BAR HARBOR — Author Cornelia Cesari will speak about “Images of America: Baker Island,” the first book dedicated solely to the history of Baker Island, at the Jesup Memorial Library on Wednesday, June 20, at 6:30 p.m.
In the 1800s, the U.S. government made use of the island’s strategic location at the entrance to Frenchman Bay with a lighthouse and military facilities. Wealthy, artistic and academic summer visitors to the region discovered its charm as a day trip destination. By the mid-1900s, almost no one remained, and most of the island became part of Acadia.
Now, 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.
Cesari has included never-before-published stories and photographs of locals, 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.
Books will be on sale that night courtesy of co-sponsor Sherman’s Books. The talk is co-sponsored by Bar Harbor Bank & Trust. There will be a reception before the talk. Contact the Jesup at 288-4245 or [email protected].