Baker, Milford Collection

Baker, Milford Collection
Credit: Milford Baker Films, Milford Baker Collection, Northeast Historic Film. Men working amidst equipment and generating units during the construction of the Wyman Dam in Moscow, Maine, ca. 1930.
film (650 ft.) : si., b&w ; 16 mm.
1930 – 1931
Bingham, Maine
Wyman Dam, Maine
Moscow, Maine
Credit: Excerpt from Milford Baker Films, Milford Baker Collection, Northeast Historic Film. Wyman Dam construction, 1930.
The Milford Baker Collection consists of ten reels of 16 mm. film shot between 1930 and 1931. The bulk of the collection contains footage of the construction of the Wyman Dam on the Kennebec River gorge in Moscow, Maine. The collection also contains a small amount of footage showing men with a dead deer, men and women picking and eating apples, and a woman training dogs. Much of the footage shows laborers, methodology and equipment such as turbines, generation units, and use of a railway cart and crane to help transfer materials to various areas of the site. Some footage depicts the crowds gathering at Milford Baker’s Information Center at the site where he sold his collectible postcards of photos taken during the construction. The Baker Collection offers views of Wyman Dam construction over time, beginning with the wide shots of the work just underway, and brings the documentation full circle with footage of a crowd of men gathered, smoking cigars in celebration of its completion.
Milford Baker Milford Baker was born in Moscow, Maine, on May 12, 1899, the eldest son of Elmer and Nettie M. (Haynes) Baker. He graduated from Bingham High School in 1917 and worked for a time in the lumbering operations of Forrest H. Colby in Rockwood. Milford Baker began his career as a photographer in about 1923, eventually setting up a studio in Bingham near the banks of Austin Stream. He specialized in regional landscape photographs, some of which he painstakingly colored in oil. In 1928, he began photographing the construction of Wyman Dam and set up a concession stand near the visitor center at the site, where he sold his photographic postcards. In 1929, he married Rubie Ellen Carpenter of Skowhegan and they made their home in Bingham. Milford Baker drowned in the salmon pool directly below Wyman Dam on May 1, 1933, while fishing with friends. Wyman Dam Wyman Dam was a result of the vision of Walter Scott Wyman and his partners to capture the energy of Kennebec River at Moscow, Maine. Wyman unsuccessfully sought a referendum to overturn Fernald’s Law, which prohibited the export of hydroelectric power out of the state. A provision was made, instead, to erect the Maine Seaboard Paper Mill in Bucksport, Maine, which would be a primary customer for the energy created by the dam. Upon completion in 1931, the dam turned a natural course of rapids 140 feet high into 72 megawatts of power. Construction of the Wyman Dam began in 1928 and lasted through 1931. When the dam was started, a settlement of nearly 300 homes known as Daggettville was built to house the labor force and their families. Daggettville included a school for the children and dormitory buildings for single men. Today, Wyman Dam is one of the largest producers of electricity in Maine, and is a well-known fishing destination, noted for its tailwater trout and wild rainbow trout fishing.
Northeast Historic Film
The Collection is open for research.
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10 Items in this collection