A year in the life of the Nylander

To the editor:

The Nylander Museum would like to share some accomplishments from this year:

  • Think we are only about dust and rocks? Nope! We are updating exhibits on a continuing basis to make them more interactive, more accessible and more interesting, as well as creating new displays.
  • We continue to be open Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Can’t make it then or want to bring a group? Email nylandermuseum@gmail.com or message through our Facebook page. Our doors are always open to visitors. Home extension clubs, church groups and even Pokemon seekers have visited.
  • The Facebook page went live in March and we have more than 480 likes. This allows us to get the word out about activities and happenings. “Like” the Nylander to keep current.
  • In February, the board hosted a Nylander/Ketch family reunion, a gathering of the descendants of Olof Nylander. We will host another next year and all are invited to hear the stories about Caribou’s self-taught naturalist.
  • One goal was to reinstitute field trips by schools. The museum has hosted so far the third graders from RSU39, all grades from New Sweden, seventh and eighth graders from Fort Kent, the Life Skills class from CHS, and homeschool groups.
  • In January, two workshops will be held to introduce the Nylander to teachers who are not familiar with the collections.
  • Our booths became a stopping point for people at Thursdays on Sweden and the Moose Lottery. We were open during the Caribou Marathon, Caribou Cares about Kids, Halloween, Midsommer, and the Memorial Day parade. These opportunities brought in people from surrounding areas, as well as out-of-staters.
  • We have had visitors from more than half the states and several countries, around the state and The County. (We also recommend restaurants for visitors from out of the area.)
  • Monthly gatherings of students have started for second grade to eighth. During “Explore You Own Backyard” sessions kids discover the natural world and follow in Nylander’s footsteps. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) can happen outside of the school day! The next session is 10 to noon Dec. 30.
  • There will be monthly “Lemonade and Lectures” starting in January. Check Facebook for speakers on our area’s natural wildlife and history.

Last year, the Nylander Board started from “dead in the water” to becoming a more vibrant, active part of the history and culture of this area. There is more to do — come join us by volunteering, helping with displays, and getting the word out. As someone stated, the Nylander is the only museum in the state that is “solely focused on what those of us who live in Aroostook County can find in our own backyards.” What a gift Olof Nylander gave to all of us, not just his research and findings, but also a way to differentiate Caribou from other towns.

We would like to thank all our supporters, visitors, donors, the City Council, and the Aroostook Republican and WAGM for their support as we make progress and move forward.

Gail Hagelstein

Nylander Board of Trustees


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