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).

Monday, December 2, 2013

Rev. Isaac Case, a Biography

Rev. Isaac Case
Baptist Missionary
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.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Elder James Potter: He Preached in Readfield on His Way to Paris

James Potter, of Topsham and Bowdoin (Potterstown), was converted from the Congregational faith to Baptist at age 48. He ended up a Baptist missionary who traveled throughout the central district of Maine starting in the late 1700's. Prior to that there were no Baptists or ministers in that order in Maine except in York County. One of the towns he preached in was Readfield – barely more than a settlement at the time. He later embraced Rev. Isaac Case as a colleague. Case was responsible for building the first church in Readfield in 1792 (see this web site for more about Case).   Elder James Potter’s name appears in town histories throughout central Maine and as far west as Oxford County. He preached in Readfield on his way to Paris - Maine that is.

7 pages include pictures, maps, references and endnotes. $5.00 plus tax + S+H. Order now using PayPal or mail a check payable to Dale Marie Clark (see right column FMI).

John Lane and Jere Page homesteads and mills on Beaver Brook in East Readfield

John Lane 1761 - 1846
John Lane was born 12/18/1761 in Hampton, NH a son of Josiah and Elizabeth (Perkins) Lane.  He married Ruth Morrill 12/1/1784, whose parents were Micajah and Susannah (Clough) Morrill of South Hampton, NH. John, Ruth and their four oldest children came to Readfield from Gilmanton, NH about 1797. In August of that year John Lane, a tanner, purchased parts of lots #135 and #136 for $200 from Robert Page, Esq. Lane built his home near the crest of the hill between Beaver Brook and Hutchins (also known as Hutchinson) Road. He also built and operated a flax (also called linseed) oil mill on Beaver Brook between the (current Ellis and Hutchison) homes; and he constructed the first dam on the brook which created the Mill Pond.  

Jere Page began his life in Readfield where he was born in 1787 – the fourth of seven siblings - of  Robert Page, Esq. and his wife Abigail (Brown) Page. Jere married Margaret “Peggy” Johnson in 1808 and it was about that time he built his home next door to John Lane - also on Beaver Brook. In 1822 John Lane sold land to Robert and Jere Page and on the north side of the highway. The deed mentioned the Page's sawmill which was already in operation. 

Excerpts from John Lane and Jere Page:
"...John Lane’s wife died in January 16, 1839. This surely caused him to reflect on what to do about his own future and how to arrange for the fate of his homestead. All of his sons had left Maine – except the oldest one, Joshua. He had married in 1825 to Elizabeth - a neighbor girl whose father was the Baptist preacher Isaac Case...Elizabeth’s brother Elisha Case partnered with the Sanborn brothers when they established an oil cloth factory in East Readfield village in the 1840s..."
NOTE that publications about Rev. Isaac Case and The Sanborn Brothers that also available.

"...Jere Page’s civic duties included State of Maine Representative 1826-1827. Perhaps the connections he made in that capacity are what led to him towards making a life changing decision..."


In reading the story of John Lane and Jere Page you will also learn about two early Readfield (Winthrop) settlers - brothers Simon and Robert  Page and of their accomplishments and land holdings. The Lane family is explored and some details of that family are woven into the story. Some information about flax oil mills and antique saw mill operations is also included as well as pictures, references, maps and other illustrations.

1) The John Lane homestead and oil mill a. John Lane and family b. Joshua Lane and family 
2) The Lane homestead carried on a. David & Betsey (Adle) Brown b. Samuel S. & Julia (Robinson)Greeley (of Mt. Vernon)
3) The Page family and some of their activities a. Samuel and Mary (Clark) Page b. Col. Simon Page
c. Samuel Page "Page's Tavern" d. Robert Page, Esq. e. Jeremiah "Jere" Page homestead and mill
f. Subsequent owners of Jere Page homestead 
4) Endnotes and references

12 pages $7.50 + tax + S&H Payment can be made via Pay Pal or check payable to Dale Potter Clark. See right column for more ordering information.