View Full Version : "Moses" on Lake Kuolajärvi

Karen Norwillo
31-01-05, 01:35
My mother-in-law will ask from time to time, "tell me again about Baby Moses." I know she's not talking about the biblical tale of Moses in the bulrushes, but of the son of my great-great uncle Johan.
Johan Erkki Sulasalmi and his wife Kreeta had a farm on the shores of Lake Kuolajärvi.When their son Matti was four, they began building a new house. It was almost finished except for the oven, which needed new bricks.
One day after returning from a prayer meeting on the other side of the lake with a boatload of clay for the bricks, it got very windy. The boat sank close to shore. Matti, who was sitting in a basket made of shingles, floated to shore. Johan and Kreeta drowned. All his life Matti was called Vesi Matti or Water Matti'
Matti had been a "rich" boy, but grew up poor. Whoever raised him sold off his property and wasted the profits.
Matti moved to Vuorikyla at seventeen. He married Aina Maria Luusua and they had eight children. When WWII broke out, all of Lapland had to be evacuated. They lost two sons in the war. After the peace, they returned to Salla and were given land in Varvikko to replace the farm lost to the Russians. They lived on that farm until they died. Vesi Matti died at 75 in 1970. He was my first cousin thrice removed.

Karen Douglas
01-02-05, 22:04

The story of your "Moses" and his struggle in life was a sad one, but what a wonderful piece of family lore! How did you hear about this?


Karen Norwillo
01-02-05, 22:15
I received the information from a cousin in Salla. Matti was her grandfather. She helped me greatly in my research of my paternal grandfather's family. Karen