Film Chronicles Stories of Maine's Swedish Immigrants. Listen to the interview with Dan Olson and Brenda Jepson from MPBN radio 4/15/11
116 Station Road
PO Box 33
New Sweden, ME, 04762
Carolyn Hildebrand firstname.lastname@example.org
280 Main Street
Stockholm, ME 04783
John & Rosemary Hede
1149 New Sweden Rd.
Woodland, ME 04736
When the Territory of Maine was separated from Massachusetts in 1820 to become the 23rd state as part of the Missouri Compromise, many of the townships were still owned by Massachusetts. The northern boundary of Aroostook County, organized in 1839, was not settled until the Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1842. Both Maine and Massachusetts sold or granted parts of their public land to various interests. In 1845 Massachusetts sold the standing timber rights on T14-R4 (Perham) to John Goddard of Orono, which later caused quite a dispute with the settlers. A topographic map of the area names the Carr Road, also called the Old Goddard Road, a woods road running from near Hanford Siding northwesterly to The Goddard Farm, south of Square Lake, where Goddard had established a farm compound to service his timber cutting operations. That was all abandoned when Goddard and his men went off to the Civil War. Most never returned. The Goddard Farm has now been set aside as a Preservation Area for what remains of the giant white pine.
In 1852 Massachusetts sold its remaining land to Maine. Woodland (T14-R3)
was surveyed into lots of 160 acres for settlement in 1859, as was Perham
in 1860. In order to encourage settlement, Maine offered to sell its land
for fifty cents an acre, and even that could be worked off by road building.
In 1858 Fredric Lufkin of Caribou made a chopping in the north end of Woodland,
and in 1859 Enoch Philbrick of Buckfield made a chopping nearby. In 1859
Charles Washburn, B.F. Thomas and Moses Thomas from Oxford County also
took lots in that area, while T.L. Jenison, Carlton Morse, and Charles
Colton from North Dixmont made small clearings and built their log houses
near the center, then went out and returned with their families the next
year. The first settler to bring his family and remain was Ephraim Barnum
of Ware, Massachusetts, who took a lot in the southeast part of town in
Other settlers in 1860 were Jonathan Swain, John Thayer, Luther Robbins,
and E.A. Cunningham. In 1861 L.B McIntire settled near the center and later
sold his lot to R.A.Sanders, while George Ross, Willard Glidden, and John
Eddy came and settled near Barnum. In 1860 the County laid out a road from
Caribou westerly through Woodland (now the Woodland Center Road) and Perham
to the Ashland-Fort Kent Road, but it was only built to the west line of
Perham. Wood land was incorporated as a town on March 5, 1880. When the
B&A RR was extended from Caribou to New Sweden and Van Buren in 1899
it passed through the northeast corner of Woodland and a flag station was
established there at the Ogren Road Siding. The electric Aroostook Valley
RR (AVR) was extended from Presque Isle and Washburn through Carson Siding
and Colby Siding in Woodland to New Sweden in 1911. High school students
and others used the AVR for many years to go to Carson where they transferred
to a branch line going to Caribou.
In neighboring Perham, Ivory Tarbox, Francis Bryant, and Nathan Libby from Lawrence, Massachusetts made a homestead in the southeast corner in 1860. In 1861 Robert Jenkins and a Mr. Winship settled briefly in the western part of the town, but Winship left the area and Jenkins moved downstream to settle near Salmon Brook and Jenkins Stream. In 1862 deeds were granted to a colony of settlers from New Sharon including Hartson Blackstone, Reverend W.E. Morse, Henry Bragdon, Enoch Reed, Charles McIntire, Dearborn Saunders, and Robert Moody. Then Jesse Hardison, William T. Brown, James and Oliver Nutting came from Bethel. Francis Stowe and Greenlief (Green) C. Evans came in 1863. So there was something of an initial rush of settlement into Aroostook, but the Civil War intervened, and many did not return for various reasons.
When the first Swedish immigrants arrived on July 23, 1870, many of them chose to settle on lots which in some cases had been partly cleared but then abandoned in north Woodland, northeast Perham, or Lyndon, rather than going on into wooded New Sweden. Other incoming Swedes also settled there later. These lots were resurveyed and reduced from 160 to 100 acres, the same as in New Sweden. Among the early settlers in Woodland were Per Peterson, Solomon Johansson, Jonas Bodin, Jonas Bodin, Jr., Frans R.W. Plank, Jacob Johansson, Anders Westergren, the Swedish Pastor Andrew Wiren, and a number of others (names and dates on the early maps of the Swedish Colony and of Woodland). Among the early settlers in Perham were Leander Andersson, Ake Nilsson, Per Akesson, Nils Lanse, Lars P. Larson, Anders Ohlson 3rd, Nils Grill, A. Kilman, and J.P. Petersson. In Lyndon (Caribou) there were Nils Lindquist, Per Emanuelson, Carl Ogren, and perhaps others. Many Swedes settled in adjoining towns as time went by.
In 1897 the White Mountain Telephone Company received a permit to erect poles and wires in Woodland. One of the first telephones installed was in 1902 at the Goodwin Mills Store and boarding house, where there was also a starch factory, saw mill, and Post Office with Charles Piltz, father to Mrs. Annie Mahoney, as Postmaster. Sumner Hackett had started the business but needed help so Goodwin, a relative of his, took over. With the arrival of the AVR, Colby Siding in particular began to grow. In 1910 Carl Johnson built the first store, later Verner Peterson's. Albert Carlson built another store across the tracks (later Albert Anderson's, which burned). Carl Johnson also built a grist mill, and joined with C.H. Carlson, Frank Anderson, Colby Buzzell, Albert Anderson and John Carlson in financing and building an electric light and power plant for the people of Colby. C.H. Carlson built the first Colby saw mill (which later burned), and also ran a planing mill. Martin Anderson had a store and garage after operating a service station in New Sweden.