Historical Archive

Past Articles

Patrons will soon be visiting the Kaleva Art Gallery by way of a newly-constructed, handicap-accessible entrance. Click here to read the full article.

A busload of railroad and history enthusiasts made a stop in Kaleva on Saturday during the Manistee and Northeastern Old Railroad Grade and Depot tour.

The event was part of Benzie Area Historical Society’s motor coach tours of local railroad history. Click here to read the full article.

Since 1998, the community celebrates the Finnish tradition of lighting candles for those who have passed by placing luminaries next to each grave in the Maple Grove Township in the village of Kaleva on December 21. Click here to read the full article.

The Finnish tradition of decorating deceased relatives’ graves during the Christmas season has become a Kaleva tradition, thanks to the work of many volunteers through the years. Click here to read the full article.

The present depot was built around 1908, based on the use of exterior bricks which were made in Manistee until around that time. The depot continued to be very important as the town grew. The last train went through in the 1970's.

The village of Kaleva took possession of their town’s depot and a new roof kept the building sound. In 1996, the Brethren High School Service Learning class was started. This class chose to work in Kaleva in an effort to preserve history and culture. To read more about their revitalization efforts, click here.

Two decades ago, Brethren High School students were charged with preserving Kaleva’s history and attracting economic development for its future. The result of that service learning project became history in its own right as it helped shape Kaleva, as it’s seen today. To read the full article, click here.

Oftentimes, the first thing a family would build on this new land was a traditional Finnish sauna. Many lived in these structures while they built more permanent homes and, afterward, the sauna continued to be used for health, bathing and even birthing.

In the spirit of preserving Kaleva’s Finnish heritage, an authentic Finnish sauna now sits beside the village’s famed Bottle House Museum. To read the full article, click here.

Two decades ago, Brethren High School students were charged with preserving Kaleva’s history and attracting economic development for its future.

The result of that service learning project became history in its own right as it helped shape Kaleva, as it’s seen today. To read the article, click here.

The mission of the Kaleva Historical Society is to preserve the history the village of Kaleva and surrounding area, to keep records of individuals, businesses, and special events, and to collect and store artifacts relating to the above. We also strive to sponsor events which relate to the Finnish culture, first established here by Finnish immigrants in 1900. To read the article, click here.

This article from 2012 invites all to the Christmas at the Bottle House. Featuring Finnish decor, customs, displays, and holiday treats were enjoyed by all. Click here to read the article.

"Finnish" Heaven in Kaleva

November 28, 2012

Check out a few snippets of life way back when in this compilation of articles about life in Kaleva way back when. Author's Note: "The following article is a wonderful account of a trip taken to Wellston by one of the editors of the Bear Lake Beacon and was originally published in the Beacon in July of 1914. The article was then re-published in the Manistee Daily News on July 27, 1914." Click here to read the full article.

A Trip Through Kaleva

November 1, 2012

Excerpt from a book about the 75th anniversary of the founding of the village (printed in 1975) and a short document written by Esther Puustinen and given to vistors at the Kaleva Historical Museum. Posted online by Ken Marder.

The History of Kaleva

Kaleva School

 

Prior to Kaleva Norman Dickson schools, as they are known currently, Kaleva had a school that serviced the area, called Kaleva School. 

The first school in the village was built in 1904; it was a primary school with only two teachers, the cement block building burned in the fall of 1912. To read more about the history of Kaleva School, click here.

To read the article about the 100th Anniversary of Kaleva School, click here

The Kaleva Bank Robbery

 

The facts: At 11:15 on the morning of Thursday, January 5, 1933 four men pulled up to the Kaleva State Bank in a Buick sedan. Three men got out, entered the bank and drew their weapons. One of the robbers approached cashier Ellsworth Billman and demanded money. One of the robbers shot Billman and killed him while the robbers fled the bank and left with $2,800. In the ensuing days, the Michigan State Police, City Police, citizen groups and the Manistee County Vigilante Force played an integral part in the manhunt to apprehend the robbers. The robbers were found after three days in the Colfax Swamp in Oceana County.

Click on the articles below to read the full story, featured in the Manistee News Advocate.

The History of Kaleva

 

The village first became known as Kaleva when the Michigan Land Society secured a Finnish land agent by the name of Jacob Saari from Brooklyn, New York, to sell land in this vicinity and induce Finnish people to make a settlement here. In 1900 Mr. Saari moved here and with him came John Haksluoto who built a home. 

To read the full article by E.H. Puustinen, daughter of John Haksluoto, click here.

 
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© 2019 by THE KALEVA HISTORICAL SOCIETY

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Kaleva, Michigan