Footprints of Patriots: The connections between a family, its church and town

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Authors Arnold and Leda Sturtevant recently spoke of how a picture of Goerge Washington came to be included in their book, Footprints of Patriots. A full color print of the picture is found on the back page.

By Pam Harnden, Staff Writer

FAYETTE — Authors Arnold and Leda Sturtevant completed the Home-Nest Chronicles with the publishing of the fifth book in the series: Footprints of Patriots.

Arnold has written or co-authored ten books. Footprints of Patriots is the culmination of a project started 25 years ago after his retirement. It’s subtitle is homeward bound through wilderness Fayette Baptist Church 1792-2017.

The fifth and final book details the history of the Fayette Baptist Church, which recently celebrated its 225th anniversary. Journals, personal letters, pictures and poetry combined with numerous church records depict the Sturtevant family’s involvement with the church.

Ripe Berry Moon, Book 1 in the Chronicles, centers on Leda’s Micmac Indian ancestors from Canada. Arnold’s ancestors from the Plymouth Colony to the present are featured in Book 2, Tales from Labrador.

Sturtevant ancestors during the Civil War years are the focus of Book 3, Josiah Volunteered. Book 4, Cradle to Nest, is a joint autobiography.

Arnold recently said, “The general theme of this book is God says all history is for a purpose that we might learn. The book is presented as lessons to be learned.”

Starting after the Revolutionary War, the book first highlights the roles the veterans (or patriots) had in the formation of several western Maine towns. The impact other historical events had on the town of Fayette in particular are also outlined.

Authors Arnold and Leda Sturtevant recently spoke of how a picture of Goerge Washington came to be included in their book, Footprints of Patriots. A full color print of the picture is found on the back page.

(Pam Harnden/LFA)

A chapter on the role of women in those early settlements gives insight into their many responsibilities.

The book explains how patriots Asa Wiggins and Andrew Sturtevant continued their relationship after the war. Land from their property, later named Home Nest Farm, was donated for the Fayette Baptist Church.

The many changes seen over the years in that church are captured with photographs, excerpts from clerk’s reports and family documents. Of interest to many will be adaptations in seating arrangements through the years.

Readers will learn of baptisms performed in the dead of winter and possible reasons for why baptisms weren’t put off until warmer months.

Chapters on setting up a Christian school at the church and building a new parsonage provide a look at some of the challenges the church has faced. Often humorous, they share how members persevered, with faith and determination, until obtaining the desired outcome.

Footprints of Patriots also includes the personal experiences of eight people living their faith in a hostile world.

This book is ideal for genealogists and history buffs. In addition to the many historical perspectives shared, it also provides several appendices. Lists of all people baptized in the church, by chronological and alphabetical order, are listed.

The painting used for the cover of the book, Footprints of Patriots, is from a painting done in 2012 by John Holub of Winthrop. Authors Arnold and Leda Sturtevant used family documents and church records to tell the story of the church’s 225 year history and their family’s involvement in its founding and growth.

(Pam Harnden/LFA)

Also included are the names of those buried in the Fayette Corner Cemetery. Date of birth, death and ancestry.com reference # are given where available.

Footprints of Patriots provides an in depth look at the connections between the Sturtevant family, the Fayette Baptist Church, and the Baptist faith. The many historical references combined with photographs and excerpts from family journals, letters and diaries make it an interesting read.

pharnden@sunmediagroup.net