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Sukanen's Ship.

Sukanen's Ship, Stuck in Saskatchewan

Field review by the editors.

Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

More than 50 buildings have been moved to the eight-acre Prairie Pioneer Village, which shelters over 200 cars, trucks, tractors, and various pieces of farm machinery. Opened in 1969, the Village attained its unique identity eight years later when it acquired the steamship-house of Tom Sukanen.

In the 1930s Sukanen spent seven years building the house, which he hoped to sail back to his native Finland (He'd had an unhappy time in North America, which included abandoning his wife and four kids in Minnesota). He tore apart his farm buildings for ship lumber and lived in the hull. When his teeth fell out, he supposedly made new ones out of forged iron. He named the ship Sontiainen (Finnish for "dung beetle") and died in a Saskatchewan insane asylum in 1943.

The house fell into ruin until it was restored by the Moose Jaw Car Club and donated to the museum (along with all of those cars). The Car Club also dug up Sukanen and reburied him at the Pioneer Village, next to his ship.

Today, visitors can climb an outdoor staircase and board Sukanen's high-and-dry home, which never got close to salt water.

Sukanen's Ship, Stuck in Saskatchewan

Sukanen Ship Pioneer Village Museum

Hwy 2, Moose Jaw, SK, Canada
Sukanen Ship Pioneer Village Museum. Thirteen kilometers south of town, on the west side of Hwy 2.
May-Sep M-Sa 9-5, Su 12-6 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Adults $10.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

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