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Bath, Maine
—  City  —
Bath City Hall

Nickname(s): City of Ships
Location of Bath in Maine
Coordinates: 43°54′59″N 69°49′21″W / 43.91639°N 69.8225°W / 43.91639; -69.8225Coordinates: 43°54′59″N 69°49′21″W / 43.91639°N 69.8225°W / 43.91639; -69.8225
Country United States
State Maine
County Sagadahoc
Incorporated (town) February 17, 1781
Incorporated (city) June 14, 1847
 - Total 13.2 sq mi (34.3 km2)
 - Land 9.1 sq mi (23.6 km2)
 - Water 4.1 sq mi (10.7 km2)
Elevation 62 ft (19 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 9,266
 Density 1,016.8/sq mi (392.6/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 04530
Area code(s) 207
FIPS code 23-03355
GNIS feature ID 0561723

Bath is a city in Sagadahoc County, Maine, in the United States. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 9,266. It is the county seat of Sagadahoc County[1]. Located on the Kennebec River, Bath is a port of entry with a good harbor. The city is popular with tourists, many drawn by its 19th-century architecture. It is home to the Bath Iron Works and Heritage Days Festival, held annually on the Fourth of July weekend.

Bath is part of the PortlandSouth PortlandBiddeford, Maine Metropolitan Statistical Area.



Waterfront in 1907

Abenaki Indians called the area Sagadahoc, meaning "mouth of big river." It was a reference to the Kennebec River, which Samuel de Champlain explored in 1605. Popham Colony was established in 1607 downstream, together with Fort St. George. The settlement would fail due to a lack of leadership and harsh weather, but the colonists built the first oceangoing vessel constructed by English shipwrights in the New World, the Virginia of Sagadahoc. It provided them passage back to England.

The next settlement at Sagadahoc was about 1660, when land titles were purchased from an Indian sagamore known as Robinhood.[2] Incorporated as part of Georgetown in 1753, Bath was set off and 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 was set off to create West Bath. On June 14, 1847, Bath was incorporated as a city, and in 1854 designated county seat. Land would be annexed from West Bath in 1855.

Several industries developed in the city, including the manufacture of 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-1800s, producing clipper ships which 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. It has built hundreds of wooden and steel vessels, mostly warships for the U.S. Navy.[2] During World War II, Bath Iron Works launched a new ship every 17 days. The shipyard is a major regional employer, and operates today as a division of the General Dynamics Corporation.

The city is noted for its Federal, Greek Revival, and Italianate architecture, including the 1858 Custom House and Post Office designed by Ammi B. Young. Bath is sister city to Shariki (now Tsugaru) in Japan, where the locally-built full rigged ship Cheseborough was wrecked in 1889. Scenes from the movies Message in a Bottle (1999) and The Man Without a Face (1993) were filmed in the city.


Bath is located at 43°54′59″N 69°49′21″W / 43.91639°N 69.8225°W / 43.91639; -69.8225 (43.916293, -69.822565)[3].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.2 square miles (34.3 km²), of which, 9.1 square miles (23.6 km²) of it is land and 4.1 square miles (10.7 km²) of it (31.12%) is water. Situated at the head of Casco Bay, Bath is drained by the Kennebec River.

Old Morse High School in c. 1905
Washington Street in 1914
Erudition Schoolhouse, built 1794, as it appeared in 1911


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1860 8,076
1870 7,371 −8.7%
1880 7,874 6.8%
1890 8,723 10.8%
1900 10,477 20.1%
1910 9,396 −10.3%
1920 14,731 56.8%
1930 9,110 −38.2%
1940 10,235 12.3%
1950 10,644 4.0%
1960 10,717 0.7%
1970 9,679 −9.7%
1980 10,246 5.9%
1990 9,799 −4.4%
2000 9,266 −5.4%

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 9,266 people, 4,042 households, and 2,344 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,016.8 people per square mile (392.7/km²). There were 4,383 housing units at an average density of 481.0/sq mi (185.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.92% White, 1.60% Black or African American, 0.58% Native American, 0.47% Asian, 0.13% Pacific Islander, 0.68% from other races, and 1.62% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.76% of the population.

There were 4,042 households out of which 29.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.8% were married couples living together, 13.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.0% were non-families. 34.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.91.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.0% under the age of 18, 8.4% from 18 to 24, 29.5% from 25 to 44, 23.0% from 45 to 64, and 14.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 91.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $36,372, and the median income for a family was $45,830. Males had a median income of $35,064 versus $22,439 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,112. About 9.3% of families and 11.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.5% of those under age 18 and 9.6% of those age 65 or over.


Sites of interest

Notable residents

Sagadahoc County Courthouse and Soldiers' Monument in 1908



  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ a b Maine League of Historical Societies and Museums (1970). Doris A. Isaacson. ed. Maine: A Guide 'Down East'. Rockland, Me: Courier-Gazette, Inc.. pp. 248–252. 
  3. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ [1], accessed March, 2010.
  5. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ Grinnell College Libraries. Presidents of Grinnell College: George Magoun. Accessed May 10, 2008.

Further reading

External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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