Finnish Heritage Museum 301 High Street
Fairport Harbor, Oh, 44077
Map Here
Museum Hours:
Saturday 10am-3pm
"Museum Collections / Kokoelmat"

The FINNISH HERITAGE MUSEUM was established in Northeastern Ohio to preserve Finnish and Finnish/North American Heritage for future generations. FHM is in the preliminary stages of developing its permanent collections. Objects selected for our collections will provide all visitors with an opportunity to learn about and better understand Finnish and Finnish/North American history and culture. They are vital aspects of our educational mission. We encourage everyone who supports this goal to consider donating historical objects and/or funding specifically for that purpose. Please help us grow as we work towards preserving a most distinguished and deserving history. Please contact us.

The FINNISH HERITAGE MUSEUM continues developing the following four collection categories related to our slogan:
"Then and Now / Ennen ja Nyt."

Real Collections: FHM is collecting objects that help explain, document, and reflect life in Finland, traveling to North America, and life in North America. How do we define "life?" It means work, play, sport, family, church, etc.; essentially all of the things we do everyday. Categories will include such items as those selected to describe aspects of the home, leisure, farm, and business. The list includes all forms of Textiles (clothes, table coverings, lace, rugs, fabric, knitted items, etc.), Kitchenware (cooking utensils, coffee pots, cookbooks, bakery items, etc.), Decorative Arts in all materials (paintings, drawings, sculptures, ceramics, art glass, etc.), Furniture, Toys, Objects of Communication (letters, postcards, photographs, note cards), Finnish Souvenir/Muistot (remembrances from Finland, especially those that were handmade or those that commemorated a special event like the 1952 Olympics), Handmade Tools, Handmade and/or Hand Decorated Boxes, Birch and Pine Basketry, Storage and Immigrant Trunks, Military Service/Patriotism, Sheathed Knife/Puukko, Currency (old types of money), perhaps an entire example of a household Sauna, etc. FHM is particularly interested in objects that help tell the story of Finnish life there and here.

VIRTUAL COLLECTIONS: Digital images and information on these topics and others are being collected specifically for use on this website. Examples already under consideration are a virtual exhibit of the History of Glass Making in Finland, Hall of Fame of Important Finns and Finnish/North Americans, Finnish and Finnish/North American Textiles, Puukaasutin/Wood Burning Vehicles, and Ryijyt/Finnish Rugs. Other virtual exhibits the FHM may focus on include Greeting Cards, Photographs, The Sauna, Traditional Recipes, and Souvenir Items. One of our goals is to humanize these objects by displaying photographs of Finns and Finnish/North Americans doing all of the things we do as humans in a very special "Finn Family Album." What wonderful pictures are in your family album that you might share with us?

RESEARCH MATERIALS / LIBRARY: This category includes a wide range of material such as paper ephemera, books, music, letters, boat and airplane tickets, passports, photographs, printed papers, genealogical information, and any other item that provides important data deemed useful for the stated purposes of the FHM. Some can be photocopies but some should be originals to be kept for long-term preservation. Finns have subtle but important cultural identities like being on time and paying one's debt. Identifiable intangibles like those should be part of the Reference Library. They help document what happened, why it happened, or why it will happen.

CELEBRATING LANGUAGE: The Finnish Heritage Museum is dedicated to presenting and celebrating authentic and appropriate language as it relates to time, region, and societal influence and to communicating language in such a manner as to make those words relevant to the present. FHM bylaws obligate us to present information clearly and appropriately, without prejudice or bias. But, we also realize all written and spoken languages (Finnish and English in this case) are living entities, changing daily through use. When words are translated from one language to another, inherent nuances, inflections, and original meanings may be unintentionally altered. Translation confusions are inevitable, causing comments like "that isn't quite right" to arise. Although disagreements concerning exact usage of particular words, phrases and spellings will occur, we recognize and accept this challenge as vital to our educational examination of Finnish heritage, past and present-Then and Now/Ennen ja Nyt.

We invite you to regard interpretation variables in the same positive light. Translation is not an exact science. Imagine, for example, how language has dramatically evolved since the first prehistoric symbols of communication were scratched onto rocks and then fast forward your thoughts to the current age of digital cyberspace. FHM will document future discussions of language evolution as an integral aspect of ongoing Finnish culture studies.

COLLECTING GENEALOGICAL DATA: A dedicated group, affectionately known as the "Genies" have begun collecting, sorting, and cataloging data on the Finnish families that have been so instrumental in settling and imprinting Fairport's rich heritage. FInns have had a tremendous impact on this village in cultural values and actual residency.
We welcome your comments.