Archive for the ‘Caribou’ Category

1939 Ski Marathon: Riviere Du Loup, Quebec, bound for Caribou, ME

March 16, 2015

1939 Caribou Winter Carnival Ski Marathon (Riviere Du Loup, P. Q./Notre Dame Du Lac, P. Q./ Frenchville/Caribou, 133/137 miles marathon) (7 finished):
1. Sam Ouellette, Milo, 22 hrs 47 1/2 min
2. Laverne Anderson, New Sweden, 22 hrs 36 min
3. Buck Ostlund, New Sweden, 23 hrs 33 min
?  Harvey Farley, Caribou
?  Cloren Nute
?  Kenneth Ginn
?  Bud McNeal

1939 Riviere Du Loup, Quebec, bound for Caribou in the newspapers:

 Hervey Farley takes over lead in 133 Mile Ski Race From Ouellette, Frenchville, Feb. 22–Hervey Farley Caribou, took over the lead today in a 133-mile ski marathon after a 47-mile run through a heavy snowstorm from Notre Dame Du Lac, P. Q. Farley, whose elapse time for the second leg was seven hours, 56 minutes, finished here four minutes ahead of Sam Ouellette, Milo woodsman and last year’s winner who had a two second lead at the end of yesterday’s first lap of 44 miles from Riviera du Loup, P.Q. Tomorrow’s final, 42-mile stretch will take the plodders to Caribou, where their arrival will be the climax to the town’s annual Winter carnival. Gov. Barrows will be on hand to greet the hardy ski-runners and award the winner’s prize. The rest of the racers, and their elapse time in today’s leg: Laverne Anderson, New Sweden, eight hours, nine and one half minutes; Buck Ostlund, New Sweden, eight hours, 17 minutes; Kenneth Ginn, Caribou, eight hours, 17 1/2 minutes; Kenneth [Harold] Bonderson, New Sweden, eight hours, 18 minutes; Cloren Nute, Caribou, eight hours, 33 minutes; Bud McNeal, Caribou, eight hours, 54 1/2 minutes. (Lewiston Daily Sun, Feb. 23, 1939,,3886583)

Sam Ouellette Leads Eight Skiers on First Leg, Caribou Marathon, Caribou, Feb. 21, 1939–Eight weary skiers plodded into Notre Dame Du Lac, P. Q., within two minutes of each other after a 44 mile first lap in the 133 mile marathon in connection with Caribou’s annual Winter carnival. Sam Ouellette, wiry little Milo lumber-jack who was last year’s winner of the event, was first, nine hours and 32 minutes out of Riviere Du Loup, P. Q.  Four Canadians, snow-bound at Edmundston, N. B., were unable to reach Riviere du Loup in time to start the long trek. Behind Ouellette, in this order, were: Laverne Anderson, Buck Ostlund, and Harold Bonderson, all of New Sweden; Bud McNeal, Harvey Farley, Kenneth Ginn, and Cloren Nute, all of Caribou. Tomorrow’s 47 mile leg will take the contestants to Frenchville, just across the International boundary from St. Hilaire, N. B., and they are due here Thursday to be greeted by Gov. Barrows.(The Lewiston Daily Sun, Feb. 17, 1939,,3816025&dq=ostlund&hl=en0

Ouellette is Winner in Caribou Marathon, Caribou, Feb. 23, 1939–Diminutive Sam Ouellette, 32 year old Milo lumber jack, Thursday won the annual 133 mile ski marathon from Riviere Du Loup, P. Q., to Caribou, repeating his 1938 triumph. The wiry Ouellette covered the distance in the total elapsed time of 22 hours 47 1/2 minutes to defeat by 11 1/2 minutes his arch rival, Laverne Anderson of New Sweden. In third place came Buck Ostlund, also of New Sweden, with an elapsed time of 23 hours, 33 minutes. The marathon was held in connection with Caribou’s annual winter carnival, which closes tonight with the coronation of a queen and a speech by Governor Lewis O. Barrows. Ouellette and Anderson finished today’s third and last lap of 42 miles from Frenchville shoulder to shoulder. The skiers made the trek over trails piled with 10 inches of new snow. Hervey Farley of Caribou, a darkhorse, took a momentary lead in the race last night by leading the pack into Frenchville. (Lewiston Evening Journal,  Feb. 23, 1939,,4188116&dq=ostlund&hl=en)

“In 1939, he [Cloren Nute] was a member of a four man team, representing the Caribou Carnival, which raced three other teams, over a 137 mile course, from Rivere Du Loup, Quebec to Caribou. He was one of seven men who successfully completed that race.” (Bangor Daily News, April 7, 1997, obituary Cloren Nute,,1929406)

1938 Ski Marathon: Riviere Du Loup, Quebec, bound for Caribou, ME

March 15, 2015

1938 Caribou Winter Carnival Ski Marathon (Riviere Du Loup, Quebec/Notre Dame Du Lac/Frenchville/Caribou, 125 miles) (10 starters):
Buck Ostlund, New Sweden
Bud McNeal, Caribou
Cloren Nute, Lincoln
Donald Hersey, Caribou
Harvey Farley, Washburn
Sam Ouellette, Milo
Victorien Hunden, Riviere Du Loup
Jean Paul, Riviere Du Loup
Rene Lavoie, Riviere Du Loup
Paul Desjardins, Riviere Du Loup

1938 Riviere Du Loup, Quebec, bound for Caribou, ME news items:

Marathon Opens Carnival, Feb. 24, 1938—A 125 mile international ski marathon opened carnival activities today when 10 skiers slid out of Riviera Du Loup, Quebec, bound for Caribou. The group expected to reach Notre Dame Du Lac, 47 miles from their starting point, by nightfall. The race will be taken up again Thursday morning, with Frenchville, 89 miles enroute, the next destination. The remaining 36 mile hike will bring them into Caribou Friday afternoon. The ten entrants were Buck Ostlund, New Sweden; Bud McNeal, Caribou; Cloren Nute, Lincoln; Donald Hersey, Caribou; Harvey Farley, Washburn; Sam Ouellette, Milo, and Victorien Hunden, Jean Paul, Rene Lavoie, and Paul Desjardins, all of Riviere Du Loup. (Lewiston Evening Journal, Feb. 24, 1938,,4236213)

Sam Ouellette is Still in Lead of Caribou Ski Race, Caribou, Feb. 24, 1938—-Harvey Farley, Washburn, threatened closely today wiry Sam Ouellette’s slim lead in the 125-mile ski marathon that is part of this town’s annual Winter carnival. Ouellette slid into St. Agatha tonight, ending a 45-mile lap from Notre Dame Du Luc, P. Q., with a scant five second lead in elapsed time over the Washburn skier. Ouellette, of Milo, won last year’s carnival marathon. Seven other ski-runners followed the pair in the race that started at Riviere Du Loop, P. Q., yesterday and ends here tomorrow.
In a Governor’s Day program, Miss Elizabeth Johnson, high school senior, was crowned carnival queen tonight before a crowd that included Gov. Barrows. Fresh snow improved conditions for the various sporting events. (Lewiston Daily Sun, Feb. 25, 1938,,395768

(This post is a work-in-progress!)

1937 Bangor to Caribou, ME Ski Marathon

March 12, 2015

1937 Bangor to Caribou Ski Marathon results: (final year) (7 starters, 6 finished) (held one week after Tri Town marathon)
1. Sam Ouellette, won $52 watch
2. Bob Johnson, Caribou
3. Harold Bondeson, New Sweden
? Buck Ostlund, New Sweden
? Walter Stadig, Soldier Pond
? Cloren Nute, Lincoln
?  William Farley (not listed in third day report)

1937 Bangor to Caribou, ME Ski Marathon in the newspapers:

skimailbackSports Snacks, Bangor, Jan. 28, 1937—The post office department outlined a plan to Representative Ralph O. Brewster of Dexter today under which letters carried from this city to Caribou, by ski runner during the Caribou Winter Carnival, Feb. 18-20, may be postmarked in post offices of both cities. The post office department notified Brewster the postmarks could be arranged in the two offices if letters were addressed to the ski carnival committee in Bangor, with a return address at any point on the right portion of the envelope. The mail, the department said, would be postmarked in Bangor and turned over to the committee for delivery to the marathon skiers.  At Caribou, it would be addressed back to the sender, again postmarked, and mailed. ( Lewiston Daily Sun, Jan. 27, 1937,,2155077)

Marathon Ski Race Starts Today From Bangor to Caribou, Bangor, Feb. 14, 1937—Despite a heavy rain storm that washed the highways and fields clean of snow, seven endurance skiers waxed their long runners tonight, determined to start their 190-mile Bangor-Caribou grind tomorrow morning. Reginald Roderick, chairman of the marathon committee, said the skiers would start as scheduled but might be assisted with automobile rides outside the city limits over stretches entirely bare of snow. He said the marathoners would take a back road route to Howland en route to Lincoln, the first day’s destination, in an effort to find snow. The skiers will divide up more than 2000 pieces of mail, which will be carried to Caribou for special cacheting. Harold Bonderson of New Sweden and William Farley of Washburn were added starters. (The Lewiston Daily Sun, Feb. 15, 1937,,3369339)

Ouellette Boosts Lead in Ski Race, Mattawamkeag, Feb. 16, 1937—Three contestants in the Bangor-Caribou 190-mile ski marathon fought for the lead today as they passed through this town. Fortified by a six-minute lead gained yesterday in the first leg of the race to Lincoln, Sam Ouellette of Milo added another minute today after a series of sprints with the pursuing Bob Johnson, of Caribou, his nearest competitor. Buck Ostlund, of New Sweden, appearing freshest of the racers, picked up 20 minutes on the remaining three contestants, Walter Stadig, of Soldier Pond, and Cloren Nute of Lincoln. Going strong, Ostlund appeared likely to present a threat to Ouellette and Johnson before the racers reached Haynesville, tonight’s objective. Many stretches of bare ground made the traveling difficult. (Lewiston Evening Journal, Feb. 17, 1937,,3785870)

Sam Ouelette, Milo, Leading Ski Marathon at End of Second Day, Haynesville. Feb. 16, 1937. Sam Ouelette of Milo, led five other weary Bangor-to-Caribou skiers into this town tonight, capturing his second straight lap and increasing his lead in the four day marathon to 20 minutes over Bob Johnson of Caribou. Long stretches of bare road hampered the racers on their 45 mile jaunt. Johnson and Buck Ostlund of New Sweden, pressed Ouelette most of the distance but were forced to fall back when the Milo veteran staged a spurt in the last few miles. Harold Bonderson , also of New Sweden, furnished the surprise of the day by jumping from fifth to third position, 46 minutes behind Ouelette. Other finishers and their times behind Ouelette were: Buck Ostlund, fourth, one hour 11 mins.; Walter Stadig, Soldier Pond, fifth, one hour 32 mins.; Cloren Nute, Lincoln, sixth, one hour 43 mins. The racers carried 2000 pieces of special cachet mail. (The Lewiston Daily Sun, Feb. 17, 1937,,3510807&dq=ostlund&hl=en)

Ouellette Maintains Ski Marathon Lead, Houlton, Feb. 17, 1937—Sam Ouellette, Milo ski racer, maintained his lead today over five rivals on the third leg of a 190-mile Bangor to Caribou ski marathon. The contestants had covered about 25 miles at noon today of the 54 between Haynesville, last night’s objective, and Mars Hill, where they will check in tonight. For the third day, Bob Johnson of Caribou, last year’s winner, dogged the heels of Ouellette, but failed to gain on the Milo entrant. Closely bunched behind the leaders were Buck Ostlund, of New Sweden, Walter Stadig, of Soldier’s Pond, and Harold Bonderson, New Sweden, and Cloren Nute of Lincoln. (Lewiston Evening Journal, Feb. 17, 1937,,3791907)

Ouellette still in Ski Marathon Lead; Last Grind, Today, Mars Hill, Feb. 17, 1937—Sam Ouellette, Milo’s dark-horse entry in the 190-mile Bangor-Caribou ski marathon, had increased his lead tonight at the end of the third and longest lap. Ouellette plodded into this town after a 54-mile fight against head winds from Haynesville with a 28 minute aggregate lead over his nearest rival, Bob Johnson, New Sweden, last year’s victor. Ouellette picked up eight minutes today in a grueling battle with Johnson over roads several miles of which were bare of either snow or ice. Harold Bonderson, New Sweden, was in third place, 33 minutes behind the leader. The other three racers were so far behind as to be virtually out of the running. Tomorrow’s lap of 29 miles will complete the grind. The winner’s arrival at the finish line will open officially Caribou’s Winter carnival.
Local interest was added to the ski marathon last night when it became known that Ouellette is being sponsored by Frank Darling and Associates who have a ski factory at Mechanic Falls. For the marathon, the Mechanic Falls factory turned out a special pair of Trail Master Skis, the new Laminated slabs which made their first appearance on the market this year. (Lewiston Daily Sun, Feb. 18, 1937,,3584342)

(This blog post is a work-in-progress!)

Read more here.

More about the ski mail here.

1936 Bangor, ME to Caribou, ME Ski Marathon

March 11, 2015

Feb. 1936 Bangor to Caribou 175 mile Ski Marathon Inaugural year (Bangor/Lincoln/Haynesville/Mars Hill) Results: (12 started, 5 finished) (1st day, Bangor to Lincoln, 50 miles; 2nd day, Lincoln to Haynesville, 50 miles; 3rd day, Haynesville to Mars Hill, 54 miles; and 4th day, Mars Hill to Caribou, 30 miles)
1. Bob Johnson, Caribou, 34 hrs 3 min, won $100
2. Walter Ostlund, New Sweden, 35 hr 23 min
3. Sam A. Ouellette, Milo, 36 hrs 53 min
4. Cloren Nute, Lincoln, 36 hrs 55 min
5. Walter Stadig, Soldier Pond, 43 hrs 3 min

Sam Ouellette, Ashland; Buck Ostlund, New Sweden; Cloren Nute, Lincoln; Bob Johnson, Caribou; and Walter Stadig, Soldier Pond, 1936 Bangor to Caribou Marathon cross-country ski race

Sam Ouellette, Ashland; Buck Ostlund, New Sweden; Cloren Nute, Lincoln; Bob Johnson, Caribou; and Walter Stadig, Soldier Pond, 1936 Bangor to Caribou Marathon cross-country ski race

1936 Bangor, ME to Caribou, ME Ski Marathon in the newspapers:

Caribou-Bound Ski Men Welcome Snow, Haynesville, Feb. 19, 1936— Better traveling conditions today heartened five marathon ski racers on a 210 mile test of stamina from Bangor to Caribou. Slushy snow, concealed [congealed] to a hard crust by a sudden drop in temperature, presented a smooth, fast course for the third leg of the race terminating tonight at Mars Hill, 54 miles northward. Led by Bob Johnson of Caribou, the racers hoped to make better time to the three-quarter mark than conditions would permit on yesterday’s 47 mile jaunt from Lincoln. Johnson turned in the best time of the day, nine hours and 13 minutes, to pace his nearest competitor, Walter “Buck” Ostlund of New Sweden, into Haynesville, by 25 minutes. Behind them came Ware A. Ouellette of Milo, Cloren Nute of Lincoln, and Walter Stadig of Soldier Pond. A $100 prize awaited the first man to reach Caribou tomorrow. Twelve racers left Bangor Monday, but the grind of the trail defeated seven before the halfway mark was reached. ( Lewiston Evening Journal, Feb. 19, 1936,,3998797)

Trio of Ski Runners Make Mars Hill with same elapsed time, Mars Hill, Feb. 15, 1936. Three ski runners, racing from Bangor to Caribou 210 miles made a 54 mile jaunt here from Haynesville today in the same elapsed time. Walter “Buck” Oslund of New Sweden, Bob Johnson of Caribou and Ware A. Ouellette of Milo each was clocked in 10 hours, 20 minutes at this three quarter mark, although Oslund was slightly ahead of the others. The two remaining competitors were Cloren Mute of Lincoln, 25 minutes behind the leaders, and Walter Stadig of Soldier Pond, five miles out when the others arrived. The racers still found the going hard, despite hard surface snow which accompanied low temperatures. The final lap tomorrow will take the skiers to Caribou for the opening there of a Winter carnival. A $100 prize awaited the winner.”(The Lewiston Daily Sun, Feb. 15, 1936,,3800233&dq=stadig&hl=en)

Bob Johnson of Caribou Winner of Ski Marathon, Caribou, Feb. 20, 1936. Bob Johnson of Caribou scored a smashing victory in the four day, 175 miles ski marathon from Bangor to Caribou today. He completed the final lap with a total elapsed time of 34 hours, 3 minutes. Johnson was more than an hour ahead of the runnerup, Walter Ostlund of New Sweden. A $100 prize [value equivalent to $1200 in 2010) went to Johnson for his victory. Ostlund was clocked in 35 hours, 23 minute. Ware A. Ouellette of Milo was third in 36 hours 53 minutes; Cloren Muter of Lincoln, fourth, 36 hours 55 minutes; and Walter Stadig of Soldier Pond, fifth, 43 hours 3 minutes. The five who finished were in good condition. They were the survivors in a field of 12 which left Bangor Monday morning. The first day’s run was to Lincoln. Tuesday the runners reached Haynesville. Yesterday’s lap brought them to Mars Hill. They came 27 miles over snow crusted fields and highways today. Their arrival was the opening feature of the three-day Caribou winter carnival.” (The Lewiston Daily Sun, Feb. 15, 1936,,3903569&dq=ostlund&hl=en)

Volunteer recalls early experiences by Mary Anne Legasse
“. . . As though it were only yesterday, Nute recalled training for a 200-mile ski marathon in 1936. The route of the marathon was from Bangor to Caribou. “I use to train while working the 3-to-11 p.m. shift. I would ski five miles to the two line and then ski 12 miles to Lee and go to work,” he said. “On Feb. 20, 1936, it was raining when we left the Bangor House. Crews sanded the roads ahead of us. We traveled 50 miles that day, from Bangor to Lincoln. By the time I got to the Penobscot Valley golf course, I had lost a sole on one of my ski boots. I had a piece of rawhide. I tied my shoe up and kept on going. People told me I would never finish, but I was not going to quit. Galen Stevens, who owned a clothing store in town brought me a pair of boots,: he said as he displayed the treasure souvenirs. Cute said that most of the skiers quit on the second day. He recalled having to pole up a steep, ice-covered hill. I told myself I would not quit if it killed me. I bet I could own the Hersey Co. for all of the andy bars I ate along the way,” he said. Cute came in fourth place and then turned around and participated in the marathon the next year. In 1939 , Nute was a member of a ski team that won the marathon from Riviere-de-Loup to Caribou. . .” (Bangor Daily News, Apr. 25, 1984,,3837029)
“. . .Rita B. Stadig’s delightful softcover, The Ski Marathoners. One particular section caught my attention, the day-to-day details of a 200-mile, Bangor-to-Caribou ski race. The competition began in front of the Penobscot County Court House and the finish line was the 1936 Caribou Winter Carnival. The winner, Bob Johnson, got the grand prize of $50 and he covered the distance over Route 1 in 34 hours and 3 minutes. How well I recall this race, being the sports reported on the spot that winter morning in downtown Bangor.” (Bangor Daily News, Jun 1, 1987, Monday Morning Musings by Bud Leavitt,,4577829)

(This blog post is a work-in-progress!)

Read more here.

June 27, 1894 Midsummer report

May 7, 2011

From the Aroostook Republican newspaper report June 27, 1894 (as archived in the files of Charlotte Lenentine Melvin):

Sold cigars at the festival [Midsummer]. People from Caribou, Perham, Woodland, Westmanland, Frenchville, Fort Kent, and Fort Fairfield there.

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.

First Lutheran Pastor of New Sweden

February 8, 2009

I found a newspaper clipping from an old Aroostook Republican. It tells the story of Rev. Andrew Wiren’s grandson and his search to find his grandfather. I had wondered what had happened to Wiren after he left New Sweden. I had taken a photo of Abbia Vaughan Wiren’s cemetery stone, but there was no sign of her husband. This newspaper article held the expanation! Please read my page about Rev. Wiren.


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