Image of a postcard of the Kangas homestead, now Northern Comfort B&B, from our private records.
We’re lucky to have a small archive of letters and history from the original Kangas family who built the farm. Twenty years ago the original innkeepers reached out to the Kangas family asking for any memories they’d like to share. Here is a letter from John Kangas, a grandson of the family
October 19, 1995
From John Kangas, Ph.D.
Having Just reread all the material you sent me about the old Kangas farm, I feel I must write to thank you for sending it to me. Thank you so much. It makes me so proud of my heritage, and of course my grandparents. I now have grandsons of my own, and it gives me great pleasure to hear them calling me “Tuffa” since this is the name by which I knew my grandfather.
Every Christmas a package would arrive from Embarrass containing blood sausage (which gave me no pleasure), rag rugs woven by grandmother Elmina, and “saapaat” (high-top moccasins) for me fashioned by Tuffa from home-tanned leather. Plus long wool stockings made of lamb and dog wool to see me through another Minnesota winter, and of course made by Mummu (grandmother Elmina). How I cherished my sabots. Sadly my mother weaned me from them when first grade began, and now I can no longer find any left.
Interestingly, the published accounts you sent me say little about Mummu. I remember her as a hard and strict woman, always working, who used to chastise me for not learning to read Finnish well enough. When I proudly displayed a string telephone I had fashioned, she informed me that by my age my (then dead) father had set up a telegraph system. She was not easy to please, although I cared for her dearly. In my recollections she, not Tuffa, was in charge. Tuffa was gentle. How he could also have been so clever and able never ceases to amaze me.
Warm regards, John