Lois Baker and Clarence Dutton

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Lois Baker, Moscow, 1918. Photo by Milford Baker. Digital Collections, Old Canada Road Historical Society

Lois Baker was born in Moscow on February 24, 1896, the first child and only daughter of Elmer and Nettie (Haynes) Baker, who lived on the old Baker farm on the Messer Road.

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The Baker Farm, Moscow. Photo by Milford Baker. Author’s Collection.

Her brothers were Milford, the well-known local photographer, and Gregory, a forester who taught at the University of Maine.

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Milford (left), Lois and Gregory Baker. Digital Collections, Old Canada Road Historical Society.

Lois grew up in an artistic family. Her father, Elmer, was a taxidermist and fine photographer. He passed his love of photography to his son, Milford, who made it his profession during his tragically short life. Milford died at the age of 33 in boating accident on the Kennebec, just below Wyman Dam. Lois was a favorite subject while Milford was a young man honing his professional skills. Several display his artistry.

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Lois Baker at Kineo, ca. 1919. Photo by Milford Baker. Digital Collections, Old Canada Road Historical Society

Lois married Clarence Weston Dutton, born 1880 in Starks, a son of Wesley and Julia (Fowler) Dutton. At the age of 19, Clarence was working as a shoe salesman in Presque Isle, according to the 1900 census. He first married in 1905 Addie Smith of Moscow, a daughter of Samuel and Esther (Moore) Smith. They lived in Bingham, where Clarence worked as an insurance agent. Addie died in 1919 of pneumonia following sickness with influenza. Clarence married Lois a year later. He was, at the time, working at the Bingham Hotel in addition to selling insurance.

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Lois (Baker) and Clarence Dutton at the Baker Farm in Moscow. Photo by Milford Baker. Author’s Collection.

Clarence purchased the hotel, which he and Lois ran until his death in 1948. It is well remembered that there was a raucous parrot who lived at the hotel, given to occasional saucy outbursts in the presence of guests.

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The Bingham Hotel. Photo colorized for Old Canada Road Historical Society by Frances Stuart Smith.

This photo of Lois with the parrot was probably taken on the front porch of the hotel.

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Lois Baker Dutton and her Parrot, Bingham, Maine. Photo by Milford Baker. Digital Collections, Old Canada Road Historical Society.

Lois continued to operate the hotel until it burned in 1952, with the loss of several lives. She lived for many years in a little house on River Street, near where the hotel had stood. The driveway to her house is now cleverly named Lois Lane. She might have appreciated the humor in that.

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Lois Baker Clowning for the Camera. Photo by Milford Baker. Digital Collections, Old Canada Road Historical Society.

 

 

5 thoughts on “Lois Baker and Clarence Dutton

  1. So interesting, Marilyn. I wonder how deep the snow was to allow Lois to snowshoe across the top of that tree. And the parrot! I SO remember the parrot! I found it vaguely terrifying and infinitely exotic …

    Ardeana

    On Sat, Jan 12, 2019 at 8:20 PM Canada Road Chronicles wrote:

    > Marilyn Sterling-Gondek posted: ” Lois Baker was born in Moscow on > February 24, 1896, the first child and only daughter of Elmer and Nettie > (Haynes) Baker, who lived on the old Baker farm on the Messer Road. Her > brothers were Milford, the well-known local photographer, and Gregory, a” >

  2. Thank you, Marilyn, for all your efforts in collecting this data – kudos as I never heard any of this info growing up in Bingham (I was a Belanger) – the huge family!😀

  3. Lois gave me all of her knitting and crochet books. Many are dated to the early 1900s. She also gave me a silver baby cup that was given to her at birth. She was a good friend.

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