Friday, May 6, 2022

Escape from Bunker Hill by Dale Potter-Clark

“Escape from Bunker Hill” is a story about the Underground Railroad. The storyline tells of the escape of slaves from a plantation named Bunker Hill in Jacksonville, FL, all the way to central Maine. This is arranged by the plantation owners Dr. Joseph & Myra Mitchell. They are western Maine natives, born in Newfield, who resided in Manchester, NH, Calais, ME and then Jacksonville before returning to Maine at the outbreak of the Civil War. The Mitchells were actual people, but the storyline sprung from the author’s imagination as she researched the couple’s home in Readfield, ME. The appendix provides information about the real Mitchells and other actual people, events, places, publications and organizations in the novel, that really did exist during that era. See the book summary below to learn more.

340 pages, illustrated with 35 pg appendix. $16.95 + tax, S& H. Order NOW via PayPal – see the top button in the right column. FMI, or to arrange for payment by cash or check email or call (207) 441-9184.


Kennebec Cabin Company (Maine Cabin Masters), 915 Western Ave (Rte. 202), Manchester, ME 

Hussey's General Store, 510 Ridge Road (Rte. 32), Windsor, ME

The Weathervane, 1030 Main St. (Rte. 17), Readfield, ME

Cross Hill Farm, 959 Cross Hill Road, Vassalboro, ME (call ahead 207-441-9184)

Great Northern Motor Works, 1697 Main St. (Rte. 17) Kents Hill, ME

Readfield Historical Society, 759 Main St. (Rte. 17) Readfield Depot, ME

More sites will be announced soon!


Joseph Mitchell is a native of Newfield, ME who becomes involved in the Underground Railroad while a student at nearby Parsonsfield Seminary. After medical school he marries Myra Chase from his hometown and they become Underground Railroad operatives, leading them from Manchester, NH to Calais, ME, New Brunswick, Canada and South to Bunker Hill Plantation in Jacksonville, FL before returning to Maine.

In Jacksonville the Mitchells befriend a young enslaved woman named Sally and they orchestrate her escape to freedom, along with three of her friends. The four young black people ensue on a perilous journey of 1,500 miles by sea, railroad and on rivers, lakes and land to reach their destination in central Maine. When Fort Sumter is attacked The Mitchells flee from Jacksonville with hopes they will connect with Sally and her friends somewhere up North. While en-route the Mitchells and the four runaways meet some famous abolitionists of the day. 

“Escape from Bunker Hill” tells a story like the hazardous escapes undertaken by thousands of enslaved people before Emancipation.  The appendix offers information about the people, events, places publications and organizations that are included in the storyline and actually did exist during those troublesome times.


Dale Potter-Clark has an easy style of writing that flows easily and made it hard to put down. It certainly will appeal to a wide range of people.  It’s got the regional interest that they like, but it will also appeal to American History buffs too. The appendix is equally as interesting as the story itself. For a work of fiction, I am very impressed with it.

Stu Tinker, Betts Book Store, Bangor, Maine

"I just finished reading Escape from Bunker Hill. I could not put it down. It did what good historical fiction does; it made me feel like I was there. The connection with Readfield and Winthrop, Maine was a bonus."

Dr. Vern Adams, Tampa Florida

"I just finished reading Escape from Bunker Hill. This historical novel made this courageous journey, travelled by so many, very real for me. I have read many nonfiction and fiction books about the UGRR, but being a lifelong resident of Ohio, most were the journeys taken through Ohio and then north. This book opened my eyes to what the escapees had to endure, going so much further north. Not only the added distance but constant concern for who would help, who could be trusted, being hunted, and also extreme weather conditions on land and sea going into the northeast. Being a frequent visitor to the area of Maine where the story takes place helped me to visualize as well. Dale did a remarkable amount of research, noted in the appendix of her book, providing information about people, places, events and publications from this time period. I would highly recommend Escape from Bunker Hill to anyone interested in the history of the Underground Railroad."

Mary Engle, Canfield, Ohio


Thursday, August 11, 2022 6 p.m. at the Winthrop History Center, 107 Main St. Winthrop

Wednesday, August 31, 2022 6 p.m. at Community Library, 1151 Main St. Readfield

Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022 2:00 p.m. at Kennebec Cabin Company, 915 Western Ave, Manchester

Wednesday, November 16, 2022 6:00 p.m. at Dr. Shaw Library, Church Rd. Mt. Vernon CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER. WILL BE RE-SCHEDULED COME SPRING

Sunday, May 21, 2023 2:00 p.m. at Alfred Shaker Museum, 118 Shaker Hill Rd, Alfred


Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Brief Biographies c.1900 Pertaining to some residents of Readfield, ME: with notes and illustrations added by Dale Potter-Clark

Brief Biographies c.1900 pertaining to some residents of Readfield, Maine” includes brief bios of thirty-five people who resided in, or had familial connections to, Readfield at the turn of the 20th Century. The biographies were extracted and compiled from American Series of Popular Biographies, Maine which was published in 1903. Additional information has been added by Readfield historian and author, Dale Potter-Clark, as well as dozens of photographs. An index of 230 surnames is included, of individuals who are mentioned in the book but are not among the full biographies. Also added is a list of 215 place names and 5 pages of advertisements as they appeared in The 1903 Readfield Register. Some of the ads apply to men profiled but most were prominent businessmen not included in the biographies and well-known in the Readfield business community at that time. 120 pages.

The books are $12.00 and available at the Readfield Historical Society gift shop, when open, at 759 Main St. Readfield. Copies can be purchased anytime for $12.00 + $3.00 S&H if mailed within the U.S. Purchase via this site using PayPal (see right column) or arrange for purchase by U.S.P.S. by contacting or (207) 441-9184.

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.

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.

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.

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 ~

Upcoming book talks and signings
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.

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

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.