In partnership with the Maine Memory Network Maine Memory Network

Bath's Historic Downtown

The Sagadahoc County Courthouse

Text by Jared Gilliam, Emily Parker, and Kaitlyn Smith
7th grade students at Bath Middle School
With images from Patten Free Library

Sagadahoc County Courthouse, 1997
Sagadahoc County Courthouse, 1997

Item Contributed by
Patten Free Library

The Sagadahoc County Courthouse in Bath was built in the year of 1869, on an empty lot. It was designed by Francis Henry Fassett, in the Italianate style. The original building was made of brick with wood dentils and very detailed window borders; the foundation was made of granite. In 1987, an addition made out of cement blocks with a blue belt was built on the back of the courthouse. The height of the original building is two and a half stories.

Civil War Soldiers' Monument postcard, Bath, ca. 1940
Civil War Soldiers' Monument postcard, Bath, ca. 1940

Item Contributed by
Patten Free Library

According to Allison Hepler, the Soldiers' Monument was built to honor those from Bath who went into the Civil War and never returned. The Monument contains the names of 109 Bath residents who died in the war. In her paper, Hepler also mentions that the Soldiers' Monument was built on an empty lot at the intersection of High and Centre Streets, in 1867, and dedicated on June 3, 1868. The Civil War Monument was dedicated to those who had fought in the war from Bath.

The Monument stands 30 feet tall and is constructed of granite and marble. The monument cost $5,975 to build. There are three tablets on the front. One tablet says, “HONOR THE BRAVE.” Below that the tablet says, “Erected by the City of Bath A.D. 1867," and Dedicated to, "THE MEMORY OF HER SONS, Who Died, That the Nation Might Live.” There is also a quotation at the bottom: “The world will little note what we say, but it can never forget what they did.” This is a quote from President Lincoln's famous speech, “The Gettysburg Address.”

George Pepper, Civil War, tintype, ca. 1861
George Pepper, Civil War, tintype, ca. 1861

Item Contributed by
Patten Free Library

Of those listed on the Soldier's Monument, Joseph Pepper and George Pepper deserve special mention because George's letters to his mother still exist. These letters give detailed description of activities, places, and people in the Civil War. For example, in his letter of May 23 ,1862, he reports that his unit was preparing to march in Richmond, Virginia, which was just 6 miles away. George Pepper, unlike his brother Joseph, did not die in the Civil War. He returned to Bath and died from disease.

Another person from Bath who wrote letters to home was William H. Fog. In one of his letters he talks about how he was taken prisoner and sent to a prison in Libby for nine months then to various other campsites. He also talks about his time spent there and how he was treated. He stated that he was not cared for well but had many friends around. At then end of his letter his says “Tongue cannot tell neither can imagination picture what we suffered bodily and mentally."

Charles T. Lord to wife, Baton Rouge, 1863
Charles T. Lord to wife, Baton Rouge, 1863

Item Contributed by
Patten Free Library
William Henry Fogg Civil War Reminiscences, Bath, 1888
William Henry Fogg Civil War Reminiscences, Bath, 1888

Item Contributed by
Patten Free Library

According to his obituary from the Bath Daily Times in 1908, Francis Henry Fassett, the architect of the Courthouse, was a Bath native who became a famous architect. Mr. Fassett was born on June 25, 1823, and he died on November 1, 1908. Francis Fassett also designed many other buildings in Bath such as churches and schools.

Charles T. Lord is another man worth mentioning because one of his letters also was received. In his letters he talked about how he had jaundice and that he was doing well and not to worry. Charles also talked about where he was and what had happened; he talked about what he was going to do. He said that he would be going to Port Hudson in the morning. At the very end of his letter he told his wife not to worry about him and to take good care of herself and Mabel, his daughter.

1910 Sagadahoc County Judges
1910 Sagadahoc County Judges

Item Contributed by
Patten Free Library

The Sagadahoc County Courthouse, located in Bath, the county seat, serves the following towns: Bath, Arrowsic, Georgetown, Woolwich, West Bath, Phippsburg, Bowdoin, Bowdoinham, Richmond, and Topsham, County offices in the Courthouse include: The Emergency Movement Agency, County Commissioners Office, County Communication Center, County Treasurer, District Attorney, Register of Deeds, Register of Probate, and the Sheriff's Department. These offices serve all the residents of the county by enforcing laws, conducting trials, and recording wills and deeds. These functions are separate from those of the Bath City government.