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Special Collections: Guide to the Gregory Baker Papers

Arranged and described by Brenda Howitson Steeves
March 2004

Collection title: Gregory Baker Papers
Collection number: MS 29
Dates of collection: 1902-1973
Size of collection: 6 boxes
Restrictions on access and use: Kept at Fogler Library's offsite storage facility. One week's notice required for retrieval


The collection contains Gregory Baker's photographs and negatives of logging and lumbering operations and railroad construction in northern Maine in the early part of the 20th century.

Gregory Baker was born in Moscow, Maine, in 1902. He graduated from the University of Maine in 1924 with a bachelor's degree in forestry and received a master's degree in forestry from Yale in 1939. He joined the faculty at the University of Maine in 1935 and was a professor of forestry there until his retirement in 1967. Professor Baker taught courses in wood identification, wood preservation and other areas of wood utilization. In 1943 he also became a member of the faculty of the Maine Agricultural Experiment Station, doing research there in the field of wood utilization. As a member of the executive committee of the Northeast Technical Forestry Committee, his projects included work on the impact strength of woods and the longevity of wood for posts.

Before coming to the University of Maine, Professor Baker worked as a forester for Finch, Pruyn & Co., Glen Falls, New York, from 1924 to 1929, doing timber cruising and mapping. He also worked as a forester for the Diamond Match Company, 1929-1933, supervising woods and sawmill operations, cruising and purchase of timber. He was manager and secretary-treasurer of Provincial Wood Products Company, Ltd., 1933-1935, and worked for Berst-Forster-Dixfield from January to June, 1935, doing cruising and mapping.

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains glass plate negatives, photographs and cellulose negatives of various logging and lumbering projects as well as a small group of photographs of railroad construction. The photographer for the early images is not identified; Baker himself took the images from the Diamond Match Company projects. Most images have his annotations and descriptions of the projects depicted.

The collection is arranged chronologically by project: the Mansfield Woods drive, believed to be in the town of Garland, Maine, 1902-1903; the construction of the Somerset Branch of the Maine Central Railroad in Moscow, Maine, ca. 1905; and photographs of various logging operations and construction projects of the Diamond Match Company in several northern Maine locations, 1931-1935.

A descriptive list of the subjects depicted in the glass plate negatives arrived with the collection and makes up the first part of this finding aid. If a modern print has been made of a glass negative, this is also indicated in the list.

The small photographs of Diamond Match Company activities are arranged by the number assigned them by the company, perhaps a job or project number. The corresponding cellulose negatives for these photographs, also arranged by photograph number, follow the folders of photographs. A small group of unnumbered negatives without corresponding photographs is also found in the collection and is listed last in the Box List.

The envelopes in which the cellulose negatives were originally housed have been retained in the collection because of information they provide about the date and time of each photograph, the type of camera, light, exposure, etc.

Contents of Boxes

Box 1

Photographs of Mansfield Woods drive

Glass plate negative number:

620 (Plate & Print) Cutting spruce logs
621 (Plate & Print) Supplies for the river drive - Canoes loaded on edge of lake [Spring of 1902]
622 (Plate & Print) Solitary lunch - Possibly a "timber looker" [Spring of 1902]
623 (Plate) Driver's tents [Spring of 1902]
624 (Plate) Meat in camp - A deer [Spring of 1902]
625 (No Print, No Plate)
626 (Plate & Print) Meat in camp - A deer [Spring of 1902]
627 (Plate) Meat in camp - A deer [Spring of 1902]
628 (Plate & Print) Sled loaded at the yard [Spring of 1902]
629 (Plate & Print) Horse hovel and teams [Spring of 1902]
630 (Plate) Cook room [Spring of 1902]
631 (Plate & Print) White water on the river drive [Spring of 1902]
632 (Plate & Print) River drive [Spring of 1902]
633 (No Print, No Plate)
634 (No Print, No Plate)
635 (Plate) River driver's camp
636 (Plate & Print) Mountain - May be Borestone and Onawa Lake
637 (Plate & Print) River drive - White water & logs
638 (Plate & Print) Cookees working up stove wood for the cook room. Note snow on the roof of the unhested [unheated?] dingle.
639 (Plate & Print) Horse hovel and crew
640 (Plate & Print) Chopping spruce logs
641 (Plate & Print) Log "landing" on stream
642 (Plate & Print) Loading sled
643 (Plate & Print) Cookees ready to take the noon lunch to the crew in the woods. Each one is wearing a wooden neck yoke to support the pails and wooden firkins. Pails probably contain baked beans to be heated up on an open fire at the lunch ground. Firkins probably contain biscuits, cookies and doughnuts. Center cookee holds a tin teapot. The two cookees on the left have tin dippers tied around their waist with a piece of rope and each has a can of molasses in their right hands.
644 (Plate & Print) Shovelling out a yard preparatory to hauling to the landing.
645 (Plate & Print) Chopping spruce. Note high stump
646 (Plate & Print) Log landing on stream
647 (Plate & Print) The crew at lunch on the yard. From the comparative light dress of the men and the absence of snow, this is probably fall weather
648 (Plate & Print) Chopping spruce [Nov.-Dec., 1902]
649 (Plate & Print) Log landing [Nov.-Dec., 1902]
650 (Plate & Print) Meal time in camp. The boss, with the hat, occupies the seat of honor [Nov.-Dec., 1902]
651 (Plate & Print) Logger with cant-dog [Nov.-Dec., 1902]
652 (Plate & Print) The tote team arriving in camp [Nov.-Dec., 1902]
653 (Plate & Print) A "chopper." Note sweater, double knit leggings, and low moccasins, single-bitted axe [Nov.-Dec., 1902]
654 (Plate & Print) A "go-devil." A light skidding sled, frequently made of cedar for lightness in handling [Nov.-Dec., 1902] Negative broken
655 (Plate & Print) Bunkhouse. Rack over stove for drying mittens and socks. Stove wood at lower right. Two men on the deacon seat in front of the double-deck, muzzle-loading bunks [Nov.-Dec., 1902]
656 (Plate & Print) Chopper with pole axe. Wearing high-top moccasins [Nov.-Dec., 1902]
657 (Plate & Print) Logger In front of snowed-in yard [Nov.-Dec., 1902]
658 (Plate & Print) A chopper with double-bitted axe, knit leggings topped moccasins [Nov.-Dec., 1902]
659 (Plate & Print) Logger with shovel at yard [Nov.-Dec., 1902]
660 (Plate & Print) Horse hovel and crew [Nov.-Dec., 1902]
661 (Plate & Print) A chopper wearing sweater, double-knit leggings moccasins. Holding pole axe [Nov.-Dec., 1902]
662 (No Plate, No Print)
663 (Plate & Print) Cook-room with cookees waiting on table [Fall of 1902]
664 (Plate & Print) A chopper with pole axe, wearing low moccasins; horse blanket pin for holding spare mittens or gloves [Fall of 1902]
665 (Plate & Print) Bunkhouse, cook room, and dingle (with snow on roof)-outside view [Fall of 1902]
666 (Plate & Print) Bunkhouse-outside view [Fall of 1902]
667 (Plate & Print) The tote team arriving in camp [Fall of 1902]
668 (Plate & Print) The cookee with the lunch on a "moose-sled" [Fall of 1902]
669 (Plate & Print) Bateau with 6 men moving the anchor and cable of the head-works forward. Note how the oars are curved indicating the effort being exerted [Fall of 1902]
670 (Plate & Print) Doing the laundry under adverse conditions [Fall of 1902]
671 (Plate & Print) The river drive (Possible Borestone Mt. in background) [Fall of 1902] Negative broken
672 (Plate & Print) The river drive - white water, logs [Fall of 1902]
673 (Plate & Print) Bunkhouse and cook room - outside view [Fall of 1902]
674 (Plate & Print) Building a yard [Fall of 1902]
675 (Plate & Print) The crew at lunch on the landing [Fall of 1902]
676 (Plate & Print) Breaking down a yard for loading
677 (Plate & Print) Bateau at the headworks and the boom which is being moved. Driver's tents on the further bank
678 (Plate)
679 (Plate & Print) Sluicing logs through the dam
680 (Plate & Print) Logger with cantdog in front of snowed-in yard [Jan., 1903]
681 (Plate & Print) Probably a horse hovel [Jan., 1903]
682 (Plate & Print) Shelter for the bean-hole [Jan., 1903]
683 (Plate & Print) A winter haul-road swamped out and skidded [Jan., 1903]
684 (Plate & Print) Shelter for the bean-hole [Jan., 1903]
685 (Plate & Print) Loading sleds [Jan., 1903]
686 (Plate & Print) Log landing [Jan., 1903]
687 (No Plate, No Print)
688 (Plate & Print) Log landing [Jan., 1903]
689 (Plate & Print) Working up firewood for the bunkhouse

Box 2


1 List of photographs of Mansfield woods operation
2 Prints from glass plate negatives

Photographs of Somerset Branch

3 Photographs of construction of Somerset Branch of Maine Central Railroad, Moscow, Maine, ca. 1905 + notes and photo list
4 Negatives and contact prints for selected photographs in folder 3
5 Correspondence, 1973 and undated, re history of Somerset Railroad

Diamond Match Company photographs File PC 1-a to PC 14-1

6 Diamond Match Co. photographs, 1931: Grand Falls, Maine; T. 3, North Div., Whittier-Preble oper., 1930-31; Passadumkeag River; Burlington, Me.
7 Diamond Match Co. photographs, 1931: Burlington, Me., Saponac Pond lumber
8 Diamond Match Co. photographs, 1931: Oxbow lumber yard; Chester, Maine; Lambert Lake, Keef-Dow operation; Grindstone, Maine
9 Diamond Match Co. photographs, 1931-1932: Grindstone, Maine; Burlington, Whittier-Preble operation
10 Diamond Match Co. photographs, Feb., 1932: T 3 & Burlington, Whittier-Preble operation
11 Diamond Match Co. photographs, 1932: T 3 & Burlington, Whittier-Preble operation; Grand Falls, Me., Whittier-Preble operation
12 Diamond Match Co. photographs, 1932: Grand Falls, Me.; Grand Falls, Whittier-Harris operation
13 Diamond Match Co. photographs, 1931-1932: Grand Falls, Whittier-Harris operation; T 1, R 9, Ladd operation, 1931-1932; 2 R 9, N.W.P., Weymouth, Me., Rogers operation, Dec., 1931
14 Diamond Match Co. photographs, 1931-1932: 2 R 9, N.W.P., Weymouth, Me., Rogers operation, Dec., 1931, Feb., 1932; Grand Falls, Boothby Mill, 1932
15 Diamond Match Co. photographs, 1930-1933: T. 3, N.D., Whittier-Bowers operation, 1932; T. 3 & 4, N.D. Whitter-Bowers operation; Greenfield, Me., Boothby 1929-30 operation; Mattawamkeag portable mill, 1933

Box 3

Diamond Match Company photographs File PC 15-1 to PS 11-4

1 Diamond Match Co. photographs, 1930-1933: Lagrange, Me., Whittier 1932-33 operation; Grindstone Falls, Moosehead Lake, 1930-1931; Grand Falls, Me., 1932
2 Diamond Match Co. photographs, 1931, 1935: Island Falls, Me., 1931; Saponac Pond, 1935; Twp. 33, Berst-Forster Dixfield job, 1935
3 Diamond Match Co. photographs, 1932: 3 R. 11, Ripogenus Gorge and Dam
4 Diamond Match Co. photographs, 1931: Burlington, Me., log dusting; T. 4, R. 11, WELS, Chesuncook pine
5 Diamond Match Co. photographs, 1931-1932: T. 4, R. 11, WELS, Chesuncook pine, 1931; T. 4, R. 12, WELS, Rogers' clapboard operation, 1931-1932; Grand Falls, Me., lumber sticking, 1932
6 Diamond Match Co. photographs, 1931-1932: Grand Falls, lumber sticking, 1932; Passadumkeag, Me., Mattawamkeag project, 1931
7 Diamond Match Co. photographs, 1931-1932: Mattawamkeag, Me., Mattawamkeag project, 1931-1932
8-14 Diamond Match Co. photographs, 1932: Mattawamkeag, Me., Mattawamkeag project, 1932
15-16 Diamond Match Co. photographs, 1932: Mattawamkeag, Me., housing project, 1932
17 Diamond Match Co. photographs, 1932: Mattawamkeag, Me., housing report, 1932; Lowell, Me., poplar report, 1932
18 Diamond Match Co. photographs, 1932-1933: Lowell, Me., poplar report, 1932; Bancroft, Me., poplar research, 1933
19 Diamond Match Co. photographs, 1940: Bingham, Me., Baldwin operation

Box 4

Negatives for Diamond Match Co. photographs, PC 1-a through PS 11-4

Negatives with no number and no print:

Hearst plane “Old Glory,” at Old Orchard Beach, 1927 [2 negatives]
Lumber camp scrimshaw' fans made of cedar
River drivers and bateau, West Branch, Penobscot, 1929
A headworks for moving booms of logs in lakes and dead waters
Small tractor and “scoot” for moving sawed lumber, D.M. Co., Hartland, 1927-28
Two tractors in tandem, D.M. Co., Hartland, 1927-28
Tractor & sled load of pulpwood, D.M. Co., Hartland, 1927-28
Gasoline log haulers, D.M. Co., Hartland, Me., 1927-28 [4 negatives]
Log hauler sled, D.M. Co. opr., Hartland, 1927-28
A log scaler using a Saco River log rule
A “lumber jack” in use
One of G.N.P. Co. camps on T 2 R 11 W.E.L.S., 1923-24
Snubbing post used on G.N.P. Co. operation, T 2, R 11, W.E.L.S., Jan. 1924 [3 negatives]

Box 5


1-6 Negative envelopes for PC 1-a through PS 6-a-o

Box 6

1-5 Negative envelopes for PS 6 (1-38) through PS 11 (1-4) and no numbers

Finding Aids for selected manuscript collections in the Special Collections Department at Fogler Library are accessible online in URSUS, in a browsable Guide to Manuscript Collections. Please contact Special Collections at or (207) 581-1686 for further information.

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