SideLines: Treasures hidden in plain sight
As they say, you’re never too old to learn.
I did a story in this week’s paper about the old Majakka Hall at 1021 State St. in DeKalb being granted historical status by the city of DeKalb. In researching the story, I came upon an article written by Joan Metzger, university archives assistant of the Northern Illinois University Regional History Center, concerning not only the hall but the Finnish population in the Barb City, which was once referred to as Finn Town.
Like Diane Rodgers, the NIU professor in charge of the Majakka Hall project, I didn’t know there was such a thing as Finn Town. I was vaguely aware of an old Finnish sauna on Pleasant Street, but that was all. I knew there was a large population of Swedes, Germans, English and Hispanics in this area, but not Finns.
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