Baker Island book



MOUNT DESERT — Cornelia Cesari will discuss her new book about Baker’s Island Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 5:30 p.m. at the Northeast Harbor Library.

Cesari’s book, “Images of America: Baker Island.” is the first book dedicated solely to the history of the island.

Baker Island, one of the five Cranberry Isles, is mostly owned by Acadia National Park, with only two privately owned buildings.

The island was settled in 1806 by the Gilley family. Lighthouse keepers were in residence from 1828 until 1955; schoolteachers were, too, for much of that time. “The well-known Dance Floor rock formation on the southern shore has been a favorite picnic spot for artists, intellectuals and various summer visitors from the mid-19th century into the present,” event organizers said, “with thousands of folks each season coming out on tours led by Acadia National Park Rangers, as well as aboard chartered or private boats.”

The book includes never-before-published stories and photographs of residents, lightkeepers, rusticators, schoolteachers and their descendants. The book explores the families that shaped the island’s history, including the Gilley family, who were the first settlers on the island in 1806, as well as the use of Baker Island as a lookout station for the Coast Guard during WWII.

Cesari’s family owns the Baker Island Schoolhouse. She is the president of the board of the Keepers of Baker Island, an organization whose mission is to preserve, protect and promote stewardship of Baker Island’s natural and cultural resources for the enjoyment, education and inspiration of visitors, now and in the future. She splits her time between Baker Island and Vermont.

Contact the library, 244-7065.