Elina Peronius is a woman who plays a part in gold history in the areas of Tankavaara and Laanila. Elina participated in gold prospecting from the 1930s and perhaps even earlier, first in Laanila and later in Tankavaara area. She became the first woman to own an open pit mine claim in 1946 when her husband, Max Peronius, was killed after stepping on a mine. Despite the death of Max, the work continued in Purnu Claim the next summer, this time on Elina’s account. A couple of summers later in 1950, her sons Jouko and Tauno Virtanen found the biggest gold nugget of Tankavaara when the almost 183-gram Virtanen Mixed Nugget saw daylight. The nugget contained not only gold but also an abnormally big percentage of minerals, which got the Geological Survey of Finland interested in Tankavaara area. Due to the composition of the nugget found the GSF continued its research in the area. Elina Peronius gave up her claim in the summer of 1954.
Tyyne Tähti worked as a cook in Lemmenjoki, for the group of prospectors at the main base of Morgam. She arrived there the first time in summer 1949 and worked for a few more summers and at least one spring or winter. According to the pictures taken in those days, she also practised gold panning in her days-off, as did many other cooks and women working in the area back then. Tyyne’s way went later more south and at least by the 1960s she moved to Ylivieska, Raudaskylä and her surname changed when she got married. In 2005, she donated a small collection of photos related to Lemmenjoki gold history in digital form to the Gold Prospector Museum.
Photo: Kultamuseo Archives/ Pellinen.