An Immigrant Story - Ida Niemala Limatta

A man and woman pose for a photograph while standing in front of a building.
Ida and John Limatta pictured ca. 1915 in front of a house that was likely their home in Centennial Heights.

NPS Photo

Peter Niemela and Maria Pietila of Kemi, Finland, were married in 1864 during a severe famine in their region. They soon moved to Hammerfest, Norway, one of the most northern towns in the world. In a place known for spring cod runs and northern lights shows, the Niemelas lived in Hammerfest for eight years and began a family with their firstborn daughters, Ida and Catherine.

News of Michigan's employment opportunities brought the young family across the Atlantic to Calumet, Michigan in 1873. There, daughter Ida married John Limatta at age 17 just months before most of her family moved to Klickitat County, Washington in 1883.

A house with snow falling.
This house in Centennial Heights is among several in the neighborhood once lived in my Limatta family members.

NPS Photo

Ida, John, and their family lived in Centennial Heights near Calumet for many years. Some of their 12 children moved west. Others like son Peter and youngest daughter Gertrude remained in the Calumet area, where they were born following an immigrant story. Ida and John are buried at Calumet's Lakeview Cemetery.

Last updated: February 10, 2018

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