June 7, 2009
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.
June 7, 2009
Music by the Swedish Meatballs. Movie by Red Squirrel Productions (that’s me) from old images.
June 5, 2009
"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.
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: email@example.com ; Host: Stockholm Historical Society;
Web site: aroostook.me.us/stockholm
May 26, 2009
Lynn Johnson will hold two Swedish Genealogy Workshop sessions at 3 and again at 6:30 pm on Friday June 19, 2009 at the New Sweden School. $12 per person. Proceeds to restoration of historic Clase homestead in New Sweden, ME. See the full story: http://www.maineswedishcolony.info/news/GenealogyClass.html Contact to reserve your place in the workshop: firstname.lastname@example.org
May 7, 2009
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.
April 30, 2009
The Boston Globe has a great article about the 100th anniversary of the Boston Post Canes.
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.)
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.
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.
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, recipient of the Boston Post Cane in November 2008