Clio Logo

This building was completed in 1891 or before. In 1891 it housed a saloon. In that year Axel Bakkala and Isak Jansen applied for a liquor license from the City of Ely for this location. We have no reason to believe that it would have been denied and so they were likely the proprietors. In 1907 Nastor Mattson ran a saloon here and lived in the building. Later Mike Sihto owned the building and perhaps ran a saloon as well.  

Although saloons tended to be profitable enterprises in Ely at the beginning of the century, in 1915 (or earlier) Matt Herranen converted the building and operated a clothing store here. Later in 1926 Gust and Senja Maki bought the building and established their men’s apparel store, Maki’s Clothing. The building remained a clothing store for 42 years before becoming home to the Ero Laine record and camera business. It later serves time as a print shop and later a sign shop. The history of Gust Maki and the other businesses follow. 

Gust (Alexander) Maki - proprietor of a shoe shop on Sheridan; migrated from Finland in 1897

Forehead, Nose, Hair, Chin

Gust and Senja Maki - proprietors of Maki Clothing

Outerwear, Photograph, Wedding dress, Coat

Gust Maki's Mens Clothing Store - Interior

Black, Shelf, Bookcase, Cabinetry

Maki's Clothing (third building from the left) - 1930s-1940s

Sky, Building, Photograph, Vehicle

Cyko Arts (second building from the left) - 1960s-1970s

Automotive parking light, Car, Building, Vehicle

Gust Maki was eight years old when he came from Finland with his parents in 1894. His father, also named Gust Maki, ran a successful shoe and leather shop on Sheridan Street.  Then in 1898, when Gust Junior was only 12, his father died of a ruptured appendix, leaving his mother, Amelia with six small children. With life expectancies low and the world a dangerous place, there were few options for Amelia. But she did not remarry as was customary at the time. In 1911, she sold the shop on Sheridan Street to the Finnish Stock Company and bought a large house on Conan Street where she was able to take in boarders to support her family.   

Gust Junior began his working career at age 14 in the Chandler Mine Blacksmith Shop. He later got a job as a clerk in Paddy Vail’s Clothing store where he met his wife-to-be, Senja Nikka, who was working at the Vail Hotel at that time.  In 1907 they married and nineteen years later they bought the building at 9 East Chapman.   It is said that whenever a Finnish man died, Gust would take a new clean white shirt from his stock and send it to the funeral home believing that everyone should have dress clothes to be buried in. Many people in Ely at that time, didn’t own such items. 

Gust and Senja had five children. Their daughter Merna married Roy Kess, who bought the business from his in-laws in 1947 and ran it until 1968. Gust died in 1954 at the age of 67. Senja lived to be 100, passing in 1988. Many of the Maki grandchildren and great grandchildren still live in the Ely area. 

In 1968 Ero Laine opened Cyko Art Hobby Craft here, eventually moving his Record and Camera shop located at 5 East Chapman (next door), to this location. His was a popular shop in the 1950 and 1960. All the teens came to his store on Saturday mornings to ponder over coveted 45 RPM records, along with camera and photo finishing supplies. Later, the business was run by Ero’s son, Roger Laine, for over 40 years during which time it focused on copy and print services. In 2014 Kara Polyner bought the business and added her sign making and design services as well as photographic processing to the existing copy and print functions.

The building, which belonged to the Kess Family since the original purchase in 1926, was sold in 2018. It now belongs to Treehouse Broadband, a local service providing high speed and reliable internet access to the community. 


1891 – Bakkala & Jansen saloon

1907 – Nastor Mattson’s Saloon

Mike Sihto Saloon

1915 (or earlier) – Matt Heranen’s Clothing Store

1926 – Gust and Senja Maki buy the building and establish, Maki’s Clothing

1947 – Son-in-law Roy Kess buys the business from his wife’s parents

1968 – Roy retires and closes Maki Clothing; Ero Laine opens Cyko Arts Hobby at this site

1970 (about) – Ero Laine moves his record and camera business to this site as well

1973 – Ero’s son, Roger, takes over the business

2014 – Kara Polyner moves Ely Design Works to this site

2019 – Tree House Broadband

The Sanborn Insurance Maps 1900-1924.

1900 AND 1907 Ely City Directories Accessed April 8th, 2022.

Ely Since 1888 (The Blue Book. Ely, Mn. The Ely Echo. 1988.

Ely Phone Directories from 1949 to 2020 (available at the Ely-Winton Historical Society).

Information from David Kess (grandson of Gust Maki)

Information from Patsy Wick (was a member of the family who lived in the upstairs apartment; Patsy delivered the shirts).

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Ely-Winton Historical Society

Ely-Winton Historical Society

Ely-Winton Historical Society

Ely-Winton Historical Society