Parks and Recreation Image

Juneau-Douglas City Museum

Reinikka, Henry and Ida Pietilainen

by Clyde E. Bolyan

Henry was born in Puokiovaara, Finland, in 1883. Henry arrived in the United States in 1911, and joined his brother in Michigan. He secured a job in one of the mines in that area. In 1912, his brother decided to return to Finland and Henry decided to move on to Alaska. He had heard that there was work at the Treadwell Mine on Douglas Island. After he arrived, he was hired as a carpenter. He worked at the Treadwell Mine until the cave-in in 1917, after which he obtained work at the Alaska-Juneau Mine as a carpenter. He worked there until his death in 1939. After arriving in Douglas, he secured lodging at a Finnish boarding house. There he met a cute Finnish girl, Ida Pietilainen, and they were married in 1913, and made Douglas their home. There were two children from this union: Hilja Ilona and Eino Arthur. Henry died at St. Ann’s Hospital in 1939, and is buried at the Evergreen Cemetery in Juneau.

Ida was born in 1886, in Hankasalmi, Finland. She came to the United States in 1912, to Quincy, Massachusetts, where she obtained work as a cook and maid in a home for the “ritzy Americans” as she called them. A girl friend and Ida came to Douglas to work in a miners’ boarding house where she met Henry. After his death, she moved to Anchorage to be closer to her children and grandchildren. She died in 1967, in Anchorage and is buried in Angelus Memorial Park.