Monday, June 22, 2009

New Sweden's First Cemetery


The first burial in New Sweden, ME was that of infant Hilma Clase who died enroute from Sweden on July 19, 1870, just a few days prior to the arrival of the first group of 51 settlers on July 23. Her exact grave location is unknown as are the graves of others whose names are etched in stone on this monument.
The granite stone was erected in an area in the woods behind the present New Sweden Museum. This site is believed to have been the original cemetery. One wooden marker survives and is housed inside a glass case inside the museum.
The museum is in the background. The original community building known as the Capitoleum was built in the autumn of 1870. The adjacent town hall was struck by lightning and burned in 1971. An exact replica was built in the same location and houses the collections of the New Sweden Historical Society.