Rare Birdseye View of Bath, Maine, engraved by J.J. Stoner and lithographed by The Shober & Carqueville Litho. Co., in Chicago in 1878.
The map presents a thriving image of the City of Bath on the Kennebec River, with steamships and sailing vessels plying the river and a booming metropolis on shore.
The key below identifies more than 60 locations.
Incorporated as part of Georgetown in 1753, Bath became incorporated as a town on February 17, 1781. It was named by the postmaster, Dummer Sewell, after Bath in Somerset, England. In 1844, a portion of the town became West Bath. On June 14, 1847, Bath was incorporated as a city, and in 1854 designated county seat. Land was annexed from West Bath in 1855.
Several industries developed in the city, including lumber, iron and brass, with trade in ice and coal. But Bath is renowned for shipbuilding, which began here in 1743 when Jonathan Philbrook and his sons built 2 vessels. Since then, roughly 5,000 vessels have been launched in the area, which at one time had more than 200 shipbuilding firms. Bath became the nation's fifth largest seaport by the mid-19th century, producing clipper ships that sailed to ports around the world.
The last commercial enterprise to build wooden ships in the city was the Percy & Small Shipyard, which was acquired for preservation in 1971 by the Maine Maritime Museum. But the most famous shipyard is the Bath Iron Works, founded in 1884 by Thomas W. Hyde.