In the 1860s, newspapers buzzed with news of free land available to those willing to farm It. “Go West, young man was the refrain, and people were doing just that, to the vexation of the already underpopulated state of Maine.
Soon after, then Maine Governor Joshua Chamberlain proclaimed, “If we cannot keep our sons at home, let us bring in our cousins, and dispatched a delegation to Sweden in search of industrious folks to farm the upper wilds of the state. Twenty-two men, eleven women, and eighteen children answered the call and formed “New Sweden,” a colony in Maine’s far northeast corner.
The footprint of the original cabin was reconfigured to include this gourmet kitchen.
“The only things that wenr missing during chat whole time were the potato barrels with the wooden pegs. We had to use 18-inch lag bolts instead. Greg adds. “Without Larry’s craftsmanship and passion, we couldn’t have gotten this project going.”
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Once stacked back together, the old hand-hewn logs were made weathertight after hours of caulking. Here, we get driving northeast horizontal rains off the ocean,” explains Greg. “Being watertight is important.”
After the cabin was framed and assembled, it was time for the second phase of construction. In came builder Robert Moulton, of Bath, Maine, and his crew to do the finishing work.
“Both builders [Moulton and Totten] were creative and a pleasure to work with,” recalls Greg.
“IT SEEMS THAT ALL OF THE GUESTS WE HAVE ENTERTAINED ALWAYS WANT A ‘TOUR’ OF THE CABIN AND A SUMMARY OF ITS HISTORY.”
“I was really an awful lot of ad hoc design as we moved along. Joy was the creative spirit who made the construction project into a wonderfully warm home.”
The updated cabin included the modern luxury of indoor plumbing and new flooring. “We wanted the floors to be pine, like the original, but Maine white pine is a very soft wood, explains Greg. “When 1 was an aviator in Jacksonville, Florida, we had heart-of-pine flooring. We decided that was more practical.” This hard, durable, and all-reclaimed flooring has become a lasting contribution from die fourth generation of Johnsons in this cabin.