Finnish Heritage House offers exhibits

By Roxanne Moore Saucier, BDN Columnist
Posted Sept. 26, 2010, at 5:50 p.m.

If you travel Route 131 in South Thomaston, you may have noticed that the Finnish Heritage House is all spruced up thanks to the well-applied paintbrush of volunteer Edgar “Bud” Van Horn.

Hours are 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesdays, through mid-October, and 9 a.m.-noon Saturdays, through mid-December.

Special exhibits on Finnish grandmothers and grandfathers, and one on Finnish servants — piikas — are on display through Oct. 13.

An interest in piikas, of which her mother had been one, is part of the legacy of June Ranta Wilcox of Winterport, who died on Aug. 19.

Wilcox last summer compiled the FHH cookbook, “From a Finnish Kitchen,” but that was just one of several projects that came from her heart and hands.

“June took a special interest in researching the Finnish settlement on the River Road, Route 131 from the Thomaston town line to Port Clyde and created maps of the farms along the road and also researched the Finnish families,” wrote Steve Gifford in the fall issue of Iltatahti — Evening Star, the newsletter of Finnish Heritage House.

It also was June’s idea to have a fall celebration each year. The Finn Fling was held earlier this month.

What a busy group the membership of FHH is. Juhannus — midsummer — was celebrated in June with the Finn-Am Society of Mid-Coastal Maine.

More than a dozen people are participating in kantele lessons with Sarah Cummings-Ridge. The kantele is the national instrument of Finland.

FHH also has made plans for several phases of improvements to the building, the first of which was the construction of bookshelves in the attic so that books and artifacts could be stored there.

Some members plan to attend the Finn Funn weekend set for Oct. 29-31 in Troy, N.H. For information, e-mail mks_nh@hotmail.com or call Martha Silander at 603-242-6402.

FHH has a nice website at www.finnheritage.org.

Visit the site to look at recent newsletters and to check out pages on “Genealogical Websites” and “Finland Yesterday and Today.”

You may join Finnish Heritage House for $10 a year or $45 for five years, sending checks to Finnish Heritage House, P.O. Box 293, South Thomaston 04858.

Donations in June Ranta Wilcox’s memory may be sent to the same address. Her obituary in the Bangor Daily News is available online at www.bangordailynews.com. Click on “Obituaries,” then on “Obituaries Archive.”

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Did you know that the Bangor Daily News website has more than 48,000 obituaries and death notices from 2004 to the present online?

I looked up “Saucier” and found 111 entries that mentioned someone named Saucier.

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The Aroostook County Genealogical Society will meet today at the home of Edwin Jay Bullard, 44 Park St., Caribou. Lise M. Pelletier will speak on the Acadian Archives at the University of Maine at Fort Kent. Meeting time is usually at 6:30 p.m. For directions, call Jay at 492-5501.

3444. JONES-PRITCHARD. Seeking ancestors of Sumner Jones and wife Frances (Pritchard), who lived in Waite and Lakeville areas in late 1890s. Virginia Jones, P.O. Box 397, Compton, NH 03223.

3445. DAVIS-PROUTY-DOUGHTY. Need help on Sarah Jane Davis, born Nov. 7, 1819 (Maine?). She married Jonas Prouty on Oct. 4, 1844, in Bangor, and died March 4, 1869, in Veazie. He had a daughter Lizzie B. Prouty, born Sept. 14, 1864, Veazie, married first Alonzo C. Doughty. Can anyone tell me anything about her? Elaine Goode, 309 Ohio St., Bangor 04401, mag1938@aol.com.

Send genealogy queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor, ME 04402; or e-mail queries to familyti@bangordailynews.com.

http://bangordailynews.com/2010/09/26/living/finnish-heritage-house-offers-exhibits/ printed on September 30, 2014