Petrell Hall Near Fairbanks

Unless you’re looking for it or know it’s there, it might be easy to drive right by Petrell Hall. It’s surrounded by a thick forest of trees with just a path for a driveway. The hall doesn’t look much different from when it was built near Fairbanks Township, Minnesota by Finnish immigrants in 1912.

1912

In 1911, the Fairbanks Finnish Work-People’s Society purchased three acres of land from the Petrell family for $15 to build a hirsi haali — a log hall. It was built with hand-hewn log walls. The interior features painted pressed-tin interior walls and a stage that dominates one end of the hall.

2020

For more than 100 years, the Finnish settlers and their descendants have used the hall for weddings, funerals, community dances, and plays.

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