Raivaaja Publishing Company

Jan. 1905

(Finnish and English in later years.)

Ceased publication

164 Elm St.
Fitchburg, Massachusetts

OCLC number


Raivaaja (English: The Pioneer) was a Finnish-language newspaper published from 1905 to 2009 in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, by Raivaaja Publishing Company. For the first three decades of its existence the publication was closely associated with the Socialist Party of America (SPA). In 1936 as part of a large factional split in the SPA, the former Finnish Socialist Federation severed its connection to become the “Finnish American League for Democracy,” with Raivaaja remaining the official organ of this remodeled organization.
During its final years the publication included both English language and Finnish language content. It was last edited by Marita Cauthen from 1984 until its termination in 2009. Today the not-for-profit Raivaaja Foundation still runs a website and an online bookstore.


1 History

1.1 Establishment
1.2 Affiliations and ideology
1.3 Frequency and circulation
1.4 Final years

2 Editors-in-chief
3 Other Raivaaja Publishing Company periodicals
4 See also
5 Footnotes
6 Further reading
7 External links

The history of the broadsheet newspaper Raivaaja (The Pioneer) is traceable to an earlier publication, Pohjan Tähti (The North Star), which was started in the Finnish-American enclave of Fitchburg, Massachusetts by a private entrepreneur, Alex Heisson, who sought to launch a profitable publication to serve the community’s large and growing Finnish-speaking population.[1] Taking a calculated political risk, the aspiring capitalist publisher hired a talented socialist editor, émigré Finnish newcomer Taavi Tainio.[1] For a time the alliance seemed to be working, with the profit-seeking, nominally socialist publication quickly growing to a circulation of nearly 4,000.[1] By the end of the year differences over the function and goals of the paper led to Heisson terminating his outspoken editor.[1]
The popular Taino’s firing led to a spate of organizational activity by local Fitchburg socialists, who sought to establish a new publication with a more definite socialist orientation under Taino’s direction.[1] A mass meeting was held on January 1, 1905, at which it was decided to move forward with such a venture, and a board of dire