This site is not updated on a regular basis. 12/23/19


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.


New Sweden
Historical Society



116 Station Road

PO Box 33
New Sweden, ME, 04762


Carolyn Hildebrand nshs@maineswedishcolony.info


Download Membership Form

Historical Society



280 Main Street
Stockholm, ME 04783

Sandra Hara


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 guy: Bill Duncan, Bill@WilliamLDuncan.com ©2019 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.

Note, Dec 2019. This site is not updated on a regular basis. See individual historical society pages on Facebook for the latest.--Bill