I'll add my own comments at some point in the (hopefully) near future, but for
now I'll just include this e-mail sent to my mom from her cousin Gil (who had
lived on the homestead for a while).
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2000 17:37:51 -0400
Subject: Old Johnson Homestead:
Surely enjoyed the web site with pictures of the Finn cousins and the old
homestead. Thanks a load for them.
As the senior member of this clan, I thought I'd add a few first hand
thoughts to the texts:
The leaning over cabin on the left referred to as "original farm house" was
the homestead cabin where the Johnson family lived for almost ten years
before the new large home was completed about 1912. It was a two room
affair housing six children and two parents. It was actually built prior to
the Rintakangas clan arrival by a homesteader who decided it was not for
him, and so abandoned it. If you draw a line north on the east side of the
cabin you will probable see the remains of the foundation of the new large
house of which we have many pictures of. If you continue on that line you
will be following the road pass the Fred Johnson site whose buildings were
put up in the forties. To the right will be the Poro family homestead, and
on the left will be the Nassi family homestead.
At this point you will pass through the gate fencing off the Johnson
homestead (his name was changed from Rintakangas to Johnson at the time of
Continuing on the north direction you would pass the old Elo school where I
went for first grade. All our parents also went to this school. I remember
Matt Heikkola relating how he was beaten pretty severely and often by the
teacher. He must have been a big cut-up. The school was named after Pastor
Eloheimo. His son married Ellen Jarvie and lived south of the homestead
about three homesteads down.
Coming south on the road it made a rightangle turn just as it went by the
old cabin. It continued pass the sauna on the right and the granery
building on the left. These are the three buildings still standing (cabin,
sauna and granery - left to right on the pictures). The large boulder to
the right of the granery was a favorite play spot for my sister and me, plus
other kids that occasionally came to visit.
At this point the road made another right angle turn to the right. Coming
down hill it passed the barn and then two utility sheds one of which you
called "old machine shop". The black smith shop was actually behind the
granery, This would more appropriately be called a machine shop.
The old well was on a straight line down from the old cabin. When the ranch
was sold in 1951 the new owner dynamited a trench from the well towards the
barn to provide drinking water for his cattle. This I'm afraid was what
started the formation of the big pond roughly over the area just south of
the barn. The ground water usually vented itself in the spring time through
small springs here and there. After the dynamiting the leakage became more
focused and consentrated to form the pond.
The large farm house was disassembled and rebuilt as a single story house
located across the road from the old Wargelin homestead on Elo Road. I have
no idea what happened to the garage, the chicken coop, and the outhouse. I
imagine if one looked hard enough you could find the remains of the old root
cellar just west of the cabin.
This configuration as it was up to the late forties is represented in the
painting, copies of which I sent to cousins a couple of years back.
I hope this will be of help. Thanks again for a wonderful visit.
Finn Family Cousins
Matt and Elizabeth Johnson's Family
Old Machine Shop
Old Johnson Homestead I
Old Johnson Homestead II