Preserving Finn Town history
DeKALB — In 2006, Diane Rodgers moved to the west side of DeKalb. During walks through her new neighborhood, she noticed “this grand old building” and wondered what it was.
The building turned out to be the old Majakka Hall, which was built in 1917 and has been the home of the DeKalb Area Women’s Center since 1993. It wasn’t until she attended an art show there that the Northern Illinois University professor discovered a stage, ticket booth and balcony inside the hall, which was a major gathering place for Finnish immigrants in what was once called Finn Town.
“I didn’t know there was a Finn Town anywhere, let alone in DeKalb,” Rodgers said. She was so intrigued, she began researching both the building and the community.
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