Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Founders and Evolution of SUMMER RESORTS and KIDS' CAMPS on Four Lakes in Central Maine ~ Torsey, Echo, Lovejoy and northern Maranacook

During the summer season Maine’s lakes come alive. Cottages and kids’ camps fill with people of all ages – some whose families have come here for five or more generations.  In the Winthrop Lakes Region it all started with the advent of the railroad in the 1840s, followed by the founding of hotels, summer resorts and kids’ camps. By 1890 an entirely new era had begun and those lakes, which were once invisible and virtually inaccessible, had become crowning jewels! This book tells the story. 350 pages with more than 200 vintage photos; $24.99 plus Maine sales tax and S&H

book reviews…
George Smith, Maine Author and Sports Writer says…
"What a great book! I whipped through it, absolutely fascinated... Even the footnotes were interesting...I can’t imagine the amount of research Dale and Charles must have done to create this wonderful book, complete with photos and details about the families, resorts and kids’ camps, farms, railroads, tourist boats, and more that made this region prosperous for more than 100 years." 

John Ford, Sr., Maine Author and Maine Game Warden, retired says…
"I highly recommend SUMMER RESORTS AND KIDS CAMPS to anyone interested in exploring and reading about a special Maine way of life that was second to none. Dale and Charles have superbly recorded these events, both in pictures and print. This book was a great read, one that hopefully will provide many of you with your own pleasant memories from a time long ago. I think it should be in every library in Maine!" 

Dwayne Rioux, Freelance Writer and former Outdoors Sports Writer, Guy Gannett Publishing Co. says…
"This book is of outstanding quality and well researched. I know how much it takes to produce something like this and Potter-Clark and Day have done an excellent job of researching the bygone era and the places and people they wrote about. The pictures are excellent and very good quality and the captions are great too! As an angler I was especially interested in the information about early fishing in the area and about Readfield native George S. Page and his cousin, Henry Stanley, the 19th century Maine Fisheries Commissioner.  The authors have captured an excellent historical piece and did a good job of bringing it to the present time. I highly recommend SUMMER RESORTS AND KIDS’ CAMPS. This book is a good read!"

Order via this web site using PayPal or

Or contact the authors by email ~ crossings4u@gmail.com

Upcoming book talks and signings
Saturday August 27th 9am-2pm
Vienna Historical Society, U.S. Route 41, Vienna village; sale and signing
Saturday September 3rd 10am-2pm
Maranacook Boat Landing, Winthrop Road, Readfield; sale and signing
Saturday September 24th 6-8pm
Vassalboro Public Library; 930 Bog Rd. East Vassalboro; 6-8pm; reading and signing

Wednesday October 5th 6-8pm
Readfield Community Library, 1151 Main St., Readfield; reading and signing
Monday October 17th 12-1:30pm
Cary Memorial Library, 67 Old Winthrop Road, Wayne; reading and signing; bring brown bag lunch
Wednesday October 19th 6-8pm
Underwood Library, Fayette (across from the Fayette Elem. School); reading and signing NOTE: location changed as of 10/17 from Starling Grange to the library 2* to a dry well.
Tuesday November 15th 6:30-8pm (NOTE: Date changed from 8th to 15th)
Bailey Public Library 100th anniversary, 39 Bowdoin St., Winthrop; presentation, sale and signing
Saturday November 19th 9am-2pm
Fayette Historical Society holiday fair; Fayette Central School; sale and signing

Thursday, December 1st 10am-1pm
Auxiliary Gift Shop; MaineGeneral Medical Center, Augusta (on ground floor just beyond the main entrance and information desk); sale and signing
More coming in 2017, Dates to be announced
Maine State Library

Kents Hill School Library
Check back for updates on places and times for book talks and signings.
To arrange for an appearance at your library, historical society or organization contact Dale Potter-Clark at crossings4u@gmail.com

Follow these links to read two newspaper articles about the book and authors:
1. Readfield native reveals history of camps, resorts on area lakes by Betty Adams; KJ and Sentinel; 8/28/2016
2. When the Winthrop Lakes were booming by George Smith; KJ and Sentinel; 9/14/2016

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Six Readfield Oral Histories conducted Summer 2015

During the summer of 2015 Sydney Greene and Dale Potter-Clark, from the Readfield Historical Society, audio recorded six oral histories. Several people who currently or formerly live in Readfield were interviewed, for 1-2 hours each, about various sections of Readfield, farming, schools, WWII and much more. Copies of these are now available for a $10 donation. Proceeds will benefit a fund to have historical site markers - called "Museum  in the Streets" - created and installed at various locations in Readfield. To purchase online see right column or contact Dale at crossings4u@gmail.com
These interviews are included:
  1. Lloyd Bruen and Evelyn Adell-Potter re Readfield Depot in 1930s-40s and much more. (July 3, 2015)
  2. Dale Potter-Clark re Beginnings of Readfield Historical Society, growing up in Readfield in the 1950s and more. (July 14, 2015)
  3. Russell and Phillip Walters re Sawyer-Walters farm on Church Road, memories of Readfield and Phil’s time as a German POW during WWII and more. (July 21, 2015)
  4. Buster Potter, Steve Cowperthwaite and Barbara Clark-Gilman re Nason farm, Kents Hill village, Kents Hill School and more (July 27, 2015)
  5. Joe Maloney, whose mother Margaret was a Fogg, talks about the Fogg Homestead, his memories of Readfield and more (August 3, 2015)
  6. Bob Newman, Gene Newman-Potter and Peggy Lucas-Parks re East Readfield and more (August 11, 2015)

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Readfield's Farm Heritage ~ a commemorative calendar for the 225th anniversary of Readfield's incorporation

On Memorial weekend 2015 Readfield Historical Society will make available a 20 month calendar commemorating Readfield's Farm Heritage, in honor of the 225th year of Readfield's incorporation. Evelyn Potter and Dale Potter-Clark have created this calendar to benefit Readfield Historical Society, with support from many of the families who once farmed in Readfield.
Some of the farms featured or included are: Kennemac, Fogg, Gorden, Elvin, Kennecook, McDougald, Wills, Russell, Kents Hill farm, Butman, Nason, Coffin, Luce, Trefethen, Lane, Brown, Mace, Packard, Smith, Hawes and more. Along with a brief history of the farms there will be many pictures, recipes, and historical trivia. A treasure to be sure!!
We are certain you will be very pleased to buy and have one among your treasures!! Cost is $10.00 each. To receive your copy choose one of these options:
  • Order via this web site (see right column) for $10.00 + S&H;
  • Pick one up at Readfield Historical Society on opening weekend - May 23rd or 24th 10a.m. - 2 p.m.;
  • Come by Readfield Historical Society during their open hours anytime this summer.
  • Contact Evelyn Potter etap30@roadrunner.com to make special arrangements for pick-up

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Readfield History Walk #28 8/8/2015 - Readfield Corner, The Old Fairgrounds and development at the Head of Maranacook

This is a specially produced booklet for Readfield History Walk #28 at Readfield Corner. Included are three maps, created by William Adams, Readfield Corner historian, that portray the evolution of Readfield Corner pre-1799-1850. Readers will enjoy seeing pictures and brief histories of 54 houses on Main Street and Church Road. Also pictures and histories of several businesses in that area, brief bios of several early families and men who helped settle Readfield Corner. There are also excerpts from Ernest “Tink” Rolfe’s oral history done by Dale Potter-Clark in 1987 – that include Rolfe's memories of Readfield Fire Department and big fires that occurred at Readfield Corner in 1921 and 1934; the Readfield Fire Department and more. Learn also about the Old Fairgrounds and development at the north end of Lake Maranacook. Dedication is to Joan Newman Fortier, a Readfield native who died in 2014. This publication is a jammed packed 42 pages and it is a limited edition so order your copy today!!
After expenses sales will benefit a project to place historical site markers throughout Readfield.
This book will be available on the day of the tour but if you are unable to join us on August 8, 2015 for Readfield History Walk #28, and would enjoy having a copy you can order one for USPS delivery. 42 pages $20 + S&H is $5.00 regardless of how many you order - if delivered all at the same time to the same address. These books will not be available until 8/8/2015.For more information about this history walk visit the web site www.readfieldhistorywalks.blogspot.com

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Joseph Baker of Tisbury on Martha's Vineyard, Readfield and Moscow, Maine

Baker Mountain in Moscow.
Joseph Baker built his log cabin
here at its base - long before 
this section of the Kennebec River
was flooded and became Wyman Lake.    
For years I was curious about Joseph Baker – the man who lived his last days in a cage.

I knew that when he lived in Readfield 1770-1783 he served his community, church and country as a responsible, energetic and ambitious man. I knew that in addition to helping establish Readfield (then part of Winthrop), he moved his family to Moscow, ME - the first to settle there. I knew the people of Moscow named a mountain after him. But that was about all I knew. 

In researching Joseph for my Readfield 1791 project I uncovered a story that deserves more telling than
In Readfield Joseph Baker built his home
on the shore of Chandler's Mill Pond
(Lake Maranacook) near the current
location of Readfield's town beach.
a short paragraph. He lived more than eight decades - a pioneer,  Revolutionary War Veteran, Methodist preacher,  adventurer, husband and father. He deserves to be
remembered as more than “the man who died living in a cage”. I think you will agree after you read his story. 

Within these 34 pages you will also learn about life on Martha's Vineyard and the trip from there to the Kennebec River and on to Readfield; how the settlers cleared their land and constructed their cabins - with pictures of the interior of a typical cabin; the environment they endured to do so; other family members (the Smiths) who joined Joseph Baker and where they settled; the worst winter in the 18th century and the spring freshet that followed; the invasion of the army worms; Joseph Baker's son who was responsible for starting the Aroostook War; and much more!
Joseph Baker is an interesting read, comfortably written, with the scholarship evident.
Florence Drake, President, Readfield Historical Society

The monographs that Dale M. Potter-Clark is writing about the little known and unsung pioneers of Maine’s backcountry will help future scholars have a better understanding of what actually happened here in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Kent G. London, Board of Directors, Kennebec Historical Society and Vassalboro Historical Society
Dale’s research about Joseph Baker is an important addition to our knowledge about one of our earliest settlers in the upper Kennebec River Valley.
Marilyn Sterling Gondek, Board of Directors, Old Canada Road Historical Society, Bingham, ME

34 pages include pictures, illustrations, maps, references and endnotes. $12.50 plus tax + S+H. Order now using PayPal or mail a check payable to Dale Marie Clark (see right column FMI).

Sunday, December 15, 2013


This is one of more than 200 pictures that appear in this book.
To Those Who Followed the Lead in Readfield 1908 - 1976 is dedicated to the town officers, committee members,  select boards, and the teachers and educational staff who have given of themselves to Readfield and her people during that period of time. All their names and positions will be listed in the book.
There are 200 pictures included of families, individuals, buildings, businesses and more. This publication also includes births, deaths, marriages; resident taxpayers living in Readfield in 1930 and 1970; teachers, committee members and the names of those who served on the select board between 1908-1976.

145 pages. PRICE REDUCED! $30.00 + tax + S&H. See the right column for information on how to place an order.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Sanborns of East Readfield ~ Life in Frog Valley and Beyond...

In reading
The Sanborns of East Readfield
you will learn about their influence on local industry and their community; 
their personal lives and struggles; and how their influence had a large bearing on
the rise and fall of East Readfield village.
Peter Sanborn moved to East Readfield
in 1813. In the years that followed he and 
his sons built two businesses, and a
thriving village began to evolve. 
In 1813 a young man named Peter Sanborn moved to East Readfield from Kingston, New Hampshire. He was industrious, smart and ambitious. Within a few years Peter, and his sons Peter F. and Joseph A., changed the face of East Readfield. Under their leadership the wilderness surrounding Carleton Pond evolved from one of scattered primitive homes and businesses to a busy village with two stores, post office, school and lyceum in addition to the Sanborn's tannery and an oil cloth factory. Their influence was also significant in the growth and expansion of the historic Jesse Lee Methodist Meeting House. From reading this book you will learn about the Sanborn's lives and influence on the village of East Readfield and beyond, and about the rise and fall of what we now call "the Vanished Village".
Two excerpts from The Sanborns of East Readfield:
Monopolies sprung up throughout the United States after the Civil War and Readfield was not immune. In nearby Winthrop, Maine C.M. Bailey had also been making oilcloth, and that business was expanding exponentially. The Sanborn brothers were smart businessmen and undoubtedly were aware of Bailey’s business goals  - his factory eventually grew to be one of, if not the largest, oilcloth manufacturing plants in the United States. In the meantime Peter continued to face some personal challenges. His first wife died in 1864 leaving him alone and grief stricken until...

...Joseph A. bravely left Readfield, Maine wondering how he would be received in the south – concerned if he might even be accosted by the fast growing Ku Klux Clan. The West of course presented its own threats with Indian attacks and weather conditions he was not accustomed to. He was gone for several weeks...

Contents include:
1) Peter Sanborn;  2) East Readfield tannery in the beginning; 3) Sanborn’s tannery 1818-1863; 4)The brothers' Sanborn; 5) Community Service, Religion and Education; 6) The times they are a changing (post Civil War); 7) Sanborn oilcloth factory 1835-1872; 8) A new lease on life arises (for Peter Sanborn); 9) Where from here (after East Readfield); 10) The vanishing village (East Readfield); 11) Epilogue (Augusta Water District); 12) Sanborn genealogy (in brief); 13) Appendixes (maps, pictures, etc.); 14) Endnotes and references.
24 pages includes many pictures, illustrations, maps and 4 pages of references and endnotes. $12.50 plus S+H. Order now using PayPal or mail a check payable to  Dale Marie Clark (see right column FMI).