Film Chronicles Stories of Maine's Swedish Immigrants. Listen to the interview with Dan Olson and Brenda Jepson from MPBN radio 4/15/11
116 Station Road
PO Box 33
New Sweden, ME, 04762
Carolyn Hildebrand firstname.lastname@example.org
280 Main Street
Stockholm, ME 04783
John & Rosemary Hede
1149 New Sweden Rd.
Woodland, ME 04736
Some documents and links related to the 8 October, 2011 membership meeting.
Maine's Swedish Colony, Inc., is just one of the societies concerned with historical preservation and cultural development in the geographical region called the Maine Swedish Colony.
On July 23, 1870, a Swedish Colony was established by the State of Maine in the virgin forest of Aroostook County. Maine had appointed William Widgery Thomas, Jr. (who had served as Lincoln’s Civil War Consul in Sweden) as State Immigration Commissioner who went to Sweden, recruited and led the first 51 immigrants into the township that became New Sweden. Early hardships were overcome and the Colony prospered and grew into the neighboring townships of Westmanland, Stockholm and surrounding areas. Local historical societies were formed in New Sweden in 1925, Stockholm in 1976, and then Maine’s Swedish Colony, Inc. (MSC) was organized as a restoration and preservation society in 1989. Restoration of the 3 historic properties described here, along with activities in cooperation with the other groups, is an important means of helping to preserve local Swedish culture and heritage.
One of the oldest buildings (c.1870s) still extant in the Colony, and the only full two-story log home from that era in the State of Maine, was built by the Noak Larsson family, which came from Sweden in 1871. The parents died about 1905 and the farm was divided, with the log home going to investors who rented it until 1910. George Ostlund then purchased it. His family lived there until 1989. MSC then purchased the 40-acre farm and buildings. The house has been restored on the exterior, but needs more work inside as funding permits. The potato cellar has been restored. It is used to display farm equipment. The garage has been repaired and has an antique gas pump, that formerly served Bloomstrand’s store.
About 1900, the son of Noak Larsson, Lars Noak(sson), bought the land above the road and built the large blacksmith shop, which MSC has restored. Lars Noak also built a home nearby for himself and his wife (they had no children). He became too old to continue working, and let the last fire die out in the forge about 1940. He died soon after. The shop was then closed up and kept largely intact by the new owners (the Engstrom family). Later, Norman Engstrom sold the nearby frame home, and agreed to sell the shop to the local historical society. Bob Mockler, Dan Brewer and a small group of Friends of the Shop donated the purchase money. Volunteers quickly replaced the rotting cedar post supports. MSC was then formed to accelerate the work with a grant from the Maine Historic Preservation Commission. The shop is open by appointment, and is also used for demonstrations at major local observances.
The Capitol School Museum and Gift Shop is the third property being restored and maintained by Maine’s Swedish Colony. It is the last of the local one-room schools built in various parts of New Sweden in the 1920’s, and the only one that has retained its original character (several of the others have been converted into private homes). The original blackboards are still in place, and even the privy compartments are still there, one for girls and one for boys. Most of the original desks disappeared but replacements of the same vintage have been found. Some of the teachers who taught here are still active in the society and have donated vintage schoolbooks and other material. The gift shop specializes in Swedish gifts and books, as well as locally made crafts. The building is seasonally open to visitors by appointment.
Maine’s Swedish Colony membership is open to all. The enrollment fee is $50, dues are $5 (or $100 lifetime dues, to go in a maintenance endowment fund). Associate Membership, which includes newsletters, etc., is $5 per year. MSC is a tax deductible non-profit society made up of volunteers. Assistance and donations are greatly appreciated.
Maine’s Swedish Colony, Inc., is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization so your gifts are tax deductible. You may donate gifts through our secure PayPal® account using your credit card. You are not required to have your own PayPal account.
|Enroll as a member in Maine's Swedish Colony, Inc. One-time $50.00 fee. (PayPal total will already be calculated)|
|Pay annual $5.00 dues as a subscription through Paypal. Deducted automatically each year. (PayPal total will already be calculated)|
|Pay lifetime $100.00 dues through PayPal to Maine's Swedish Colony, Inc. This one-time fee goes into the maintenance endowments fund.|
|Donate additional gifts through Paypal. You may specify how your gift is to be used.|
For those who are unfamiliar with PayPal, the process works something like this (varies with the type of payment):
You may also post your gifts to:
Maine's Swedish Colony, Inc.,
P.O. Box 50
New Sweden, ME 04762
Tack så mycket!
Thanks so much!
*named gifts available