Originally published in The Weekly Packet, December 13, 2018
History book on Blue Hill’s shipbuilding past released
Created from resident’s 1964 thesis paper
The Town of Blue Hill has obtained a source of information on its rich shipbuilding past with the newly published A Century Of Shipbuilding In Blue Hill, Maine 1792-1892 by longtime Blue Hill resident Rebecca Wanbaugh, who gave the rights to reprint her book to the Blue Hill Historical Society. According to a news release, this long-awaited publication is Wanbaugh’s 1964 thesis paper, from which she received her M.A. in History from the University of Maine at Orono.
Over 50 years ago, Wanbaugh interviewed local historians Henry Dodge, Esther Wood, and Roland Howard, and “drove two or three times a week” to Searsport to peruse the documentary collection of a man named Robert Applebee who had gathered much information on ships and ship-building. He had “file cabinets of old customs records” which Wanbaugh found very useful, according to the release.
This book has much comprehensive information not only on the number of ships built in Blue Hill, but also on the early shipbuilders, their owners, the captain’s, and the locations of the yards and more. Downeast Graphics has printed the book and it will be available for purchase at the Historical Society, Sara Sara’s, and Blue Hill Books.