View Full Version : Oregon Swedish Finns

24-04-04, 02:13
It's been interesting to talk to SFHS members across Oregon this week. K-G Olin arrives tomorrow in Seattle to begin his 10 days of interviewing descendents for his book about Oregon Swedish Finns. You can contact him at his email or ours.

Of course, Coos Bay, Portland, and Astoria will be covered on his trip. Lots of people have been identified there! But if you haven't yet been contacted, PLEASE contact me. KG would very much like to get your family's story!

Then I ventured into Salem and discovered three members who each believed they are the only Swedish Finns in their area. Hope they contact one another now.

And no one mentions Drain, for example. Yes, I know! Every time I drive through Drain, I smile at the name, and then continue the long haul to San Diego. But wasn't that a logical place for people in the Coos Bay river basin to migrate to if they headed east over the ridge? And Grants' Pass. There sure USED to be Swedish Finns there.



24-04-04, 09:22
I entered Syrene's list of the members of the Runeberg lodge in Coos Bay.

The listing plus the few others that are collected can be found at this page (http://sfhs.eget.net/wikiruneberg.html) on the SFHS web site.

21-10-04, 19:57
Until four years ago I lived in Coos Bay, Oregon as I have taken a job down that way. As a budding genealogist I was pleasantly suprised that my ggrandfather Otto Gustafsson had lived and worked in the Reedsport-Coos Bay-Coquille region for many years. His emigration was conventional to the east coast but when he boarded a train bound for the west coast he soon found out that he had not enough money. (Apparently he failed to get complete information from the emigration office). The train crews took pity on him though and gave him enough food to survive on the frieght train he finally made it to San Francisco on. He then boarded a lumber vessel as crewman , but when the ship arrived in Coos Bay to take on lumber, he jumped ship and took up work as a timber feller. I have more details if you have any interest.

22-10-04, 02:42
Hi Gus,
YES! SFHS is very interested in Swedish Finnish communities everywhere. But Coos Bay has always interested my husband Don and I, I don't know why. Maybe because it's such a beautiful location. And parts of it are still so remote.

Why do I ask you to tell us more? Well...
SFHS' goals are 1) to preserve traces of Swedish-speaking emigrants from Finland, since they merged so quickly into Swedish communities. The Swedes emigrated as much as 20 years earlier than people from Finland, so many institutions like Vasa Lodge and the Lutheran Churches were in place when Finlandssvenskar arrived. A second goal is to "Build Bridges" between Finland and her emigrant descendents and between the descendents themselves. A third goal is to inform our society about the culture and heritage of Swedish Finns.

If you would be kind enough to place your family's story on the Delphi web page, you will achieve all three goals, since others may be looking for that connection. And the Delphi material will be archived for the future.

Yes, please share more of your history.

22-10-04, 03:00
...and parts of it are still so remote.

I found it funny that you used the term remote, as Remote Oregon is about 45 minutes from Coos Bay! :)

This is the first I've heard of Delphi can you direct me to an overview site? Kiitos!

22-10-04, 17:25
Hi Gus,
The first page is a list of general topics. To get there, the address is
I send my material to Hasse, and he inserts it. For more experienced computer users, he'll send instructions for text preparation.

It's intended to be an interactive site. So any word which may eventually have additional entries crossreferenced to it, like a person, place, thing, has a (?) appended to it. When a researcher clicks the (?), Delphi searches its database for other linked material and presents a list for further research. As an example, when we get the Swedish Finnish church membership list prepared and entered, a person who clicks on Gustafson in your entry will be offered the name in the church list as well. If that person wishes to enter additional information to Coos Bay entries, s/he may do that as well.

Hope that helps. Hasse is the one who set up the page, and is the best one to answer questions. You can e-mail him directly at the members' register.

Best regards,