The Baker’s mills dominated the area of Lower Mills in Dorchester and Milton. Most of the people who worked at Baker’s lived to the north of the factories, renting or owning houses on streets such as Sanford, Sturbridge, Monson, Temple, Morton, River, Cedar, Idaho, Groveland, Bearse, Medway, Richmond, and Vose.
Often, several members of the same family worked in the factories together. Many of the same surnames appear in payroll records over the decades, indicating that multiple generations of families and extended families made Baker’s chocolate their livelihood. Single workers often lodged with fellow employees in boarding houses or rented rooms from coworkers, so for many, time at the mills and time at home involved the same people.
Most Baker’s employees were born in New England, mainly in Massachusetts with some from Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire. But a large population of immigrants also worked at Baker’s, with the most prevalent group being Irish. Other immigrant groups included a high percentage of Canadians (mainly from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia), along with English, Scottish, a few Germans, and a handful of Swedes. This ethnic mix at Baker’s remained relatively consistent from the mid-nineteenth to early twentieth centuries. It represented not only the company’s makeup but also the demographics of Dorchester and Milton as a whole.