Finnish Temperance Hall – Stop #2

Finn Hall is at the corner of South Grove and Rocklin Road. It is the most visible reminder of Rocklin’s once dominant Finnish culture.

Rocklin’s first Finns were among millions of Europeans who immigrated to New York and other East Coast ports in the late 19th century. Finland’s harsh political conditions, made worse by a famine in the late 1860’s, pushed at least 350,000 Finns across the Atlantic between 1864 and 1920. Most settled in the Great Lakes States, but others headed west on the railroad.

Migration of large numbers of Finns to Rocklin started in 1880 when Finn John Mantyla acquired a granite quarry near the corner of today’s Rocklin Road and Pacific Street, known now as the Big Gun Quarry, and encouraged Bay Area Finns to join him here as quarrymen.

By the early 20th century Finns and their immediate descendants made up almost half of Rocklin’s population and were prominent in Rocklin’s politics, retail enterprises and social life.

But as the granite industry flourished so did Rocklin’s saloons. Released from the strictures of Finland’s state church, and craving relaxation after hard days in the quarries, some Finns developed worrisome drinking problems. Concerned family members established Rocklin’s Finnish Temperance Society in 1889. At first the society met in a small building which later became Rocklin’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. But by 1900 the society was feeling the need for a larger building, a hall with a broader purpose, a focal point for Finnish recreation and social life.

In her 1967 memoirs, Helen Kesti remembered that the granite blocks for the steps and foundation were donated by Finnish quarry owners. Kesti’s father and his friends could name the source of every block and whose team of horses delivered it. Finn Hall was completed in 1905.

ROCKLIN HISTORY TOUR
Early Union Granite Company QuarryJoel Parker Whitney’s Oaks Mansion
Old St. Mary’s ChapelBrigham And Hawes Quarry
Rocklin History MuseumWickman-Johnson Home
Rocklin City HallClover Valley Bridge
Barudoni BuildingRocklin Cemetery
Roundhouse SiteVictorian Homes
Huff’s SpringRailroad Depot
Capitol QuarryCopp’s Quarry
Quinn QuarryPyramid Tomb
Finn Hall
Dedicated to Gary Day, a True Champion of Rocklin

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