More Photos from 1970 New Sweden

Some More Photos of New Sweden, Maine Taken in 1970

Photographed by Anders Tidstrom, Orebro, Sweden and sent to Jean Duncan, Madawaska Lake, Maine, February 2009

The information from Anders Tidstrom about each photo is in italics below each image. Following the italics is information remembered in 2009 about the image.

Enjoying a summer day at Madawaska Lake

Enjoying a summer day at Madawaska Lake

No. 1 Four elderly men chatting at Anderson´s cottage at Madawaska Lake
It’s likely that one of the men was David Anderson’s father, Walter. David played host to Anders Tidstrom on his 1970 visit to the New Sweden area and brought him to visit at his father’s cottage at Madawaska Lake. Can you identify the men?

Paul Carlson says, “Photo #1 shows Walter Anderson, David’s father, on the far left.  It was taken at their camp on Madawaska Lake.  John and Karen Erickson have that camp now.”

The man in the back sitting on a lawn chair is Hampy Johnson, (identified by his daughter.)

Ralph Nelson

Ralph Nelson

No. 2 A close up portrait of Ralph Nelson
Ralph Nelson was a farmer in the Lebanon section of New Sweden on land that his family owned for many years. The farm is still owned by the Nelson family. Is that Madawaska Lake in the background?

Can you identify this man?

Can you identify this man?

What is this man doing?

What is this man doing?

No. 3 and 4: I have no better guess than you. Who is doing what?
Perhaps the man is repairing a water pump? Is he in a barn?

Paul Carlson says, “Photos #3 and #4 show Fritjof Jacobson pulling up the pump in our well house in Westmanland.  After years of abandonment,the derelict condition of that little structure was “in character” with the summer kitchen and log house when we bought the place from Fritjof and Olive Jacobson in 1969. The other structures at least had sound roofs. That property was know as the Algot Anderson place.

I repaired the pump house in 1970 using salvaged lumber from Albin Carlson up the road.  The structure served us well when we spent summers living in the summer kitchen while we fixed up the log house.  In 1978 we upgraded the house adding the present kitchen and garage.  At that time we installed central heat and running water.

The pump house no longer served a useful purpose other than for storage. Porcupines managed to make a mess of it all.  I had the structure demolished several years ago.”

Sodergren farm

Sodergren farm

No 5: Landscape
Here is a distant view of the John Sodergren farm in Stockholm, Maine on Route 161. The Little Madawaska River is at the bottom of the hill.  A road at the bottom of the hill bears to the right, leading to the town of Stockholm, Maine. The road continues north to Fort Kent, Maine, site of the border station crossing into Canada.

Jons Olofson Sodergren (1820 Undersaker, Sweden-1902 Stockholm, Maine) immigrated in 1879 with his wife and youngest son. Other family members followed in the succeeding years and settled their own farms.

Espling home on route 161 heading north

Espling home on Route 161 heading north

No 6: Landscape

The road, Route 161, leads north through the Swedish colony to the Canadian border, about a forty-five minute drive. The Cook house on the right was renovated by David Anderson and is now owned by Karl Espling, a descendant of Johan Jacob Espling who immigrated in 1910. Anna, Johan’s wife, and their ten children followed him to New Sweden the following year.

Ostlund house in 1970

Ostlund house in 1970

No 7:  An old house with that traditional wooden roof
The property pictured above is known locally as the Ostlund house. It is owned by Maine Swedish Colony, Inc. (a group dedicated to historic preservation) and was restored as the oldest two-story log house in Maine. It is open for tours in the summer and is visited by many during Midsommar in June and on Founder’s Day on July 23 each summer. The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places in the United States.

The first owner of the farm was Anders Malmquist in 1871 who built a cabin that no longer exists.

The second owner of the farm and builder of the two-story log house pictured was Noak Larsson (1830 Undersaker, Sweden- 1904 New Sweden, Maine) who immigrated in 1871 with his wife Agnes and four children. The Larsson family was one of a group of eleven families that emigrated together from Undersaker, Sweden.

The third owner of the farm was George Ostlund (1874 Klovsjo, Sweden-1953 Caribou, Maine.) George immigrated in 1903 and bought this farm in 1910 where he and his wife Esther raised eleven children.

For more about the families of Noak Larsson and George Ostlund:

For more about the George Ostlund’s:

Jepson farm 1970

Jepson farm 1970

No. 8: Another landscape
The Jepson farm stands in the middle of a hill surrounded by potato fields, one of the last New Sweden farms where the soil is still producing potatoes. Floyd Jepson (1916-2008 ) lived here his whole life and was a potato farmer. He and his wife Elaine raised four children here on the farm. Arthur Otto Jepson (1877 Maine-1961 Maine), Floyd’s father, farmed the land a generation earlier. Mons Jepson, Arthur Otto’s father, was born in Sweden in 1847, died in 1923, and was buried at New Sweden Cemetery.

The earliest occupants of the farm were Karl and Maria Kristina (Falk) Blixt and their son Per Erik who immigrated in 1871.


Blacksmith shop in 1970

No. 9: Wood brick house
Maine Swedish Colony, Inc. owns and  has renovated the Lars Noaksson Blacksmith and Woodworking Shop which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places in the United States. Tours and demonstrations are given in the summer.

Lars Noak (1855 Sweden-1940 Maine) immigrated when he was 16 years old with his father Noak Larsson, mother, and three younger siblings. Lars built the shop and the house (just to the right in the photo) on thirty acres of land that his father deeded to him. Lars and his wife Anna had no descendants. The shop was abandoned for over forty years after Lars death before the property was acquired by Maine Swedish Colony, Inc. and restoration began. Lars Noak’s tools were exactly as he had left them when he died.

For a recent image of the blacksmith shop:

For more about the Noak Larsson family:

Covenant Church in 1970

Covenant Church in 1970

No. 10: church
The Evangelical Covenant Church of New Sweden was built in 1885 and formerly was known as the Mission Church. A kitchen/fellowship hall has since been built that extends from the back right corner and is parallel to the road in front of the church.

One of the ministers of the church was Olof P. Fogelin (1860 Malmo, Sweden-1917 New Sweden, Maine.) He arrived in New Sweden with his parents in 1871. Rev. Fogelin served the church for over 26 years. He married Anna Brita Hedman (1860 Jemtland, Sweden- 1938 Maine) and had two sons and three daughters. Anna, age eleven years, immigrated in 1871 with her parents and four siblings.

New Sweden Post Office

New Sweden Post Office on the left side of road, 1970

What was the building on the right?

What was the building on the right side of the road?

No. 11 and 12:  RR-crossing everything but trains
The railroad crossing no longer exists. The railroad tracks were removed and an extensive system of trails for snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles was built. The New Sweden Post Office on the left is now the center of activity on this eastern end of town (known locally as the “B&A,” because the Bangor and Aroostook train came to the station that was located to the right of the edge of the photo.) The two story building no longer exists.

Madawaska Lake boat

Madawaska Lake boat

N0. 13: The cruiser Emma and some Swedish toes
“Emma” apparently was the name of the wooden rowboat owned by the David Anderson family at Madawaska Lake. The toes belong to visitor Anders Tidstrom, our photographer from Sweden.

Jepson Road sign in front of Miller's house in 1970

Jepson Road sign in front of Miller's house in 1970

No. 14: Road sign and the Millers
The directional sign stood at the northeast corner of the Jepson Road and the Westmanland Road. All traffic through New Sweden once came by this sign, but a “by-pass” was built and now traffic is limited to just local destinations. (Does anyone know then the “by-pass” was built?)

The two story house in the background was home to the Reverend Miller and his family of the Evangelical Covenant Church of New Sweden. The Millers moved away from New Sweden.

David Anderson restored this house, locally referred to as “the old grange hall.” The grange was an organization that helped farm families with many aspects of rural life. The New Sweden Grange grew to over 100 members from the surrounding communities, but with decline in interest the grange was dissolved in 1966.


No. 15: David Anderson´s car at well known crossroad
Dan and Megan Olson currently own the house on the left side of the picture on the Jepson Road in New Sweden.

In 1970 the house was owned by Wilbert and Amy Holmquist. The Miller home is on the right side of the photo.

Priscilla Miller biking on Jepson Road

Priscilla Miller biking on Jepson Road

No. 16: Priscilla Miller biking at the same place
The left side of photo shows the Wilbert and Amy Holmquist home on the Jepson Road in New Sweden now owned by Dan and Megan Olson.

Feel free to leave public comments below! Thank you.

Please contact me for corrections, additions, updates, etc.

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9 Responses to “More Photos from 1970 New Sweden”

  1. Glenice kelley Says:

    Hi, Jean! What a terrific job you are doing to capture the history of our little town! Thanks for your commitment. The road by-pass that cut off Dad’s store must have happened around 1947. Dad had a chance to join Gunnar Soderberg in a joint venture to ship potatoes that year. We moved to the house across from the park that year. i’m sure that you will have all kinds of input from others, but I know that it was around that time. My brother Roger has memories of a lot of this area. I called Helen to just get him involved in thinking about something. It’s so sad that we can’t talk on the phone.

    Also wondered if the man in the white shirt might be Frijof Jacobson—- I’m just thinking about the folks that David might have included in bringing anyone to town. Good luck! It’s fun! Hope it is for you, too. Glenice

  2. Glenice kelley Says:

    Jean, the store across the road in New Sweden was Willie Johnson’s store, then Ray Gies’. Glenice

  3. Paul Richard olson Says:

    I am very interested in speaking to someone who has connections with Undersaker, Sweden. My grandmother was from there (Family name ROOS, large family) The family farm is still there (in a family trust).
    Thank you!
    Paul Richard Olson
    Organist and Choirmaster
    Grace Church Brooklyn Heights

  4. Chris Anderson Says:

    In the 1970’s photo of the Post office, the building on the right was general store… When I was a child it was owned and operated by Ray and Silvia Guy for a number of years. From the late 80’s until the early 90’s ownership changed hands numerous times until finally it was taken over by Milo Haney. The store sadly burned (early 90’s) and it soon became an empty lot. I believe the store was one of the original buildings in the community and a focal point of the community.

  5. Clark Brewer Says:

    Interesting site!
    I was searching for info about Madawaska Lake where I summered from 1970 to 1991.
    The picture of the boat Emma at Madawaska Lake documents well the midsummer light at the lake, the angle of the sun is captured by the
    shadow cast by the boat. Even in the dead of summer I can remember
    feeling that the days of summer were few and that made us enjoy them to the fullest. Clark Brewer

  6. Beth Dekis Says:


  7. Marilyn Lancelot Says:

    My name is Marilyn (Holmquist) Lancelot and I lived with my parents Hartford & Viola Holmquist at the B & A in New Sweden. The house next door to us had two huge iron lions on their front steps. WE used to sit on them when we were kids. Does anyone know where these iron statutes came from? I’ve been trying to find some history on them for years. I spoke to a ninety-two years old lady in a nursing home and she said the lions were there when she was a little girl. Would love some information on where they came from.



  8. jeanbduncan Says:

    I don’t know! But here are some resources that might help.
    1. Ask for assistance from:
    2. Search “New Sweden” to try to find the house:
    3. Post your question on Facebook:
    4. Send a letter posing the question to:
    New Sweden Historical Society, PO Box 33, New Sweden, ME 04762

  9. George Orlowski Says:

    The building next to the railroad tracks and across from the post office in those two pictures is Willie Johnson’s General Store. Willie owned it from 1947 to 1972. I am the youngest of Willie’s two daughters. Dad and my mother Alice ran the store that was open six and a half days a week. My sister Gloria and I grew up in the residence over the store. My husband and I now live in Bolingbrook, IL and were just in New Sweden in Sept – Oct. 2011.
    Glenis (Johnson) Orlowski

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