Welcome to Cape Ann Finns, a website that preserves information about Finnish families, their community, social and work lives from the mid-1800s to the present in Rockport and Gloucester, Massachusetts. Visitors are invited to contribute information by clicking Open Forum. In addition, join CAF. Membership in our organization of over 250 gives access to the entire online archive and an option for dedicated space to record your family’s heritage. Use the Facebook icon above to join our group page, Cape Ann Finns.


Open to everyone, Cape Ann Finns is a not for profit, incorporated organization affiliated with Finlandia Foundation National. Rockport and Gloucester, Massachusetts, were home in the early twentieth century to 5000 Finnish immigrants 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 for future generations, members contribute primarily to an online record of all forms of media such as digitally recorded interviews, stories, memories, photographs, news articles, books, events, interest groups in order to create an accessible record of the Finnish families, their community life and work. CAF collaborates with established organizations to develop quality programs of interest to members, the public as they bring attention to our heritage locally, regionally, and nationally.

Directors of CAF for 2018-20 are Elana Pistenmaa Brink, Nikki Korkatti, Valerie Nelson, Robert Ranta, Dona Kaihlanen Shea, and Wayne Soini.


Membership provides:

  • Access to the members section of capeannfinns.com in which most of the heritage information is archived.
  • Automatic membership in Finlandia Foundation National, its quarterly newsletter,
  • Attendance at CAF-run group projects as participant or interested listener,
  • A minimum of two events annually at no cost,
  • A vote at the Annual Meeting.

Membership in Cape Ann Finns follows the calendar year. A $10 annual fee per household is due any time after January 1 annually.

Join CAF now. Remit the fee when convenient.

To join, send your address, email address, and Facebook name (if any):

by email to capeannfinns@gmail.com,
or call 202-420-8548,
or print, complete, and mail the application to:

Cape Ann Finns
P.O. Box 804
Rockport, MA 01966

Use the information above to contact CAF.

September 13 event postponed
2020 Nordic Events on Cape Ann
What When Where Information Contact
Sirkka Past & Present, documentary about activist Sirkka Tuomi Holm, 99, who lived with her mom and dad in 1920s Lanesville.
Friday, Feb. 21
7:00 p.m.
Spiran Hall,
18 Broadway, Rockport
Valerie Nelson
Sirkka Past & Present, documentary about activist Sirkka Tuomi Holm, 99, who lived with her mom and dad in 1920s Lanesville.
Sunday, Feb 23,
4:00 p.m.
Lanes-ville CC,
8 Vulcan St. Gloucester
Valerie Nelson
Boston Ballet, reVolution, Mikko Koskinen, artistic director
Sunday, Mar. 1, buses depart 11:45 a.m., St. Paul Church Boston Opera House Valerie Nelson
Boston Symphony Orchestra Hannu Lintu, conductor
Friday, Mar. 6, buses depart 11:30 a.m., St. Paul Church Symphony Hall, Boston Valerie Nelson
POSTPONED Faces of the Community, Nordics create self-portraits to represent our community in this Cape Ann Museum’s Cape-wide exhibit to be unveiled in June at the White Ellery House. Perfect family generational activity. Your best effort is the desired outcome. Sat., Mar. 14, Lanes-ville CC,
1:30-3:00 p.m.
Lanesville CC,
8 Vulcan St., Gloucester
Suzi Natti
POSTPONED to November Sara Pajunen & Teija Niku (Allotar) play their original composition commissioned by St. Paul & its pastor in tribute to the Finnish roots of our community.
Sunday, May 3,
10:00 a.m.
St. Paul Lutheran Church, 1123 Washington St., Gloucester Anne Wheeler
POSTPONED More Finnish plays in translation, year two Friday, May 1, 7:30
Saturday, May 2, 7:30
Sunday, May 3, 3:00
Spiran Hall,
18 Broadway, Rockport
Rockport Community Theatre Troupe
Fifth Lanesville May Day History Festival
POSTPONED More Finnish plays in translation, year two Friday, May 15, 7:00
Sunday May 17, 3:00
Lanesville CC,
8 Vulcan St., Gloucester
Rockport Theatre Troupe
POSTPONED Cape Ann Nordic & Yankee food with Heather Atwood & potluck Saturday, May 16, 5:00, Atwood Potluck 6:00 p.m. Lanesville CC,
8 Vulcan St., Gloucester
Valerie Nelson
Many Finns, Many Stories, CAF members and anyone interested bring stories, memories, documents, photos, etc. to share, assemble, copy, scan for a heritage archive. Attend 1, 2, or all sessions:
Sat., June 20,

POSTPONED Sat., Aug. 15,
Sun., Sept. 13,

Lanesville CC

St Paul Lutheran Church
Rob Ranta
CAF Annual Meeting TBD
Oral interview training/interviews spring training TBD interviews on going Rob Ranta

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.