www.MaineSwedishColony.info

News

 

The Sons and Daughters of the Colony of New Sweden (New Sweden Historical Society) and Maine’s Swedish Colony, Inc. have merged under the New Sweden Histroical Society name.

 

Film Chronicles Stories of Maine's Swedish Immigrants. Listen to the interview with Dan Olson and Brenda Jepson from MPBN radio 4/15/11

 

New Links:

New Sweden Cemetery Association Facebook Page

 

New Sweden First Baptist Church

 

Get involved. Join one of the Historical Societies of the Maine Swedish Colony (download form)

New Sweden
Historical Society

116 Station Road

PO Box 33
New Sweden, ME, 04762

207-896-5200

Carolyn Hildebrand nshs@maineswedishcolony.info

207-896-3052

Download Membership Form

Stockholm
Historical Society

280 Main Street
Stockholm, ME 04783

John & Rosemary Hede

jhede@ainop.com

Woodland
Historical Society

1149 New Sweden Rd.
Woodland, ME 04736

 

 

Folklife Heritage

 

Part I: Musical Heritage

Musical life in the New Sweden area is rich and active in spite of the relatively small number of venues and events where it can be heard publicly. Various vocal and instrumental groups meet to practice and occasionally perform a wide range of music. However, traditional Swedish music, like many of the traditional Swedish arts in New Sweden, does not have a strong public presence throughout the year. Those who sing and play Swedish music today do so mostly in their homes.

Over the years, there have been two major exceptions to this. One is the annual Swedish Midsommar Celebration of the summer solstice. The other has been the regional and statewide performances (including trips to the Maine Festival) by the "New Sweden Little Folk" traditional dance group, comprised of children from the area. Local residents, as well as those from other parts of Maine and beyond, regard the Midsommar Celebration as the special time when Swedish Colony heritage is put on public display. Even months in advance there is an excited anticipation among locals about the weekend event. During "Midsommar" the Maypole is decorated with wild flowers, carried up a long hill, and raised just like it is in Sweden; traditional Swedish food is prepared and served at the Covenant Church (and rumor has it you should buy tickets early because it's always a sell-out); people dance ring dances around the Maypole; traditional music is performed on its own and to accompany the "Little Folk" with adults and children in traditional costume; The New Sweden museum and gift shop attracts large crowds; And, an interesting addition for this year, two hours will be dedicated to "older folks telling stories of the good old days."

New Sweden Band ca. 1900 New Sweden Band ca. 1910.

Most of the music performed at Midsommar is dance music, one of four traditional Swedish genres which coexisted in the Swedish Colony from the first settlement. The four genres are: Dance music, Folk songs, Band music, and Religious Hymns.

 

 

Report on Discovery Research Fieldwork in the Swedish Colony by Matthew Shippee Contractor, Maine Arts Commission, Traditional Arts Division June, 2001. (413) 628-0159 mshippee@fiam.net. This report was funded in part by a grant from The Maine Arts Commission, the New Century Community Program, and the National Endowment of the Arts, a federal agency. The New Century Community Program is a collaborative initiative of seven cultural organizations providing matching grants and technical assistance to Maine communities. Funded by the people of Maine, the program seeks to assist towns in developing their cultural and educational resources

Privacy Policy-We do not share contact information. Site comments, correcctions, and questions? No change is too small – email the official web trolls: John Hede, jhede@ainop.com and Bill Duncan, Bill@WilliamLDuncan.com ©2010 Site hosting courtesy of WilliamLDuncan.com. This site was originally developed with assistance of a Discovery Research grant from the Maine Arts Commission, the New Century Fund of the Maine Community Foundation and the historical societies of the Maine Swedish Colony.