Finnish Log Construction by Frank W. Eld


From April 10 to April 15, we had the honor of having Frank Eld from Idaho was visiting the Finnish Room  Committee and the Nationality Rooms Programs at the University of Pittsburgh. The Committee feels that it was perhaps the best event in the Finnish Room Project since the visit of Anna-Maija Ylimaula in 2005. There is now much more insight as to what should go into the Finnish Nationality Classroom in the Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh.


 On Sunday April 13 before the SSWP meeting in the Room 1228 in Cathedral he gave a demonstration of Finnish Log Construction in America.


Mr. Frank Eld from Idaho has made a remarkable study and worked to preserve examples of log houses and farm buildings built in the distinctively Finnish style of log construction. Since a young boy, the son of a Finnish carpenter, he was fascinated by the painstaking concentration it took to prepare a log to place on top of another log during wall construction. Special tools and special skills were necessary to shape and fit the log while building the walls from ground up. This technique could be used to create tight fitting, long lasting log houses, smoke cottages, saunas and barns, as well as hay shelters where the corners were as well locked as in the other structures but the logs were not as tightly fitted so that air could flow through to keep the hay dry.


Finnish carpenters were highly valued in Finnish settlements. Mr. Eld has found their tradition in Idaho and other parts of US as well as earlier in the New Sweden Colony where Finnish settlers moved to continue their "Kaskiviljely",  slash-and-burn and build their traditional log structures.


Mr. Eld gave a demonstration with miniature tools and logs of how the logs were shaped and the special tools used. It left us with a great appreciation of his study and a deep feeling for the real heritage which has been passed to us.

Upcoming Events:

December 21, 2014  3:00 pm Cathedral of Learning Room 1228 Christmas Party  Call Seija Cohen at (412) 372-6876 for more details.

 Finnish Nationality Classroom Fundraiser: T-Shirts, Handmade Scarves and more for sale:   Click here for more information.

Meetings: The Finlandia Foundation, Pittsburgh Chapter meets on Thursdays.  To find out the next time and location or to learn more about any of the events, please contact Seija Cohen (412) 372-6876 or

Other Activities: Members of the Finnish group attend events of the Scandinavian Society of South Western PA.

Finnish Language Instruction:   Tutoring Finnish to members and others interested in learning the basics of the Finnish Language is offered again as part of the Finnish Room Committee activities.  A small fee will be required.  Spring 2013 sessions have started and meet on Fridays starting at 4:30 pm.  Come and learn all about the "long words", 15 cases and more. To sign-up contact Seija Cohen (412) 372-6876 or

Translations:  assistance translating letters or other memorabilia are offered to our members and supporters. Any fees collected will be contributed the Finnish Nationality Classroom Fund


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