Alma Mater of actor James Earl Jones
In 1932 snowbound Manistee County resident Arta Cutler-Swart wrote a letter on birch bark to friends in California during the great depression that inspired this strange little project. Filmed in the Finnish-settled village of Kaleva, Michigan and nearby Brethren. Exploring the supposed location of the Swart family "shack" are Bill and Ken Swart. One location seen here is Dickson School; high school alma mater of actor James Earl Jones. Interviewed is Donald Stroup; a childhood friend who relates his family's experiences. One of the subjects of the film is Birch Trees and birch bark, on which some of the oldest Finnic writings were also inscribed. This includes some parts of the Finnish Epic Poem the "Kalevala" for which the village of Kaleva Michigan was named. Also seen here is the Makinen Bottle House built of over 60,000 "pop" bottles. Most of the bottles were produced by Northwestern Bottling Works with "Kaleva" imprinted on the bottom of the bottles. Micheal Asiala makes a presentation in Kaleva, Michigan in front of the Asiala Log Cabin which their family occupied beginning in 1902.