The Nylander Museum in Maine

657 Main St., Caribou, Maine This museum is a tribute to one man’s lifelong curiosity about the world around him.

The Nylander Museum, Maine
A wax likeness of Olof Nylander sits at the self-taught naturalist’s desk.

657 Main St., Caribou, Maine

This museum is a tribute to one man’s lifelong curiosity about the world around him. At the young age of 10, Olof Nylander, the son of a shoemaker in a small Swedish town, sold his collection of local Stone Age and Bronze Age implements to a museum in the nearby city of Ystad.

Nylander came to America in his teens and developed a consuming interest in geology. Before his death in 1943 at age 79, he had established a reputation as a tireless and innovative fieldworker and had published many articles in scientific journals. His wide-ranging personal collection of geological and freshwater and marine-life specimens, as well as Native American and other artifacts, is housed in the museum.

The tidy white clapboard structure was built in 1938 by the Works Progress Administration, a federally funded organization established to provide much needed employment during the Depression.

In addition to the extensive Nylander collections and archives, the museum houses permanent displays of butterflies, artifacts made by the local Micmac and Malecite people, large taxidermy specimens from northern Maine, and local Devonian and Silurian fossils. Special exhibits are mounted during the summer season.

Open Tues.–Sat. Memorial Day–Labor Day.

www.nylandermuseum.org

(207) 493-4209

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest