Collections of Maine Historical Society. Order a copy at, item #103685.

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 that included 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.

In commemoration of Maine’s bicentennial this year, The Forecaster is featuring historical highlights and artifacts from our communities’ past 200 years. This feature can be found in print and online every other week.