History, nostalgia, art convene at New Sweden’s Midsommar Festival

Kathryn Olmstead, Special to The County
7 years ago

Generations of Madawaska Lake residents remember when Stan’s General Store was central to life at the lake, especially in the summer. Known for its 10-cent cup of coffee, its ramshackle exterior and vibrant interior, Stan’s attracted regular groups of customers at various times of day and evening for relaxed camaraderie that bound the lake community together.

The lakeshore building is gone, but visitors at New Sweden’s annual Midsommar Festival June 16-18 will be able return to Stan’s via film.

Owner Stan Thomas himself will be the guest of honor at a showing of the 30-minute film “Stan’s: A Jewel in the Crown” at the New Sweden Baptist Church June 17 at 2:30 p.m.

“Being a Baptist Church, we cannot charge for coffee (this rule goes back to Christ throwing the money changers from the temple), but we can offer coffee with a suggested donation of 10 cents a cup,” said festival co-chair Brenda Jepson. Memorabilia — from T-shirts and paintings of Stan and his store, to pens, mugs and photos — will be on display in the church vestry to augment the showing of the film created in the 1990s by Caribou High School students, under Jepson’s direction.

“We hope many of the old crowd who hung out at Stan’s will come to help us reminisce,” she said.

The “Trip Down Memory Lane with Stan Thomas” is one of several new events added this year to the traditional Midsommar favorites — flower gathering, children dancing around the Midsommar pole (Majstang), making hair wreaths, painting wooden Swedish horses, eating Swedish foods and visiting the New Sweden Museum, Lindsten Stuga, Lars Noak Blacksmith Shop and other historic sites.

Discovery of paintings by noted geologist Olof Nylander (1864-1943) inspired a new Midsommar art exhibition. Last year, while collecting Nylander’s photo collection to display at Midsommar, festival organizers discovered paintings by Nylander in the basement of the Nylander Museum in Caribou.

The County is pleased to feature content from our sister company, Bangor Daily News. To read the rest of “History, nostalgia, art convene at New Sweden’s Midsommar Festival,” an article by contributing Bangor Daily News staff writer Kathryn Olmstead, please follow this link to the BDN online.