Archive for the ‘Maine Swedish Colony’ Category

Artists to Show New Work at First Friday Event

January 7, 2011

Two Swedish Colony artists are featured in downtown Presque Isle, ME at First Friday Downtown Art Walks tonight, Friday evening Jan. 7, 2011. Richard Clark of Perham, owner of Wood’s Edge Gallery, will show his landscapes at Morning Star Art & Framing from 6-8 PM. Alan and Brenda Nasberg Jepson of Crown of Maine Productions are showing their video work across the street at Stew’s Sight and Sound. Refreshments will be served! Several other artists within walking distance will also show new work. FMI on the event see the Facebook page for First Friday Downtown Art Walk

FMI on Jepson’s work see Crown of Maine Productions

Christmas Greetings to Air on MPBN

December 16, 2010

Mark your calendar now so you don’t miss it! MBPN TV will be airing “Christmas Greetings From Aroostook” on December 23, 2010 at 9 pm and also December 25 at 4 pm. Watching this presentation with family and friends has become a tradition in itself.  Christmas celebrations in the Swedish colony are highlighted, including Lucia. The music and lights of small towns around the County herald the special ways that various communities mark the holiday season.

Brenda Jepson of Crown of Maine productions has once again brought wonderful images, sounds, and memories to viewers in this heart-warming video.

Midsommar Memories at the Winter Solstice

December 15, 2010

Sometimes a bit of summer seems to be needed. As we approach the darkest and shortest day of the year, maybe remembering the sweet golden days of Midsommar would be nice for a few moments. Check out “The Places You Never Knew Existed. . . Midsommar in New Sweden.”

Be sure to view the photo gallery!

Midsommar blooma

Midsommar blooma

Lucia

December 13, 2010

Lucia is celebrated tomorrow in New Sweden, Maine at the elementary school at 6:30 as  has been the tradition for many years.

Around the world many versions of Lucia will take place.

In Helsinki, Finland the elected Lucia will descend the steep steps and ride in a beautiful carriage through the city streets in a parade.

In British Columbia, Canada students of the Scandinavian and Nordic Cultural Association present their version.

A youtube clip from Sweden in 2002 shares the young girls singing Santa Lucia.

In Mora, Sweden the Saint Lucia procession arrives at the old church in a horse-drawn sleigh.

Even New Zealand celebrates Lucia!

Tell Me Thursday: WW Thomas, Jr

July 9, 2009

William Widgery Thomas, Jr. was the founder of New Sweden, ME. He went to Sweden and found the first fifty-one settlers who came to northern Maine with him on July 23, 1870. Many more Swedes followed. In fact, there were so many that arrived that some had to leave to find work elsewhere. The settlers worked hard to establish an agricultural community that eventually thrived. Several other towns developed in neighboring townships with many Swedish citizens: Perham, Woodland, Stockholm, Westmanland, Connor, and Caribou. People from other countries such as Norway, Finland, Canadian, and Denmark settled in the communities as did  Acadians and Irish.

W. W. Thomas, Jr with wife and son

W. W. Thomas, Jr with wife and son

Wordless Wednesday: Founder of New Sweden, ME

July 8, 2009
W. W. Thomas Jr, about age 45-50 in Stockholm, Sweden

W. W. Thomas Jr, about age 45-50 in Stockholm, Sweden

A Letter From America

July 1, 2009

I stumbled upon this tale of a family that visited New Sweden, Maine to attend the Midsommar twenty-eight years ago. Some things have not changed too much.

It is written in Swedish and in English so you can see both versions.

Remembering David Anderson

June 27, 2009

David Anderson worked to preserve the Swedish culture and heritage in New Sweden, Maine.

Obituary of David G. Anderson

New Sweden—David G. Anderson, 63, husband of the late Edwina (Jacobson) Anderson, died unexpectedly April 30, 2001, at Caribou. He was born in Westfield, Mass., May 22 1937, the son of Walter David and Marion (Bean) Anderson.
Mr. Anderson earned his BA from North Park University in Chicago and his master’s degree from the University of Hartford. He helped students learn in Suffield, Conn., Lenoxville, Quebec, and New Sweden schools. David lived in the country of Sweden for two years before he became a resident of New Sweden, where he worked to preserve the colony’s ethnic heritage. He was a past president of the New Sweden Historical Society and was also a past council member of the New Sweden Covenant Church. After his1990 retirement, David enjoyed his work with Literacy Volunteers of America and his winters in Venice, Fla. Mr. Anderson’s interests included Swedish-Americana, Quebec’s eastern townships, the back roads of Europe and the restoration of old homes.
He was predeceased by his dear wife, Edwina (Jacobson) Anderson in 1998. He is survived by a special cousin, Ann Herz of Grantham, N. H.; several other cousins, aunts, nieces, and nephews.
A service of Thanksgiving to God for David’s life will be held 2 p.m. Thursday, May 3, 2001, from the New Sweden Covenant Chrch with the Rev. Shelly Timber, pastor, officiating. Interment will be in Westmanland Cemetery at a later date. Friends who wish to contribute in memory of Mr. Anderson may do so through the Edwina and David Anderson Award Fund, care of New Sweden Historical Society. Envelopes will be available at the church or through the Mockler Funeral Home, 24 Reservoir St., Caribou 04736.

John E. Olson’s Poem

June 18, 2009

Voyage from Sweden

Written by John E. Olson (1841-1929)

We traveled from our homeland
in the Lord’s guiding hands
fortunate
free from danger
to New Sweden where we live.
We praise the Lord’s abundant love
that we remain, body and soul
lovingly preserved.

Here and there upon this earth
we meet our daily trials and toil
but lighter here than on old soil
its still a vale of tears.
This isn’t yet our proper home
without a rest we still must roam
with praise and thanks to God our father
for the eternal kingdom he holds for us.

Yes, many friends were parted
back home with sorrow and tears
With God we’ll reunite
and never more be separated.
There will be a glorious choir
that will never part, as here
that will sing in perfect harmony
with praise to Jesus, dear.

A copy of the above poem was given to Anders Tidstrom of Sweden by Katarina Hanson (1881-1972) in 1970 when he visited New Sweden, Maine. In early 2009 the poem was emailed in Swedish back to Maine and translated by Paul Carlson.

John E. Olson (1841-1929) was an early settler in New Sweden, immigrating in 1871. He was a farmer and violin maker, producing at least one double violin. He and his wife Hannah (1841-1926) had several children, including Victoria (1886-1924), Amanda (1877-1922), and Mathilda (1873-1953) who married Oren Anderson. Mathilda Olson Anderson’s son was Clifford Anderson (1899-1953) who married Dagmar Espling in 1931.

John and Hannah Olson are buried at Capitol Hill Cemetery in New Sweden, Maine.

John E. and Hannah Olson stone at New Sweden, ME

John E. and Hannah Olson stone at New Sweden, ME

The above English translation of the poem is followed below by the original Swedish version.

Old Sweden

Old Sweden

Öfverresa från Sverige

af John E, Olson

Wi reste från vårt fosterland
I genom Herrens styrda hand
Ja, lyckligt öfver att ej vi
I någon fara komma i,
Till nya Sverge där wi bor
Wi prisa Herrans kärlek stor,
Att ännu vi till kropp och själ
äro bevarade jemväl

Me här som där på jorden är
fins möda strider och besvär
fast mycket bättre här än där
men jemrens dal det åndå är
Och är ej här vi skola bo
Och för Guds barn fins ingen ro,
men pris och tack vår Gud och far
Ett evigt rike för oss har

Ja, många vänner skildes åt,
I fosterland med sorg och gråt,
Hos Gud vi all träffas få,
och aldrig mer vi skiljas då,
en härlig sångkör bliver där,
som aldrig skiljas såsom här,
Wi skola på fullkomligt vis
En gång få sjunga Jesu pris

Rena Espling Hultgren

June 14, 2009

Rena Hultgren will be honored at Midsommar on Sunday June 21, 2009 at New Sweden, Maine.

Here is her bio:

Rena Espling Hultgren was born in New Sweden, Maine to Helmer and Edrie (Olson) Espling and grew up on the farm. Rena married in 1944 and has two children, Sylvia and Roger, three grandchildren, and one sister, Mabel Todd.
Rena attended New Sweden schools, transferred to Caribou in grade 8, and graduated from Caribou in 1940. She worked at the Caribou Public Library and completed the Augusta State Library Course in cataloguing. She worked at A&P grocery stores in Caribou and Fort Fairfield. In 1942, Rena went to live in Worcester where she worked at Norton Company until late 1944 when she moved to Princeton, Massachusetts where they farmed.
Rena spent 8 years at a Belgian-owned machinery office transcribing parts and service manuals into English from French. From there she went to a 12-year office position in a construction company, writing parts and service manuals for machinery. The next 10 years were spent organizing and operating a retail and wholesale business of several motorcycles brands with over 350 dealers to keep supplied. Rena completed courses in sales, service, direct mail, and office management and made approximately 20 trips to Oregon, Colorado and Chicago to cover related fields in the industry. Her next position was at the Chevrolet Dealership in Holden, Massachusetts where she was responsible for maintaining inventories, accounting, and payroll. She was executive secretary to the owner for 11 years before moving back to Maine in 1993.
Rena has traveled extensively. She has been to Hawaii nine times, to nine countries in Europe with her son who was stationed in Germany, to New Zealand with her daughter’s family, to Australia on her own, and to Sweden with friends. She spent a great deal of time camping with her children in the northeastern U.S. and Eastern Canada. She also spent several winters in Florida since moving back to Maine.
After retirement, Rena was occupied with helping Maine’s Swedish Colony, Inc. as Corresponding Secretary, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer and Gift Shop Manager.

Scandanavian Gift Shop in New Sweden, ME

Scandanavian Gift Shop in New Sweden, ME

Rena’s hobbies include family genealogy, woodworking, sign painting, cross-stitch, and other crafts, and reading. Much of her work was donated to, and sold, by the gift shop in New Sweden.
Rena’s genealogy work covers nearly ten generations, dating back to the late 1700′s in Sweden, and includes over 1700 names. Now at age 85, her goal is to complete this study and she says she is particularly interested in keeping the Swedish heritage alive.


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