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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

A “pretty Finnish maiden,” Miss Fulda Aarl, 20, and her brother John, 10, disembarked from a train in tiny Winona, Wash., in the Palouse country.

They were on a grand excursion from their home country to visit friends in Winona.

But their friends inexplicably failed to meet them. 

So Fulda and John “wandered about the town with their bundles.”

 They found only strange people, strange customs and no one who knew how to speak Finnish.

They certainly attracted attention, since they were “garbed in the showy gala peasant costumes of their native country.” Finally, someone was found who could interpret for them.

Soon, the mistake became clear. When they had purchased their train tickets at Halifax, Nova Scotia, the ticket agent had given them tickets for Winona, Wash. – not Winona, Mich., where their friends lived. The townspeople of Winona, Wash., put the pair back on the train to Spokane.

“When the mistake was fully explained to her by an interpreter at the Great Northern office, the young woman smiled, declaring it was a good joke,” the paper said. “She said she was glad of the trip and that the only inconvenience was to her friends.”