Friday, August 4, 2017

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 ~

Upcoming book talks and signings
1. Mon., March 12, 2018 (storm date March 14) Readfield Community Library, 1151 Main St. 6:30-7:30 pm. Book talk followed by a sale and signing.
2. Sat. July 7, 2018 Torsey Pond Association at 8 Old Kents Hill Road (Gile Hall) regarding the history of Torsey Pond, the waterway, factories and more... Book sale and signing to follow.

1. Sat., Aug. 5th Lovejoy Pond Improvement Assoc. annual meeting and pot luck 5-7pm. Book talk starts at 5:45 followed by book sale and signing. At the "old North Wayne School" on Old Kents Hill Rd.
2. Sat. Aug. 12th 11:30am-2pm at Readfield Historical Society, 759 Main St. Book sale, signing and Q&A
3. Wed. Aug. 16th 6-7:30pm Underwood Memorial Library, Fayette. Book talk, sale and signing
4. Sat., Aug. 19th 9am-3pm 220 Main St. Mercantile, Winthrop. Book sale, signing and Q&A
5.  Fri., Oct. 27th 10am-12noon Book reading and tour of Camp Kirkwold on Lovejoy Pond
6.  Thurs. Nov. 9th 12:30-1:30pm Manchester Community Church, reading and signing
7. Mon. Nov. 27th 9:30-11am Senior Café, Maranacook Middle School Cafeteria, presentation about the Rise and Decline of Readfield Depot and book reading
More coming in 2018, Dates to be announced
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

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

Friday, May 5, 2017


2017-2018 CALENDAR:

100% of profits from this new 13 month (June 2017-June 2018) calendar will benefit Readfield Historical Society. A similar calendar in 2015 was about the history of Readfield farms, past and present. This new calendar includes brief histories and photos of various Readfield organizations, both past and present, including Scouts, Lions Club, Masons, Readfield Recreation Association, Little Town Club and Community House, Grange, Readfield Fire Department and much more! The 2017-2018 calendar will be available on opening weekend at Readfield Historical Society, 759 Main Street, Sat. & Sun. May 27-28, 2017 (Memorial Day weekend) and throughout the summer. They will go fast, so get yours soon! Cost is $10 per calendar. S & H is $5 regardless of how many ordered. This calendar is a keepsake that you will enjoy throughout your lifetime, full of historical information as well as photos.

Also new in 2017…


A history of the various buildings is included on the back of each card. Cost for the package of six cards and envelopes is $5.00 plus $1.50 S&H regardless of how many are ordered. 100% of profits benefit the Readfield Historical Society. They are ready for shipment at any time.

Both the calendar and notecards can be ordered online via PayPal - see the shopping cart buttons to the right. Or, Call (207) 685-3812; email to make purchase and arrange shipping. If you wish to buy them at the Readfield Historical Society, open hours this summer of 2017 are Thursday and Saturdays 10am-2pm Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. The building will be open some Sundays this summer as well. If the flag is out we are open. Call (207) 377-2299 to inquire about those hours. 

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
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 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

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.