Olin, J. A. vid orgeln i AstoriaOlin, John August, logger, organist — Astoria — born in Nykarleby, Finland, on July 6, 1870. Came to America in 1888 and picked Astoria, Oregon, and the surrounding wooded region as his sphere of activity. Some years ago one of Astoria’s daily newspapers wrote a very appreciative article about Olin under the heading “The Logger Organist of Astoria.” The article goes on to say:

“He worked his way up and achieved a prominent position, and is now a partner of the logging firm Olin & Sonderlund. The company’s logging camp in Chinook has a good reputation, and the forested area in which it employs a year-round crew of 24 men, is said to contain enough timber for another three years of logging. Olin is still a young man, and as soon as his circumstances allowed, he devoted his attention to that which he loves most dearly—namely music. Already the first year after the firm had achieved a firm footing, Olin turned over his logging work to other reliable men and took his wife along to Rock Island, Illinois. They stayed there for a year and the man of the woods began to diligently study in a Music Academy to acquire the technical skill necessary to interpret his daily experiences and feelings in the woods and on the water. During the week he directs the work of the loggers in the crashing sounds of falling trees and in the lapping sounds of the waves as the logs are floated down the river. At the end of the week his boat plows its way from the fir-covered hills along the shore to his home in Astoria. There, the powerful, broad-shouldered woodsman is transformed into a mild and compliant head of the family and musician who, on Sundays, ascends to the organ loft in the Swedish Lutheran Church and inserts something of all the things he has felt and experienced during the course of the week.”

Olin has since 1893 been a member of the congregation mentioned above; he is their organist. In 1901 he married Hanna Maria Källström from Nykarleby, Finland. They have two sons and a daughter.

Added note: One son’s name is Eldon “Ole” Olin, married to Bernice “Bunny,” and they live in Springfield, Oregon. (1999)