Little Penage History


This historical writeup about Little Penage was written in Finnish by K. Suutarinen after 1941 as that is the most recent date mentioned in the history.  It was translated by Norma Kauppi & Eila Koski in October, 2014. The original is in the archives of the Finnish Canadian Historical Society, Sudbury.

Little Penage (previously Trout Lake) is located in Louise and Dieppe Townships in the area of Sudbury, some eight miles south of Whitefish, which is on Highway #17.

The first settlers in the area came here around the time of the First World War. Habitation is mostly on the shores of this lake, which is about one mile long and a little more than a half a mile wide. Residents, which in the beginning were all Finnish were: _. Kauhanen, K. Salminen and Otto Kannakko. Then in 1917, from Toronto, came Matti Kannakko and a little later his brother Aapo. During the same period also settled John Laine, V. Putila, A. Kauhanen and his brother. Some years later also Hjalmar Holmstedt. About the year 1930, at the time of the great depression, permanently moved here A.G. Asiala, and Urho Nurmi, plus also Bruno Tenhunen (who truly has not permanently resided), but is even now living in the area. Also, for many years lived with his brother Hugo, a talented blacksmith.

In those times also lived here Onni Hakkinen, J Ahlquist, Elis Kallio, Hugo Niittynen, Reinhold Pehkonen, Heikki Saxberg, Nestori Pietila, K. Suutarinen, Ilmari Makela and Eino Puiras. Later arrivals were K. Tarvainen, Kusti Salminen, Vili Vickman, A. Pigert(?), _. Kuosmanen and Vili Sandberg. Long time owners of homes also were Otto Salo, Einari Kolari, J. Storberg as well as many others whose names this writer does not know. Also Antti Ranta who at this time is a permanent resident. They were depression time arrivals.

Also owning places here are two Aimo Makis, F(rank) Tommila, Jack Maki, Mauno Passi, and Mrs. A. Tuuri. Now a days many places are owned by other nationalities, but most, none the less, are Finnish. At one time it could have been said that hardly another settlement of this size could be found in all of Canada with more Finnish saunas than here!

In the beginning, life was not easy.  All supplies had to be carried on backs for many miles. Truly, fish and the forest’s game were plentiful, but the game warden came into the picture. One day when he caught Mrs. Salminen taking fish from her net, which was illegal business, he asked her: “Have you a permit?” Replied Mrs: “There runs one; there, two; and there, three!” The good-natured warden left the matter there, for he knew the group of children needed food.

During the depression, population growth in the area was at its peak and there was a lot of social activity among the Finns. They were however divided into two groups. One was the Farmer’s Association, which built a community hall. It unfortunately was hit by lightening and burned in 1941.

The other group of Finns built a dance platform, but even that disappeared due to the improved employment situation. During the time of the Finnish Winter War, joint coffee socials were held, but after that there were no further joint ventures.

As there was no mail delivery service from Whitefish, and since the two groups couldn’t agree, one person from each group went separately to collect the mail, (taking turns within their groups). At this writing, mail is delivered daily.

(signed) K. Suutarinen