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So how did Finn Hill get its name? Well, Rob Entrekin of Finn Hill Winery explains, “This story started in December 1903 when Ben and Hilma Reinikainen set sail from Helsinki, Finland, for America. After living in Ballard for a few years, they bought 10 acres for $300 and were the first family to build on what is now Finn Hill. Most of the first growth timber had been cut, so the land was not expensive due to all of the large tree stumps. Over the years, other Finnish family and friends joined them and bought property, until by 1945 there were approximately 50 Finnish households located on the main section of what became known as Finn Hill.”
Today, Finn Hill is pretty much internationalized in its wonderful character so no matter where you choose to live, the stumps should be long gone and your family can easily enjoy a BBQ in your back yard where a great tree once stood. Just remember on those special occasions to say a toast to pioneers like Ben and Hilma who helped make Finn Hill such a wonderful place to live today.
As a footnote, after preparing the foregoing comments, I was just ecstatic to find a copy of a presentation from Finnfest, USA held at the University of Washington in 1999 that I’m so very pleased to share with you in its original entirety. The dear presenter is none other than Doris Snow, the granddaughter of Ben and Hilma Reinikainen. What a picture she paints of times gone by for all of us to enjoy through her eyes. Thank you so much Doris for bringing the past to life for all of us.