Immigration and Impact: The Finns of New Hampshire
Kerrin McTernan and Patrick Driscoll
Research Question: How has the migrant history of the Finns to New Hampshire affected the culture of Southern New Hampshire?
Goal: The broad goal of this project is to promote awareness of intricate migrant histories in America and their impacts on local cultures in a time where the word “immigrant” is a controversial term that often has a negative connotation within American society.
There was not one particular moment that led Patrick and I to decide to investigate the Finnish migrant history in New Hampshire. Rather it was a series of hints through bits of information found that led to this decision. I first discovered the existence of a Finnish migrant past in our local area when I began my research and landed upon the website for the Historical Society of Cheshire County. My next encounter with this cultures’ migrant history in America was when our COPLAC Professor Alvis Dunn shared this documentary with me on Twitter about Finnish-American Lives. Next, Patrick and I found several good-sized books about the Finns in New Hampshire at our local archives in the Keene State Mason Library. While initially we were interested in both the Lebanese community and the Finnish community in New Hampshire it is the Finns story in America, in New Hampshire, and even more interestingly, in the Manchester area that we are going to attempt to tell.
Now I suspect that more enlightening moments will come for me in the coming days when I return to the Keene State College archives and finally get my chance to visit the Historical Society of Cheshire County. It is there where I hope to find primary sources and supplementary secondary sources that will help support my decision to base my research on the Finnish community in the Granite State.
Conduct open-facing research through the use of various online platforms such as Twitter and WordPress and thorough and public citations of resources.