horse Point. Because it is so remote and unvisited, Goblin Valley deserves more attention. While we were at Moki Dugway this summer, I wrote down the name of another Utah State Park that sounds interesting called Goosenecks. Near Blanding, it is known for rare geologic formations like those found in Goblin Valley. We clearly love Utah!

I looked to see how many other places have Finland in their name. Because 389,000 Finns came to the USA to live between 1870 and the 1920s, I figured there were lots of Little Finlands around. Wrong! There are only 5 places named Finland and 2 named Helsinki in the entire world, and all but one of them are in cold areas. The 3 towns named Finland in the USA are in Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina. The one in Pennsylvania is in Bucks County between Scranton and Philadelphia, but the 3 towns named Finland are all so small that the one in Minnesota is the largest with only 195 residents. Finns clearly love not living in towns.

There is reportedly a Finland in Sweden and a 5th one in Canada’s Ontario. The Canadian Finland is 886 miles west of Ottawa and north of Minnesota, a state with a large number of immigrant Finns. There are said to be 64,000 of them. However, Michigan has even more with 68,000 ex-Finns. Many Finns came to live in Minnesota to work in the iron mines, but a lot of Finns also settled on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. There is a Finlandia University in Hancock, MI, and Finns established some entire towns like tiny Herman, which is in Michigan. Many Finns went to Canada to live. I have experienced Finns in Thunder Bay, Ontario and Winnipeg, Manitoba.

There are said to be 2 Helsinkis, and both of them are in Finland. One is near Turku and the other is this nation’s capital. The larger Helsinki has grown to be a major city with a population of 1,316,757. It was far smaller when I first visited.


About roads-rus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roads-rus

One response to “Finns in America

  • Keny Stewart

    Your in our old stomping grounds. We drive through Mesquite often on our way to Duck Creek just beyond Cedar City to stay at our friend’s cabin. We also like Cedar City for its Shakespeare Festival every summer. Ely is our yearly camping camping outing at Cave Lake.

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