REDWOOD VALLEY, FINNISH COLONY : LUSENET : San Francisco History : One Thread

Does anyone have any information about the Redwood Vallet, Finnish Colony which was located in or near San Francisco? Was it in proximity to or connected with any logging industries? How far from San Francisco was or is it? Inromation would be helpful in my genealogical search concerning my father.Thank

-- J Rasanen (, August 15, 1998


There is a Redwood Valley near Ukiah. It had lumbering in its past, but now is a wine region. It is about 2 hours north of San Francisco.

-- Diane P. Toomey (, February 19, 2001.

There was a Finnish colony at Redwood Valley, CA, near Ukiah. A group of Finnish immigrants settled in that area in the 1900-1910 era and formed a sort of cooperative group for farming in that area. They had a central dining/meeting building in a "compound" surrounded by small homes for the members and familiies. As with most group efforts, they became divided by politics and the Russian Revolution. There were those devoted to the "Red Russian" (the Communists) and the "White Russians" (loyal to the Czar). When I moved to Redwood Valley in 1944, they had divided up the acreage that was owned by the coop among the families but the original central building was still standing. In the 40's the land was mainly planted to grapes for wine. Redwood Valley is the most northern valley in the Coastal area where grapes are grown--the product is quality if harvest can beat any early rains. There were many Finnish families living there then on small acreages.

Because only a subsistence type of living could not be made on such small acreages, many of the men would take other jobs included logging in the Mendocino, Humboldt County forests. My father-in-law, who was Swedish but owned a small grape vineyard in Redwood Valley, worked in or near Eureka in the logging industry for many years before going to the Richmond shipyards during World War II.

-- Jackie Torngren (, September 22, 2001.

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