An Immigrant Story - Gabriel Hukkala

A church surrounded by snow.
The Hukkalas attended the Finnish Apostolic Lutheran Church on Pine Street in Calumet, which today is the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

NPS Photo

Gabriel Hukkala was born in Vaasa, Finland, in 1866, and began an immigrant story when he came to the United States with his brother John sometime around 1890. He soon wound up in Marquette, then in Calumet working as a tailor. In 1898 he married fellow Finnish immigrant Margareta Ervasti in Calumet. Finnish Apostolic Lutheran Pastor A.L. Heideman officiated at the ceremony.
 
A man looks at a painting.
Gabriel Hukkala.

Image courtesy of Hukkala family

The couple had five children while living in Calumet, Laurium, and Centennial Heights. By 1910 Gabriel had his own tailor shop in South Range, where the family lived on Second Street. Their son Gabriel Jr. later became a professional staff artist for The Chicago Daily News. After a stroke left his right side paralyzed, he demonstrated his "sisu" by learning to paint with his left hand.
 
Two separate wedding photographs with a bride and groom.
Gabriel Hukkala, Sr. and Jr. wedding photographs.

Images courtesy of Hukkala family

Gabriel Sr., Margareta, and other family members rest at South Range's Mountain View Cemetery. Gabriel Jr. and his wife Saima are interred at the Rosehill Cemetery, the largest cemetery in Chicago.

Last updated: March 16, 2018

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