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Published on Nov 3, 2011
In 1870, Swedish settlers flocked to far northern Maine to farm - creating a unique colony where the Swedish language is still spoken in the 21st century. But the few who speak Swedish are dwindling and the language likely will die out with the thirty or so, mostly older residents, who still speak Swedish today.
From the April Fool's Day jokes they played to the sadness they express over the disappearance of their farms, this film captures the lives of the Colony's Swedish speakers during this fascinating chapter of Maine history.
Introduced in English, the interviews are conducted in Swedish by Maine Swedish Colony's Scandinavian scholar, Dan Olson. Subtitles for the interviews are provided in English, while the beauty of the numerous dialects spoken by the last of the Swedish speakers are featured on the sound track.
A treasure trove of historic photos, provided by storytellers from the farms where they grew up, brings the old days and old ways of the Maine Swedish farms back to life in this half hour show.