History[edit | edit source]
Bakerville's history dates back to when the city was still called Romeyn Falls. Its first residents arrived in the late 19th century, many of them black men and women who came to work in the mines, factories, and railroads in Romeyn Falls. For a long time, the neighborhood was derisively called "Darkietown", but was eventually christened Bakerville, after its unofficial mayor, "Coffin" Earl Baker, who ran a store that served as a barbershop, newsstand, and hospital.
The neighborhood soon became home to Romeyn Falls' ragtime scene, centered around Freeman's Bar, where Skittery Jim Corvus played. The bar attracted folks from all over Bakerville, and even beyond; white kids from the university started visiting as well. Eventually, fears of miscegenation attracted the white supremacist Knights of the Western Lily, who set fire to the bar and then summoned the police to make sure nobody tried to build a new bar.
Around 1904, Astro City proper had its own ragtime concert at the Gaiety music hall, and the mysterious Mister Cakewalk began appearing in Bakerville. He robbed the Gaiety and distributed the loot to Hubie Freeman and those who had been beaten by the Knights of the Western Lily.