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Bath, city (1990 pop. 9,799), seat of Sagadahoc co., SW Maine, on the west bank of the Kennebec River near its mouth on the Atlantic; settled c.1670, inc. as a city 1847. It is a port of entry with a good harbor. Once a great shipbuilding center, it still has active shipyards and marine manufactures, but summer tourism is becoming increasingly important. Champlain and others visited or passed near this site when exploring the Kennebec River, and at nearby Popham Beach a short-lived colony was established (1607) by George Popham. Shipbuilding began early; many clipper ships were constructed in the 19th cent., and the Bath Iron Works began producing steel warships and commercial vessels in the 1880s. The city flourished, particularly during World Wars I and II, when a large number of destroyers were built. There is a marine museum and many old mansions in Bath.

See M. Sanders, The Yard (1999).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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