< Back


BATH, (50 alt., 9,110 pop.), named for the ancient city of Bath, England, has a history of almost two centuries of shipbuild- ing, though its yards turn out comparatively few vessels today. Its heyday was in the wooden-ship era, though the first steel sailing vessel, a four-master, was built here. Naturally, many of its inhabit- ants have been shipmasters and shipowners, and the older homes are filled with souvenirs from distant parts of the earth printed Indian linens, teakwood chests, blue and white ginger jars from Canton, and strangely shaped sea shells and still have a faint odor of sandal- wood, camphor, and spice. During the World War the local yards were active again, attracting several thousand workmen, but the revival was temporary. The chief event in local life, however, is still the launching of a new craft; and the townspeople follow the histories of Bath ships with pride. BATH IRONWORKS , in the center of the city at Union and Water Sts. below the Carlton Bridge, was founded by Gen. Thomas Hyde after his return from the Civil War. Some fairly large and many small Government vessels have been built here, including the battleship Georgia, cruisers, and lighthouse tenders. Many fine yachts have also come from this plant.Nearby are other shipbuilding works that can make any but the largest vessels. The new DAVENPORT MEMORIAL BUILDING, Front St., housing the Bath municipal offices, has in its tower a bell cast in 1805 at the Paul Revere foundry. The DAVENPORT MEMORIAL MUSEUM in the building contains ship paintings, original half-models from which were built famous Kennebec merchantmen and vessels launched in other Maine ports, and many exhibits of importance in Maine marine history. In the beautifully landscaped CITY PARK, on Front St., is a cannon taken from the British man-of-war Somerset, which was "swinging wide at her moorings" in Boston Harbor when Paul Revere made his ride. The cannon was used for the firing of salutes at Bath until the Civil War.