A one-per-decade series of glimpses, 1860-1960
The Seppala family of Cape Ann raised twelve children on the one-acre Sunnyside Farm at Folly Cove. Father had come over from Finland first; then Mother and their two youngsters, one of whom, Hilma, wrote down her recollections years later as a married woman. Family photos are contributed by Zenas and Merry Seppala, and Sandra Seppala Jamieson. Additional photos from the Hale/Clements legacy of the Sandy Bay Historical Association.
Hilma Seppala Sauter's Story
In the summer of 1902 my father Samuel Seppala came to Folly Cove to visit his sister Ulriika, wife of Matti Williams, intending to stay for only a short time. He left my mother Alexandra, my brother Heino and me with a housekeeper at his five-room home in Teuva, Finland. He also left his saw mill and grist mill business in the care of his partner.
|Alexandra's parents Herman and Maria Varsamaki|
Father slept in an attic bedroom with seven other men during his stay. Opposite in another large room lived a couple with five children. There were as many as forty children on the property at one time! Practically all the men worked for the Rockport Granite Company.
As Father’s visit to Folly Cove continued, more and more he wanted to stay in this country. Mother was anxious to join him. On July 2, 1903 at age twenty-two, with Heino and me she left the Seppala home for Kristiina, a seaport on the west coast of Finland. Her own mother was driving the horse-drawn wagon. She must have had a heavy heart seeing her loved ones leave for a strange land, perhaps never to see them again.
Ellis Island immigrants |
National Park Service photo
|Postcard courtesy of Elana Pistenmaa Brink|
After Mother's arrival at Folly Cove with its humming activity, she was at first overwhelmed by it all. However, after a quiet period (and a good cry) one day by herself sitting on the rocks at Folly Cove beach at the foot of the Williams' land, she looked at the beautiful nature around her, the ocean, the sky, the cliffs of Folly Point, and realizing the soothing beauty all around her she suddenly said to herself "This is it." And she never cried again!
Samuel and Alexandra Seppala, 1927|
Hilma (back row, center) was born in Finland,
the others at home in Folly Cove
Cove c. 1925|
W. D. Hoyt Sr. photo
|Seppala horse team moving stones from beach|
Samuel Seppala and son driving cows to
Gloucester/Rockport Town Line
Sandra Seppala Jamieson
My father Lauri grew up at Sunnyside Farm, delivering milk before school. They used to take the cows to graze in the adjacent meadow owned by the Taylors across a little bridge over the brook that flows into the Cove. They cut hay in the big fields out on Folly Point. Eventually they had to add a milk room to the barn when pasteurization became required.
|Lauri Seppala 1923|
Seppala, Richard Seppala, Marjorie Wheeler, Martha Koski,|
Vera Seppala, Hilda Ross, c. 1933
|Alexandra at Vera's wedding August 24, 1947|