Welcome to Cape Ann Finns, an organization that documents and preserves information about Finnish and American Finnish families, their community, social and work lives from the mid-1800s to the present in Rockport and Gloucester, Massachusetts. Visitors are invited to view, comment, and contribute by clicking the Archive button above to access our public Many Finns, Many Stories archive.

We invite you to join CAF's 300+ membership and its nearly 550 Facebook friends on our group page, Cape Ann Finns.


Open to everyone, Cape Ann Finns is a nonprofit, incorporated organization affiliated since 2017 with Finlandia Foundation National. Rockport and Gloucester, Massachusetts, were home since the 1860s to Finnish immigrants, the fourth largest immigrant population here, whose imprint needs to be recorded by the last generation who knew them and the first generation of Finnish Americans that followed.

To preserve our Finnish heritage, members contribute all forms of media such as recorded interviews, stories, memories, photographs, news articles, documents, and events to its Many Finns, Many Stories online archive. CAF collaborates with established organizations, principally the Lanesville Community Center, to develop quality programs of interest to the public, bringing attention to our heritage locally, regionally, and nationally.

Directors of CAF for 2023-24 are Elana Pistenmaa Brink, Ann Thompson Freiss, Raymond Hildonen, Nikki Korkatti, Valerie Nelson, Fred Peterson, Robert Ranta, Barbara Greel Sachs, Dona Kaihlanen Shea, and Wayne Soini.


Membership provides:

  • Membership in Finlandia Foundation National and a subscription to its quarterly newsletter,
  • Free attendance at CAF-run events,
  • A minimum of two free annual programs,
  • A vote at the Annual Meeting.

Membership in Cape Ann Finns follows the calendar year.
New members do not pay dues in the year they join.

Thereafter, a $10 fee per household is due any time between January 1 and December 31, annually.

Join CAF now. You will receive periodic reminders. Remit the fee when convenient.

To join:

  1. Print a copy of the application, fill it out, then mail it to Cape Anns Finns, P.O. Box 804, Rockport, MA 01966.
  2. Email your name and telephone number to capeannfinns@gmail.com.
  3. Call 202-420-8548.


All Cape Ann Finns events are located by month in this Combined Calendar of chapter events throughout New England. (http://www.ffnaffiliateevents.com/calendar) CAF events and updates are shown in a dark gray / charcoal color in the calendar format. Or click the "Agenda" button for a list of events by month.

We are pleased to participate in Mass Cultural Council's Card to Culture program in collaboration with the Department of Transitional Assistance, the Women, Infants & Children (WIC) Nutrition Program, and the Massachusetts Health Connector, by broadening accessibility to cultural programming.

EBT, WIC, and ConnectorCare cardholders receive free admission or 50% off the ticket costs, depending upon the activity. Present your card at the event. See the complete list of participating organizations offering EBT, WIC, and ConnectorCare discounts.

Brought to you by Finlandia Foundation National Affiliate Events

Emigration Monument, Hanko, Finland, taking flight for North America

Immigration Monument, Bryant Park, Lake Worth, Florida, arriving in the U.S.

Rockport and Gloucester, Mass., home to 5000 Finns in early 20th century

Alexandra Varsamaki Seppala, right, and friends mending loomed riepumatto or rag rugs

Traditional sauvasauna (smoke sauna) of the Andrew Pistenmaa family, Lanesville, Gloucester, Mass.

Pelastaja Temperance Society, Wainola hall, Waino band members and families, Lanesville, Mass.

Valon Leimu (Glow of Light) Temperance Society members, Rockport, Mass.

The Finnish Workers Association’s Finn Hall, Lanesville, Gloucester, Mass.

Murtaja Socialist/workers hall, Squam Road, Rockport, Mass.

Finnish church (St. Paul Lutheran, Rockport, Mass.) Women’s Club

American Legion Band, Rockport, Mass.

The Finns’ Main Street , Finn Alley (Forest St., Rockport, Mass.) St. Paul Lutheran church on left, Valon Leimu far right, “Rentalas” or apartments, near right, for bachelor Finnish quarry workers

Finnish men dominated the qranite quarry labor force on Cape Ann.