OOSI Sculpture

Finnish Memorial

July 6th, 2003 / Gene Kangas / Fairport Harbor

DSC_0002.JPG

The Finnish Monument and overall site plan was designed by nationally known artist Gene Kangas. He is an emeritus university art professor and native of Fairport Harbor. The Finnish Monument and surrounding environment were designed to honor all American families of Finnish heritage. The monument was dedicated in 2003 and has become a popular destination for people visiting northeastern Ohio. Fairport sits on the southern shore of Lake Erie. The small town originally had a significant Finnish population that benefitted from work related to the Great Lakes.

The memorial was funded 100% by private donations. It was made of polished red Finnish granite and American stainless steel. The monument features an engraved outline map of Finland, a pair of mated rotating swans (Finnish national nature symbol), and a poem titled “The Finns.” The granite monument stands approximately 16 feet tall.

The memorial is surrounded by concentric circles of brick pavers engraved with the names of generous donors, three benches, night lights and birch trees, a familiar Finnish image. The memorial was designed by the artist in consultation with a local committee of Finnish/Americans. Everyone donated time and talent to the project. Detailed drawings were sent to Finland for fabrication by a specialist company. An original poem, engraved on the monument, was written commemorating and celebrating the Finnish journey to America, then and now, ennen ja nyt.

THE FINNS
They voyaged so very, very far
Leaving friends and homelands.
Guided by the brilliant North Star,
They came with heart and hands.

They labored hard as they tried
To build, create and explore.
Quietly, they laughed and cried
In private homes with open doors.

Like soul-mated swans, faithfully true,
They soared beyond their safe space.
On powerful angelic wings, they flew
Contented with this wondrous place.

Below, sparkling waters glowed bright
Magically inspired by every setting sun.
Oh, much was fulfilled, so much set right,
Tomorrow’s promises wait to be done.
Gene Kangas

Description provided by the artist, Gene Kangas

Location: Fairport Memorial Park, 313 2nd Street

County

: Lake

Citation

: Gene Kangas, “Finnish Memorial,” Ohio Outdoor Sculpture Inventory, accessed November 18, 2018, http://oosi.sculpturecenter.org/items/show/1283.

Dublin Core

Title

Finnish Memorial

Description

The Finnish Monument and overall site plan was designed by nationally known artist Gene Kangas. He is an emeritus university art professor and native of Fairport Harbor. The Finnish Monument and surrounding environment were designed to honor all American families of Finnish heritage. The monument was dedicated in 2003 and has become a popular destination for people visiting northeastern Ohio. Fairport sits on the southern shore of Lake Erie. The small town originally had a significant Finnish population that benefitted from work related to the Great Lakes.

The memorial was funded 100% by private donations. It was made of polished red Finnish granite and American stainless steel. The monument features an engraved outline map of Finland, a pair of mated rotating swans (Finnish national nature symbol), and a poem titled “The Finns.” The granite monument stands approximately 16 feet tall.

The memorial is surrounded by concentric circles of brick pavers engraved with the names of generous donors, three benches, night lights and birch trees, a familiar Finnish image. The memorial was designed by the artist in consultation with a local committee of Finnish/Americans. Everyone donated time and talent to the project. Detailed drawings were sent to Finland for fabrication by a specialist company. An original poem, engraved on the monument, was written commemorating and celebrating the Finnish journey to America, then and now, ennen ja nyt.

THE FINNS
They voyaged so very, very far
Leaving friends and homelands.
Guided by the brilliant North Star,
They came with heart and hands.

They labored hard as they tried
To build, create and explore.
Quietly, they laughed and cried
In private homes with open doors.

Like soul-mated swans, faithfully true,
They soared beyond their safe space.
On powerful angelic wings, they flew
Contented with this wondrous place.

Below, sparkling waters glowed bright
Magically inspired by every setting sun.
Oh, much was fulfilled, so much set right,
Tomorrow’s promises wait to be done.
Gene Kangas

Description provided by the artist, Gene Kangas

Creator

Date

July 6th, 2003

Source

Gene Kangas

Type

Sculpture Item Type Metadata

Location City

Location County

Location Site

Fairport Memorial Park

Location Street

313 2nd Street

Creation Date

7/5/2003