Meet Cornelia J. Cesari, author of "Baker Island" at the Maine Lighthouse Museum on Friday, September 14, 2018 from 1-4 pm

By Dorothy Black | Sep 04, 2018
Courtesy of: Cornelia J. Cesari

Baker Island is a quintessential Maine island, frozen in time. It was settled in 1806 by one family, and the island's population peaked at about two dozen people in five households at mid-century.

The US government made use of the island's strategic location at the entrance to Frenchman's Bay with a lighthouse and military facilities. Wealthy, artistic, and academic summer visitors to the region--so-called rusticators--discovered its charm as a day trip destination. However, by 1930, only the lightkeeper's family remained.

Now mostly part of Acadia National Park, these 123 acres are precious to a disproportionate number of people. Every season, visitors flock to the area, scenic tour airplanes fly overhead, and narrated boat tours skirt the shoreline. Park rangers lead interpretive tours almost daily, leaving from Bar Harbor for half-day visits.

Each summer, thousands moor their private boats and row ashore--honeymooning, celebrating, and even scattering ashes. Five generations of rusticators have held picnics on the tempestuous south shore's expansive pink granite surface known as the "Dance Floor."

The museum is located at One Park Drive in Rockland and Parking is Free in the designated area at the Trade Winds Inn across the street while you are visiting the museum.

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