Bath seen from opposite ferry landing, ca. 1845


This lithographed view of Bath, from the Woolwich side of the Kennebec River, was adapted from a sketch by Cyrus W. King (1816-1881), the only son of William King, the first governor of Maine, and his wife Ann Frazier King.

Although Cyrus King eventually made his career in medicine, attending Bowdoin's Medical School, he evidently had artistic talent and an eye for careful observation. The drawing, translated to a lithograph by Thayer & Co. of Boston, provided an image of the community of Bath at the verge of its greatest period of growth.

Among the evocative details caught was the steamer Penobscot to the left, as just one of several types of vessels. The prominence of the river illustrated the Kennebec River's importance as the primary highway of its day in the region. The Penobscot was part of the line that ran from the Hallowell area to Boston twice a week in the early 1840s. The fare was $2.50 for Bath to Boston (meals extra), as discussed by William Baker in his "Maritime History of Bath, Maine and the Kennebec River Region." The Penobscot did the Bath run from September of 1843 until June of 1845.

Numerous significant structures were drawn in such detail that they can be identified. The churches visible against Bath's skyline, from left to right are the South Meeting House (1805), the Universalist Church (1839), the North Meeting House (1802), the Elm Street Baptist Church (1817), and the new Winter Street Church (1844).

Both the Winter Street Church and the Universalist Church were built by master carpenter Anthony Coombs Raymond (1798-1879) and even in this view, similarities in the steeple can be noted. Only the Winter Street Church survived into the 20th century.

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