Join Gorge Owned for a Sense of Place lecture series focused on the Finnish history of Hood River on Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. the Columbia Center for the Arts. In this lecture, led by Maija Annala Yasui, learn about the Finnish community that settled in the Hood River Valley in the early 1900s. 

Hear stories and see photos from the Annala, Hukari, and Jakku families and learn about their journey to the United States — starting in Finland and traveling to the mines of Minnesota, plains of North Dakota, and finally to the West Coast and the Columbia River Gorge. How did their migration change them as well as the community in which they settled? And what similarities and differences were there between the Finnish experience settling in the Gorge and that of another group, the Japanese?

Yasui was born in Hood River in 1950 into an extended family of Finns. She worked in prevention research and practice for more than 25 years in the county as well as at the state and national level. She has written a monthly column for the Hood River News since 1992, recounting many of the stories of her youth. She lives on Willow Flat Ranch — where she farmed and raised a family with her husband of nearly 50 years, Flip Yasui — surrounded by her three children and seven grandchildren, who continue to work on the farm as well.

This is a new date for Yasui’s lecture.

“Shaping the Hood River Watershed,” is now scheduled for Feb. 19. Doors open at 6 p.m., the talk starts at 7 p.m. Cost is a $5-$10 suggested donation.

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