Friends of Baxter State Park will celebrate Governor Baxter Day on Aug. 22 with several special events in the Portland area.

The celebration marks the 50th anniversary of Gov. Percival Baxter’s final gift of land for the park, which today spreads over 209,644 acres around Mount Katahdin in northern Maine.

The day starts at 6 a.m. with a sunrise talk about Baxter’s father, six-term Portland Mayor James Phinney Baxter, by local historian Herb Adams at the Barrows Park sundial at Baxter Boulevard and Vannah Avenue in Portland.

From 10 a.m. to noon, visitors to the Mackworth Island Wildlife Santuary in Falmouth will be able to hike the 100-acre oceanfront property and visit the Baxter School for the Deaf, including the Baxter Mansion. Admission is $2.

Bring your own lunch to the island and enjoy a free picnic lecture by geologist Walter Anderson from noon to 1:30 p.m.

Maine State Historian Earle Shettleworth will lead a tour of the Baxter family plot at Evergreen Cemetery on Stevens Avenue in Portland from 2 to 3 p.m.

Other special events are planned that require reservations and tickets, including a reception in the Longfellow Garden at the Maine Historical Society.

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