1970 Photos of Anders Tidstrom from Sweden
Anders Tidström of Sweden visited the New Sweden area in 1970 with David Anderson as his guide. These photos were taken to document the visit by Mr. Tidström. These pictures are a selection he made when working as a journalist on a newspaper doing this in the lab. Each photo is followed first by what Anders recalled about each photo and secondly by comments from people in 2009 in Maine Swedish Colony.
Corn flakes in Albin Carlson’s kitchen in Westmanland. (Tom and Donna Hale’s home now. Tom is a high school agriculture teacher in Caribou and has planted Christmas trees on the farm. There are cross country ski trails that go around the farm. Donna worked as a nurse and a teacher’s aide.)
The man at the table cleaning the raspberries is Albin Carlson who lived in Westmanland just west of Carolyn and Gordon Johnson. Albin’s father and grandfather came from Sweden in 1879. Albin (1899-1986) was born in Westmanland, Maine. He was a potato farmer, retiring from farming in 1972, and sold the farm in 1978. His wife Ethel predeceased him in 1980. They had two children. He was chairman of the Covenant Church for many years, town assessor for 48 years, and a member of the school board.
The picture shows Paul and Karna Carlson, standing, as they remodeled the summer kitchen of their old Swedish log home in Westmanland in 1970. They lived in the summer kitchen while they worked on cleaning out and fixing up the log house. Paul still comes back to his log house in the summer. For many years at Midsommar, Paul has been in charge of decorating the Maypole and instrumental in the success of the Saturday night smorgasbord and dance. He retired from teaching art in Presque Isle, Maine and winters in Belfast, Maine.
David Anderson is seated in the photo.
Paul remembers Anders’ visit. That was the Carlson’s first summer in Aroostook. They bought the Westmanland place in ’69 while visiting David Anderson.
Everett Larsson passed away in 1990. His store building is still there, but it was purchased by the Hedmans. It is for sale and has been unoccupied for several years. Many people remember stopping in at Everett’s store for ice cream and gas on drives to the lake in the summer. Everett’s sister, Eloise Anderson age 92, and her husband Edmund were present at the 2008 autumn meeting of the New Sweden Historical Society when Edmund was presented the Boston Post Cane as the oldest living resident of New Sweden. The photo shows the General Store as it looked when it belonged to Everett Larsson (brother of Eloise Anderson and Evelyn Hedstrom.) The building began life as the Jemtland Baptist Chapel and was built on the opposite side of the road.
Boat on Madawaska Lake on the shore at David Anderson’s camp. David Anderson’s camp at Madawaska Lake belonged to his parents in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. It was then bought by David’s cousin Gertrude Anderson who used to come up from Connecticut in the summer. David inherited the place from Gert. That became David’s final residence after he had it put in its current condition. Karen and John Erickson bought it from David’s estate.
The sign on the lawn says, “It’s nice to go away, but home is best .” This is one of the old homes that David Anderson renovated.
The “mystery lady” is, indeed, Katherine Hanson. She lived with August Nelson as his housekeeper. They lived on the corner of Madawaska Road and Rista Road. She was a great aunt to Steve Boody. A slide exists of Katherine and August sitting outside on a bench taken in the mid 1960’s.
One person identifies the man as Ernie Borjeson who was her mailman years ago. Ernest Borjeson (1910-1992) is standing in front of the Stockholm Post office. Ernest was a rural mailman in New Sweden and Stockholm for many years starting in 1957 and in his obituary it says that many people considered him as their favorite mailman. He and his wife Helen (an elementary school teacher for 33 years) were active members of the New Sweden Historical Society. Their son Jan Borjeson was in Vietnam in 1970.
Paul Carlson remembers Ernie Borgeson delivering their mail in Westmanland. If the Carlson boys were in sight, Ernie would wait for them to run to the mailbox and then he would give them gum or candy! They always looked for him.
This is a picture of Anders Tidström, the visitor from Sweden who took these photos in 1970, taken at David Anderson’s cottage on Madawaska Lake.
The man on the tractor is “Ralph” Nelson. His widow is Frances and Ronnie was the son in Vietnam. Their farm was on the Lebanon Road in New Sweden. This photo appears to be looking northwest toward Madawaska Lake.
The man mowing has been identified as Ralph Nelson (1917-1975.) In 1945 he purchased his father’s farm at the top of a hill on the Lebanon Road, a mile or so south of the Borjesons. He later raised beef cattle with his son Ronald Nelson (1949-2006) who was in Vietnam in 1970. Ronald was a town selectman, road commissioner, and fire warden. In 2009 a nephew owns the farm and so the land has been in the Nelson family’s possession always.
The Ralph Nelson farm was across the road from where Diane Dubois and Kathy Mazzuchelli built their log home. Ralph Nelson’s son Ronnie farmed in later years until his death and now a nephew lives there. (Ralph’s brother Hartley was Boyd Nelson’s dad and the postmaster in New Sweden. Hartley and Ralph Nelson were twins.)
David Anderson and Albin Carlson at the table in the Carlson’s kitchen in Westmanland.
David G. Anderson would have been about 70 years old today. He was a teacher in Suffield, Connecticut, Lenoxville, Quebec and New Sweden, Maine. His last home in New Sweden was at Timmer Huset (an old log home on a beautiful hill just a couple miles north from the New Sweden Historical Museum.) He had a BA from North Park University in Chicago and master’s from University of Hartford. He was a member of the Covenant Church of New Sweden.
He purchased and restored the New Sweden Grange Hall in 1968 and converted it from the grange into “the Meeting House” (later the building was bought by Gordon Miller.) David enjoyed designing and planning building restoration. In 1969 he restored the former Lars Larsson 1906 farmhouse on Stockholm Road called Storagen (translated Big Meadow) which he named after the Anderson farm in Sweden. In 1968 David purchased Timmer Huset which was built in 1870. (In Sweden Timmerhuset is spelled as such, all one word.) David had cottages at Madawaska Lake, one of the cottages was owned first by his father. David lived in Sweden two years prior to moving to New Sweden. He worked to preserve the Maine colony’s ethnic heritage and was past president of New Sweden Historical Society. He was a volunteer with Literacy Volunteers of America. After he retired from teaching, David spent his winters in Venice, FL. He married Edwina Jacobson who died in 1998. David restored the home north of Timmer Huset on the opposite side of the road which was once owned by the Cook family and is now owned by Karl Espling. Timmer Huset was just a shack with old cars piled around it during the mid 1960’s. David purchased the place in 1968. Newspaper articles state he began the restoration in 1969 and completed it in 1973 with the addition of the living room and deck at the rear of the house. The article states that he and his father both worked on the house over the five year restoration period and that the pair remodeled several houses in Massachusetts and Maine.
Another house that David restored is the Frtiz Ullrich house next to the Covenant Church. Hixon Kelly bought it, and then he sold it a couple of years ago. Uno Espling owned the general store across from the Covenant Church and knew the house and neighbors well.
The photo shows Sjoberg’s potato house on Route 161 in New Sweden near the Rista Road with Clifford Peterson’s garage in the background. The potato house is no longer there but it is unclear if it burned down or was torn down.
Photo shows Pricilla Miller, the daughter of the Covenant Minister Gordon Miller and his wife Ann. It was taken on the northeast corner of the Jepson Road and the Westmanland Road (Jepson Road is in the background, Miller’s house just visible on right edge.)
The house on the left of Priscilla Miller is where Dan and Megan Olson live now. It was owned by Wilbert and Amy Holmquist at the time. Of course the road was the main highway to the lake. The intersection at the Four Corners is like a short cut to the lake. The Uno Espling store and Bloomstrand’s store were both “on the way to the lake”. Uno benefitted from that location, as many from Caribou would shop at his store- particularly for meat, cheese and Swedish items. The new road cut the store off from a lot of traffic
Thank you to those who helped in providing information about the photographs: Anders Tidstrom, Lynn Johnson, Paul Carlson, Debbie Blanchette, Lewis and Merilyn Petterson, Gaylen and Glenice Kelley, Connie Bondeson, Janet MacDonald, Ronald Buzzell, Bill Duncan and others.
Feel free to leave public comments below! Thank you.
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