Meet the

A Maine icon becomes an American icon.

A rugged life, lived with style

Governor Baxter set the standard for rugged Maine outdoor fashion. Wherever he went, fighting in the halls of legislature or setting up camp on Chimney Pond, he knew how to cut a figure.

Baxter's Finest

Percival Baxter was a governor, certainly, but a Baxter above all else. And the Baxter story begins with a humble can. The Baxter Canning Company, a Maine business founded in 1887, was the first cannery of sweet corn and peas in the United States. The family business included Governor Baxter's father: James Phinney Baxter, the six-term mayor of Portland.

His beloved dogs

An Irish Setter was Governor Baxter’s constant companion everywhere he went, even at the State House. His favorite, Garry, had his own couch in the governor’s office. When Garry died, Governor Baxter ordered the flag atop the Capitol to be lowered to half-staff.

Mackworth Island

Governor Baxter's dogs are buried in a private cemetery on Baxter's own Mackworth Island in Casco Bay. After his death, the island was named a state park.

An enduring legacy

After a lifetime fighting single-handedly to acquire the land for Baxter State Park, this plaque, written by Governor Baxter himself, is set at the base of Mount Katahdin, exactly where it belongs.

The Baxters behind the Governor

These young Baxter family members not only grew up with stories of “Uncle” Percy (the 8-pound trout; the Irish Setter, Deke, at Bowdoin), but recall his visits to their home in Brunswick in the 1960s. Now they’re on a mission to revive and protect his name, and to make classic outdoor gear that both honors and re-invents Maine tradition with natural materials and local artisans.

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