Mike HelppiX

Born: March 13, 1887

Location: Pulajarvi

My name is Mike Helppi. I was born in Pulajarvi, Lapland, on March 13th, 1887. I loved to tell funny stories and tall tales. I also learned to play many instruments in my teen years. My chores were normally to muck out stalls and feed the reindeer. When I was twenty years old, I immigrated to America from Lapland, where my family stayed to keep the farm and reindeer. I moved to the Copper Country to have a better life. One hard winter, I saved a logging camp by trapping many jack rabbits in Northern Minnesota. I met and married Kartherine Harrajala in 1917. I lived through the Depression, when we struggled to feed ourselves and seven kids. I also lived through the Copper Country copper boom and bust. My ancestors say I passed on many funny stories, and the love of outdoors activities like fishing, hunting, swimming, sledding, snowshoeing, and so forth.

Contributed by: Mandy Helppi, Calumet Elementary School