Archive for the ‘Maine Swedish Colony’ Category

Mabel Espling Todd

June 13, 2009

Mabel Todd will be honored at Midsommar on 1:00 pm Sunday June 21, 2009 at New Sweden, Maine.


Sunday Program featuring The Maine Event singers and Wednesday Evening Fiddlers

Sunday Program featuring The Maine Event singers and Wednesday Evening Fiddlers: Thomas Park; arrival of the Majstång (Maypole); Little Folk Dancers; music by The Maine Event singers and Wednesday Evening Fiddlers from Perth Andover; raffle drawings and more, Lewis Peterson emcee, Honoring Rena Espling Hultgren and Mable Espling Todd.

Here is her bio:

Mabel Espling Todd

Mabel Espling Todd was born in New Sweden to Helmer and Edrie (Olson) Espling. Her beloved sister, Rena, is four years younger. Mabel attended grade school in New Sweden and graduated from Caribou High School in 1937. Mabel was married to Arthur Todd and has two children (twins), Paul and Amber, and three grandchildren.
Mabel worked in Caribou at Newberry’s and R. H. Frost Co. (where she obtained state licenses for insurance and real estate), Norton Company in Worcester during WWII years, Ray Harmon and Sons, National Confectionery, the Caribou Town Office, M. D. McGrath Co., L. D. Bearce Co. and Bearce-Carter Oil. She was Office Manager at Cary Memorial Hospital and at Maine Potato Bag Co. She worked at Caribou Publishing Co. for some time where she was also involved in all aspects of printing the Aroostook Republican. She worked 19 years at Loring AFB with the Army & Air Force Exchange in every department until she retired. Mabel has been considered a good secretary, excellent in bookkeeping and proficient in office management. Her most recent paid occupation was being ballot clerk at Stan’s whenever T16 R4 was involved in the election process.
Mabel has been affiliated with Baptist churches in the area serving as Sunday school teacher, Youth Leader, Deaconess, Choir Member, Church Clerk, Financial Secretary and Mail Secretary as well as a member of various committees.
Mabel was Secretary/Treasurer of the Caribou Band Parents for four years while her children were in the high school band, helping to raise money for instruments and band trips.
Mabel was instrumental in starting youth groups where there were none such as the Caribou Junior Baptist Fellowship and the Baptist and Boys 4H group for Perham and Woodland boys. She was Assistant 4H leader for many years with Colby girls.
Mabel is still quite proficient in Swedish which she began learning from infancy. She also became proficient in French, Italian, Finnish and Lithuanian.
Mabel’s most recent interests have been volunteer work. She has been involved with the New Sweden Historical Society as Secretary, Treasurer and “ongoing volunteer fulltime.” Mabel served faithfully as museum hostess as well as on several committees. She is a member of the Maine’s Swedish Colony, Inc., and served as Secretary for several years. She was a member of the New Sweden Cemetery Association and was President for many years and a Director. Mabel is a member of the Madawaska Lake Campers Association serving as Secretary and Treasurer for many years and as a Director.
Mabel says she has had a good life and has appreciated many activities and associations that have been educational and fulfilling. At age 89 she is happy to be able to be involved in whatever comes her way. Perhaps Mabel’s favorites memories are of working with her dad on the farm and later enjoying farming with her husband. She says one learns a lot in that occupation, not just planting and harvesting, but also construction, electricity, machine work, purchasing and selling, to mention a few.

Anniversary of Death: Mildred Westin

June 7, 2009
Mildred Velma Barnes Westin

Mildred Velma Barnes Westin

Mildred “Millie” Barnes Westin used to be my landlady. We lived in the upstairs apartment in her rambling old house on the edge of Collins Pond in Caribou, Maine. She used to sing in her deep alto voice while working around the kitchen downstairs and I would hear her through the hot air grates in the floor.

Millie had a table in the bay window facing east right next to our entrance. Among the plants was a huge Christmas cactus that always seemed to be in bloom. Her outdoor garden was filled with lilies, roses, and cultivated raspberries in the summertime.

I remember seeing Millie and Everett, her husband, sing the special music presentation in church at the Caribou United Baptist. I didn’t realize it then, but it really was very special to hear the Swedish hymns sung. (Everett’s father immigrated from Sweden. He served first as a minister at the First Baptist Church of New Sweden, Maine starting in 1895 and also at the Stockholm First Baptist Church as late as 1928).

As a teen, I was a junior church helper and sat in the tiny pews with the 4 year olds as Millie led them in learning to sing (with the hand motions) “This Little Light of Mine, I’m Gonna Let It Shine.”

One Thanksgiving, Millie came to our house for dinner along with my father’s cousin Olive Choate. She told stories about Everett during World War I involving lots of blood. I can’t remember the details now.

Millie died two years ago today at the age of 94. She was born in Caribou, graduated from Caribou High School in 1931, and worked for the telephone and telegraph company in their Caribou office. She and Everett were married November 21, 1950. He predeceased her in 1992 at age 91.

Kapitoleum Movie from New Sweden, Maine

June 7, 2009

Music by the Swedish Meatballs. Movie by Red Squirrel Productions (that’s me) from old images.

Carnival of Genealogy: Swimsuit Edition

June 5, 2009
"Bathing" Aug. 1911 Madawaska Lake, Maine

"Bathing" Aug. 1911 Madawaska Lake, Maine

John J. Sodergren and his father cut a path probably in the 1880’s from their log house  near the Little Madawaska River in Stockholm, Maine to Madawaska Lake in the Maine Swedish Colony established in 1870.  John J. Sodergren catered to the local population that spent their summer holidays at the lake. A steamboat was in use and rowboats were for rent as were lakeside cabins. A barn was built near the shore for the horses. In the winter, ice was cut from Madawaska Lake for use in the summertime.

Mabel Sodergren bought the store from her father in 1914 and ran the business with her her second husband Andrew Lawson for many years. The business was purchased by Chester Buzzell upon their retirement. Buzzell sold to Stan Thomas who was the last owner of the building which was torn down in 2006.

Madawaska Lake is still a popular spot for swimming and boating, a little treasure in far northern Maine cherished by many residents and visitors.

New Midsommar Event at the Stockholm Museum

May 31, 2009

The Stockholm Museum will host a Special Open House at  Stockholm, ME at 2 pm on Friday June 19, 2009 showing a large collection of genealogy, photos and artifacts, veterans room, “Annie’s Shop” country store recreation, history on the mills, and more. The museum is a great place to stop in before the Legion Supper across the street Friday evening. A special welcome to the  Stockholm Historical Society at the 2009 Midsommar Festival. Donations gratefully accepted. FMI: John Hede, 207-896-3177, email: jhede@ainop.net ; Host: Stockholm Historical Society;

Web site: aroostook.me.us/stockholm

http://www.maineswedishcolony.info/cal.html

Video of Midsommar 2008 Dance

May 7, 2009

http://www.youtube.com/user/maineswedishcolony

Here is a video of the dance at New Sweden, Maine on Saturday night during Midsommar in June 2008. Instructors taught the dance steps to the participants, local instrumental musicians provided the music, and special vocal musicians from the Boston area sang as people danced.

100th Anniversary of Boston Post Cane

April 30, 2009

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/magazine/articles/2009/04/26/citizens_canes/

The Boston Globe has a great article about the 100th anniversary of the Boston Post Canes.

http://web.maynard.ma.us/bostonpostcane/

Maynard (Massachusetts) Historical Society maintains a website tracking the Boston Post Canes!!

New Sweden’s current Boston Post Cane is Edmund Anderson (born April 1, 1912.)

Travel Routes

February 24, 2009

It seems that many immigrants to this area of the world shared a similar travel route from Europe. Once the Atlantic crossing had been made, many found themselves in the port at St. John, New Brunswick. Next came the journey up the St. John River by steamer and/or tow boat to the next destination. For the Danes in 1872, the destination was New Denmark, New Brunswick. For the Scots in 1873, the destination was New Kincardineshire, New Brunswick. For the Swedes in 1870, the destination was New Sweden, Maine. For more on how the trip was made, read my page about Travel Route From Sweden.

Mathilda Anderson hosts researcher Melvin 1950

February 18, 2009

Charlotte Lenentine Melvin visited New Sweden as a student researcher in 1950. She was invited to stay at the home of Mathilda Anderson during the visit. The notes that Charlotte took from her conversation with Mathilda provide an interesting view of the hardships in the early days of settling New Sweden.

Do you know who Mathilda’s family was? Please help me find out about them.

Boston Post Cane

February 14, 2009

The most recent recipient of the Boston Post cane was Edmund F. Anderson, born April 1, 1912. Debbie Eustis-Grandy made a presentation at the November 2008 meeting of the New Sweden Historical Society where Edmund and his wife Eloise were honored guests. The page about the cane recipients that I have added gives some more information as well as some photos. Photograph by William L. Duncan.

Edmund F. Anderson, born in 1912, current holder of the Boston Post Cane

Edmund F. Anderson, born in 1912, recipient of the Boston Post Cane in November 2008


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