HISTORY OF FINN CREEK OPEN AIR MUSEUM:
The Finn Creek Open Air Museum was established in 1975.The parcel of land that the museum sets on was homesteaded by the Sifert Tapio family. The Finn Creek Museum is the fourth occupant of the land. Other owners were the late Beatrice and Wilbert Tumberg and Arnold and Patricia Tumberg families. Finn Creek Museum purchased the property from the Arnold and Patricia Tumberg family.
Some of the original buildings that are still on the premises are the house, summer kitchen and the grainery. The "Savu Sauna" may also have been an original building. The buildings that have been moved in are: the two log barns from the Bendix family of Deer Creek, Minnesota; the corn crib and the school house from Henning, Minnesota; and the town hall from Leaf Lake near Henning or Otter Tail, Minnesota.
All of the other buildings have been built on the premises, they are: the steel sheds, the saw-mill shelter, the Heinola store, the Chapel, and the entertainment center. The entertainment center has been re-roofed and newly sided. The kitchen has been remodeled.
Ken Tervola Construction built the chapel, the store and did the restoration work on the other buildings.
The Finn Creek facilities are used for a variety of activities, such as reunions, weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, other celebrations and funerals.
During the "Fall Festival" there is a traditional old-time worship service in both the Finnish and English languages. The "Fall Festival" is usually held in late August and a large number of people from various ethnic backgrounds attend.
There are still a few descendants of the Tapio family living in the area, including: Mrs Norman Bentley (Tegla) who was a daughter of the Sifert Tapio family; Roger Bentley, a grandson of the Sifert Tapio family (Roger is also a volunteer at the Museum--he calls it his second home).
During the summer the museum is open daily from Memorial Day until Labor Day.
Maintenance of the grounds and buildings is done by volunteers.
Willard Paju, Willard Takkinen and Wilbert Tumberg decided to buy a saw mill to saw lumber from the trees growing on the Finn Creek Land. The lumber was then used for construction project on the premises. The saw mill was purchased in Jenkins, Minnesota. The trees (tammarack, poplar and a few spruce) were felled in early 1985 with plans to continue logging later that fall. Paju, Takkinen and Tumberg donated all of their time and labor to the Finn Creek Museum.
The grain separator was purchased in 1945 by brothers Hjalmer, Richard and William Tumberg and their brother inlaw Oscar Amberg. The families of the afore mentioned parties donated the machine to the Finn Creek Museum. The machine had not been used by the families for 27 years and, due to the harsh outdoor elements of Minnesota, was in need of repair. Richard Lausten, a local Carpenter, replaced all of the rotted wooden parts. Another local man made new babbit bearings for the machine. The old threshing machine has been used during the "Fall Festival" for a number of years. This demonstration shows a new generation how the work was done previous to the modern day Combine.