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Celebrating the sauna

October 20, 2012
By Scott Viau ( , The Daily Mining Gazette

HANCOCK - In preparation for FinnFest, occuring June 19 through 23, local artist Mary Wright is continuing her work on a sauna exhibit, which will be presented during the festival.

Driving down Quincy Street in Hancock, anyone can take a look at the under-construction sauna, which has been moved from its previous location on Quincy Hill to the Finlandia University green.

"It's 150 years old," Wright said. "It's very historic. To me, it's important to save these fine pieces of architecture."

Article Photos

Daily Mining Gazette/Scott Viau
Norman Arkin and his fiancee Mary Wright examine the woodworking on the sauna on the Finlandia University green. The sauna exhibit will be a part of FinnFest, which is scheduled to take place in June 2013.

Although the sauna has yet to be completed, it will be enclosed before snowfall and should be in working order next summer.

"It's going to have a stained glass window," Wright said. "It'll be nice if it's operational for FinnFest."

While Quincy Street in Hancock is the current construction site of one sauna, there will be more additions to the Copper Country area. According to Wright, saunas are planned to be built at Michigan Technological University and in Calumet.

"This is just the start of it. I think saunas are a regional icon brought here by Finnish people," Wright said. "It's something that has translated to the larger culture, not just ethnic Finns or the Finnish culture."

Wright added that some of them will be made out of recycled materials.

Anyone interested in making their own sauna or donating an old one may contact Wright at 361-5548.



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