Introduction The Chocolate The Village The People Resouces



In 1765 John Hannon, with financier James Baker, began making one of the first chocolate products in America, in a saw mill powered by the Neponset River, just outside Boston in Milton, Massachusetts. A few years later Baker bought out Hannon’s share of the business and created the first products known as Baker’s Chocolate. James Baker, and later his son Edmund, expanded the business, and Edmund moved it across the river to Dorchester. But it was not until the late 19th century, under the leadership of Henry Pierce, that Baker's Chocolate became the brand consumers and collectors still recognize today.

We invite you to learn more about Baker's Chocolate, its workers, and the community it transformed, through this online exhibition. You can examine a wide selection of photographs, advertisements, and artifacts by taking a guided tour of the exhibition using the “Next Page” arrows near the top right of each page. Or, navigate to only those topics that interest you by using the drop down menus. In the Resources section you'll find a chronological history of Baker’s Chocolate, a walking tour of the Baker's mill area, and, for serious researchers, a downloadable copy of the entire exhibition text with footnoted sources.


The Bostonian Society is grateful to the Dorchester Historical Society,
the Milton Historical Society, and Kraft Foods for their support of this exhibition
and the use of their collections.