Main Street on Baker Island was once the center of a thriving community. First settled in 1806 by William and Hannah Gilley, Baker Island had 34 residents by 1850. The adults worked the land, tended to their livestock, and fished while as many as 15 children attended the islandís schoolhouse. The federal government constructed a lighthouse and keepers quarters in 1828 (the current lighthouse was built in the 1850s).
After this active period, the pace began to slow on Baker Island, and the population decreased. The last family left the island in 1929, and the lighthouse keeper moved off in 1966. Even today, however, we can see how human activity changed the island. Clearing the land for agriculture created a varied landscape with grassy meadows, stands of red and white spruce, and wetlands. Where many buildings once stretched along Main Street to the lighthouse, three remain, including a former schoolhouse. The red buildings are private property; please respect this as you explore the island.
Baker Island is now part of Acadia National Park. As you explore the island today, look for signs of its heyday. If you look closely, you can find building foundations lying in the grass, stone walls marking old fields, and apple and plum trees growing in forgotten orchards.