Introduction The Chocolate The Village The People Resouces




Seasonal Work
John Beam
Grace Bolster
Gladys (Delano) George
Watson Kilcup
Joseph Layton
Hugh McCue
George Savage
John Swift
Ariel "Bob" Wills
John Beam, ca. 1926
Courtesy of the
Milton Historical Society

John Beam
From The Chocolate Press - July 17, 1926:

“John Beam is still captain of his ship, although now, instead of a coasting steamer or smart yacht, it happens to be the Cocoa Department of the Baker and Forbes Mills.

“John was born in Machias, Maine, on August 22, 1855. He went to sea at the age of 18 for two years, gave it up for four years, but returned again to be mate on coasting steamers, and later pilot on steamers from Boston to Nahant. John was married in 1881, and like many others, gave up the sea soon after. On December 17, 1888, he came to work with Walter Baker & Co., Ltd., spending the first years with Horace Plummer in the Breakfast Cocoa Department.

“In 1895 Mr. H. L. Pierce commissioned Mr. Andrew J. Burnham, Ex. United States Inspector of Steamers, to buy a yacht for him. The result was the steam yacht ‘Stellar,’ 86 feet long, 12 1/2 feet beam and 6 feet draft. There were several applicants for the position as Captain of the yacht, and among them was John Beam. His papers and licenses had expired, but in due course, he presented himself for examination to Mr. Burnham, and was chosen for the position. This work only took him away from the Mill in the summer months. Mr. Pierce died in 1896 and the yacht was sold. In the summers of 1905 and 1906 Mr. Beam was in command of ‘The Bethulia,’ a yacht 104 feet long. 16 1/2 feet beam and drawing 7 feet of water, which belonged to Talbot Aldrich. Here John served his last bit of sea duty.

“On January 17, 1914, Mr. Beam was made Foreman of the Baker Mill Breakfast Cocoa Department. Since that time his department has grown until it has almost doubled in size. He is always on the job and keeps his department functioning perfectly.”