Originally founded as one town, Bath and West Bath have gone their separate ways since 1844. By that fateful year, the two areas had already developed different interests and identities. Whereas the western part of town remained agricultural, the eastern partstretched along the Kennebec Riverhad become active in shipbuilding and maritime trade. After their separation, eastern Bath went on to become a thriving city, while the farms of West Bath eventually mingled with summer camps and cottages. Because Bath’s shipbuilding industry made a successful transition from wood to steel and from sail to diesel power, the city remained in the forefront of maritime construction helping to create the modern U.S. Navy, furnish fancy yachts, and build up-to-date fishing vessels. Although home to other industries besides Bath Iron Works, Bath came to consider itself “the Shipbuilding City,” with its high school sports teams being known as the “Shipbuilders.”
About the Author
This beautiful new book by author Joyce K. Bibber brings to life the glories of Bath’s shipbuilding era and introduces us to the people, places, and events which defined Bath and West Bath from the 1850s to the 1950s. The author has gathered together, from both public and private collections, over two hundred fascinating images which show how much, and how little, has changed in these proud communities over the decades. As we revisit the past through the pages of this compelling visual history, we are brought face to face with the Bath area’s rich and colorful heritage. It is a journey that will delight resident and visitor alike.