As was true with the native residents the Finnish people replaced, the second generation Finns also found the long hours of hard work on the farm for a small financial return, less desirable than employment elsewhere. Most of the laboriously rebuilt and once productive farms are now idle. Only the houses are still in use as country residences. The empty cow barns, silos, hen houses and sheds are rapidly deteriorating. The fields are overgrown with weeds and brush.

The few remaining productive farms are operated on a big-business scale with expensive mechanization. These include the dairy farms of Eino Alve, George Alve and the Efthimiou brothers and the poultry farm of William and John Palomaki.

Like the children of the earlier settlers of Spencer, those of the Finnish immigrants who remained here, are equally absorbed in the activities of their town. They are represented in its educational, civic, church, Grange and fraternal organization.

Their identity as Finns is becoming less and less apparent. Few of the grandchildren of the original Finnish settlers can speak or understand the Finnish language. St. Paul’s Lutheran Church is no long identified as Finnish, since only English services have been held there for many years. A big percentage of the congregation is not of Finnish ancestry.

After the loss of the first generation of Finnish residents, their descendants no longer needed to speak the Finnish language. Ties with Finland were lost as succeeding generations developed new interests. Their Finnish heritage remains in the knowledge of the “sisu” or of intestinal fortitude and foresight of parents and grandparents who were determined to find and work hard for a better life for themselves and their children in this pleasant region.

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