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My great-grandmother, Aina Vuopio was born on September 24, 1882. Out of the ten children in her family, Aina was the second eldest. They lived in Tornio, Finland.
Aina's brother Eli was the oldest child in the house. When Eli turned eighteen, he went America to start a new life. He live there for one year and thought it was a beautiful country, and a land of opportunity. There were many jobs, so he thought that Aina would like to come. Eli sent her the money to come. Since she was eighteen her parents allowed her to come. No one else in her family had the money to go so Aina went alone. She left on a boat from Sweden in the springtime. The days on the ship lasted very long! Some people got very sick and caught some diseases. Aina only got seasick though.
Eli was mining up in the Copper Country in Michigan. He mined at the Deleware Mine and lived in poikatalo. He arranged for Aina to come to the Copper Country by train. Aina stayed in Hancock, Mi and worked as a piika for an American family in East Hancock. She had that job for three years until she met Oscar Nordstrom.
Oscar was a miner at the Quincy Mine when he first moved to America. He didn't like that job, so he became a butcher.
Oscar and Aina fell in love and got married on Anthony farm. It is only one block away from were I live now. It's now the corner of Poplar and Prospect Streets. The Anthony Farm was a farm that belonged to Ainas aunt and uncle. Oscar and Aina had a private wedding indoors.
After the wedding, Oscar and Aina moved to a house on Sumit Streets in Hancock, Mi. Aina quit being a piika and became a housewife. Oscar opened his own grocery store. They had nine children, six girls and three boys.
Aina never returned to Finland. The rest of her family came over in later years. Aina died on August 21, 1941. My grandmother was only eighteen years at this time and a senior in school. It was very depressing for her and the rest of her siblings. My grandmother, had to help the younger children and take part in the role of playing their mother. After, a couple of years, Oscar remarried and they were all happy again. Oscar died in 1956.
© Lisa Heinonen
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