Skip to content

Edward and Eriika (Karasti) Posio

The second of nine children, Edward immigrated from Posio, Kuusamo parish, at the southern edge of Lapland (now Sampi) in 1906, establishing himself near Chatham, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

As was a common practice in those years, he then sent for his wife, Eriika, and children Hilja, Onni, Henry and John, all under 6 years old. Eriika’s brother, Henry Karasti, accompanied them on their journey in 1907. The family landed in Boston with throngs of other immigrants, only to find a scarcity of lodgings.

Family lore suggests that they were housed in a local jail temporarily and given bananas. Having never seen a banana before, they were puzzled as to how to eat one!

The Posio family became part of the large Finnish community in Alger County, where the landscape of lakes, forests and winter reminded them of home in Finland. By 1920, Edward and Eriika owned their own modest home on the shores of Forest Lake where they raised their family, Hilja, Onni, Henry, John, Mary, Charles, Elma and Arne, the youngest.

Edward and his sons worked in the woods and all of the siblings graduated from high school in nearby Eben. In later years, Edward built wooden boats to rent to fishermen for 50 cents a day.

The Ranta and Posio families exemplify the stories of thousands of Finnish immigrants who encountered hardships, harsh living conditions, grief and loss. Through hard work, our Finnish ancestors maintained their faith and connection to their culture, with hope for better lives in America for the next generation.

Loretta (Posio) Lindell
Carolyn (Posio) Wills