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).

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