Nickolai Virtanen came to Canada in 1905 and began working in the Copper Cliff mine. His future wife, Matilda, came to Sudbury in January of 1907, making her the second Finnish woman to live in the area. Nickolai and Matilda married in 1908 in Sudbury.
The couple moved to Long Lake in October of 1918 and began dairy farming. They would make milk deliveries to the Sudbury dairy.
In 1919, the Virtanens took over the post office duties from Prosper Rheault and provided postal service until 1943.
Mr. and Mrs. Virtanen purchased the property formerly owned by Gilbert Rheault on April 4, 1921. They lived there with their four daughters - Lulu, Karen, Aili, and Hazel - until 1935.
On September 16, 1930, Nickolai was run over by his own horses and wagon and later died from his injuries. He was 45 years old. Mrs. Virtanen continued to operate the post office and farm for many years thereafter.
In 1983, Matilda Virtanen was chosen to be listed as one of the 100 citizens "who contributed in an exemplary way to the Community of Sudbury." * This list was sealed in a time capsule which is currently enclosed under the stairway at Tom Davies Square. The capsule will be opened in 2083.
*Nissila, Eino. Pioneers of Long Lake. c1987.