Finnish North American Literature Association
Mark Knipping was appointed to the post of Chief of Research and Interpretation at
Old World Wisconsin in 1971 and assisted in the planning and development of the site.
He also researched and managed other historic sites, including Pendarvis and the
Herrling Sawmill. He holds a master's degree in American History from the University of
Wisconsin, Madison. He retired in 2004 and continues to pursue his research interests
and serves as consultant to museums.
Knipping, Mark. Finns in Wisconsin. Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2008.
Knipping, Mark, and Korrine K. Oberle. On the Shake Rag: Mineral Point
Wisconsin's Pendarvis House, 1935-1970. State Historical Society of Wisconsin,
Knipping, Mark. A History of the 27th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment in
the War of the Rebellion, 1862-1865. M. H. Knipping, 2001.
Knipping, Mark. The Greenbush sawmill: The Robinson-Herrling sawmill at Old
Wade House state historic site. M. H. Knipping, 1999.
Knipping, Mark. The Clausing family of Ozaukee County. Old World Wisconsin, 1981.
Review of Mark Knipping’s Finns in Wisconsin
By Beth L. Virtanen, PhD
From their roots and migration patterns in Finland to their journey across the Atlantic,
Mark Knipping chronicles the Finns’ journey to Wisconsin where they joined
established groups of immigrants from Europe. Knipping notes Finn’s contributions to
logging, fishing, agriculture, and other industries as they made their way in Wisconsin,
primarily after the turn of the last century, noting how Finnish architecture differed from
that of other European immigrants.
Knipping notes how Finns maintained certain cultural traditions, including sauna,
Juhannus, and the practice of medicinal cupping in addition to the maintenance of their
handicrafts. They made hand-carved skiis, homemade shoes, hand-knitted mittens and
scarves made from home-grown wool that was hand carded and spun. They made their
own fishnets and other fishing paraphernalia that reinforced self-sufficiency.
Unlike other immigrants, Finns tended to remake their culture of origin wherever they
went, according to the author, living in “little Finlands” where they maintained their
individual culture well into the twentieth century.
The text also includes an autobiographical piece by Kristiina Niemistö who migrated in
1896 from Köyhäjoki near Kaustinen in Finland to Wisconsin and later on to Florida. It
captures with immediacy the experience of immigration through the first-person narrative.
The text is well-researched and contains numerous photos. It is published by the
Wisconsin Historical Society Press and is available at wisconsinhistory.org and from