Dale Potter-Clark is scheduled to speak Aug. 11 at the Winthrop History and Heritage Center. Submitted photo

Local historian and author Dale Potter-Clark is set to speak at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11, at the Winthrop History and Heritage Center, at 107 Main St., to discuss her book “The Founders and Evolution of Summer Resorts and Kids’ Camps on Four Lakes in Central Maine — Torsey, Echo, Lovejoy and northern Maranacook” with a focus on Tallwood and Maranacook Lodge and her new historical novel “Escape from Bunker Hill,” according to a news release from the Winthrop Maine Historical Society.

During the summer season Maine’s lakes come alive. Cottages and kids’ camps fill with people of all ages — some whose families have come here for five or more generations. In the Winthrop Lakes Region it all started with the advent of the railroad in the 1840s, followed by the founding of hotels, summer resorts and kids’ camps. By 1890 an entirely new era had begun and those lakes, which were once invisible and virtually inaccessible, had become crowning jewels.

“Escape from Bunker Hill” tells the story about a couple from Maine who move to Jacksonville, Florida, and help four slaves escape north to Central Maine. The refugees pass through Portland, Hallowell, Manchester, Winthrop and Readfield among other towns and cities along 1,500 miles of the eastern seaboard. The leading characters, Dr. Joseph and Myra Mitchell, were born in Newfield, Maine and moved from there to Manchester, New Hampshire, then to Calais, Maine and on to Bunker Hill Plantation in Jacksonville, before returning to Maine during the outbreak of the Civil War.

“Although Joseph and Myra Mitchell really did exist, their tale in my novel comes from my imagination,” Potter-Clark related. “I was inspired when researching their ‘real’ home in Readfield and evidence led me to suspect they’d been involved in the Underground Railroad. I did not find confirmation of that — even after speaking to some of their descendants — but their story would not leave my head and this novel is the result.” Potter-Clark further explains that a thirty-five page appendix, with pictures, provides information about the real Mitchells plus actual abolitionists, events, places, publications and organizations included in the novel.

Potter-Clark will be at the heritage Center an hour before her book talk, to sign and sell her books. The book is available at the center and both books are available at the Readfield Historical Society museum at 759 Main St or by visiting readfieldmaine.blogspot.com or emailing [email protected] for those who wish to read the books beforehand.

For more information, contact the society at 207-395-5199 or by email at [email protected].

 

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