Thursday, July 22, 2010

19th Century photo of 2 Dapper Young Gents, taken by G. L. Doe studio, Caribou, Maine

 It would be such fun to research the genealogy of these two swells, but, sadly, they are unidentified.   The photograph was taken by G. L. Doe of Caribou, Maine

I wonder if they were two of the immigrants from Sweden who came to northern Maine in the 1870s through the work of William Widgery Thomas, Jr., Maine's Immigration Commissioner, who had earlier been War Consul to Sweden under Abraham Lincoln and was very taken by the Swedish people.  Thomas was later Ambassador to Sweden.

During the administration of Governor Joshua L. Chamberlain, hero of Little Round Top, the State, hoping to reverse a population loss brought on by the Civil War and the lure of the West, and hoping to shore up the northern border, made land in Aroostook County very affordable.  

Thomas led a group of 51 Swedish immigrants to the township that became New Sweden.  The township, despite the hardships of carving tillable land from forest and the harsh climate, prospered.  As more immigrants arrived, the colony spread to surrounding townships, today's Stockholm, Westmanland, Woodland, Connor, Perham, Madawaska Lake and Caribou.

Here's a link to a comprehensive website on Maine's Swedish colony:

Thomas married a Swedish woman, Dagmar Tornebldh, with whom he had three children.  Three years after she died, he married her sister.

Norway was held by Sweden during this time, but I don't know if any of the immigrants to Maine came from there.  It would be interesting to find out.

If you happen to recognize these fellows from family albums, I would most appreciate hearing from you.   Thanks for stopping by!

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