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By age 21, Captain John H. Purrington (1811-1886) of Topsham was a shipmaster. He worked for the McLellans and Pattens of Bath, Mr. Haggar of Richmond, and the Skolfields of Brunswick, eventually becoming a ship-owner and shipbuilder. He commanded vessels including the Amos Lawrence (Schooner), Brandywine (Ship), Sharon (Ship), John Mayo (Bark), Rideout (Brig), S. J. Rogers (Ship) and Sarah Boyd (Bark). Upon retirement he built several vessels at his shipyard near the railroad bridge in Topsham.
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