Sunday, November 25, 2018

"The Paupers and the Poor Farms: Support and Care for the Poor in Readfield, Maine 1791-2018

When people fell on hard times in Colonial New England they stood a good chance of being run out of town or auctioned off as indentured servants to the lowest bidders. In these pages you will learn about such situations - some may have occurred in your own backyard. Included are stories and recollections about the lives of some paupers. Photos show a few of the houses where paupers stayed before the first poor farm was established, and several are of benevolent people who reached out to help them. 19th century maps will help readers find where some of those homes the poor farms were located and, for readers who enjoy stats, some of those are provided too. Not to be forgotten are the Overseers of Poor and the managers who oversaw the three poor farms that once existed in town. There is an added bonus of newly discovered 1900 vintage photos of East Readfield village, known as “the vanished village”.

$15.00 plus sales tax and S&H; 175 pages; more than 100 photos!

Order via PayPal (see button on the right) or email the author directly.

BOOK REVIEWS:
Stephen Scharoun, Masters degree in American and New England Studies, historical archaeologist ~
This book represents one of the few comprehensive accounts of the history of a town poor farm.  It is an important contribution to the history of the Town of Readfield and in a broader sense reflects changes in the law and local attitudes towards the care of the poor that apply to every town in Maine. Dale’s work has inspired me to continue researching the history of poor farms in Farmington and the Sandy River Valley.


ROBERT MOHLAR, M.D., READFIELD CONSERVATION COMMISSION ~
How the people of a small Maine community have striven to meet the needs of the less fortunate among us over the last two centuries is engagingly distilled by Dale from various records, deeds, letters and personal recollections.  Some of the stories are told with a light and humorous touch which I enjoyed, especially those about the wandering "tramps" during the Great Depression years.  This book caused me to reflect on the myriad of efforts in place to meet these needs in our current world.

HOWARD LAKE, ESQ, BOARD OF DIRECTORS, KENNEBEC LAND TRUST ~
The Readfield Town Forest, now growing trees and hosting trail walkers, has a fascinating history as a Town Poor Farm. Dale has opened the door to an interesting period of life in our community. Histories are often about the winners and the famous but there are others who lived and died whose stories should be told. It is also interesting to see that although the cost of welfare is not an issue of recent vintage, we have come far since the days of putting the poor out to the lowest bidder!

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 ~ crossings4u@gmail.com


Upcoming book talks and signings
2018
1. Mon., March 12, 2018 (storm date March 14) 6:30-7:30pm Readfield Community Library, 1151 Main St. 6:30-7:30 pm. Book talk followed by a sale and signing.
2. Sat. July 7, 2018 10:00am 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.
3. Thurs. July 12, 2018 6-7pm, Winthrop Historical Society at Town Office, 17 Highland Ave. Winthrop. Book talk, reading and signing. Books will be available for purchase that evening or can be purchased at 220 Mercantile, 200 Main St. Winthrop at any time.


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 crossings4u@gmail.com



2017

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

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












Saturday, July 11, 2015

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

SOLD OUT!!
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.    
SOLD OUT!!
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

TO THOSE WHO FOLLOWED THE LEAD in READFIELD, MAINE 1908-1976

This is one of more than 200 pictures that appear in this book.
SOLD OUT!!
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...

SOLD OUT!!
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).

Monday, December 2, 2013

Rev. Isaac Case, a Biography

Rev. Isaac Case
Baptist Missionary
SOLD OUT!!
This biography includes maps, many pictures and a complete list of references. You will read about Rev. Isaac Case during his early years as well as his heritage. Learn about his service in the Revolutionary War, his calling to the Baptist religion and his movement towards becoming a missionary in Maine. Rev. Case  facilitated the establishment of more Baptist churches than anyone (in Maine and eastern Canada) - including in East Readfield. He personally conducted more than  1,000 baptisms throughout those areas as well. In spite of all those efforts, his extensive travels throughout this part of New England and Canada, and all the relationships he formed along the way, he chose Readfield as the home for his wife and  children.
In this biography you will learn about "his" church at East Readfield and influence on the Baptists in nearby Manchester and Winthrop. You will discover where he lived - including pictures of his log cabin and its location on the Case Road (now discontinued). You will learn about his son Elisha who was a powerful influence in Readfield as a surveyor, local politics and business partner of the Sanborn brother in the manufacturing of oilcloth. If you are interested in knowing more about the Case family, Readfield history, and / or the Baptist history in Central Maine you will not be disappointed.
14 pages; $10.00 plus S&H. You can order by mail or right now via PayPal or send a check to Dale Marie Clark. See the column to your right FMI about how to place your order.