Hodgdon Shipbuilding and Mills


by Barbara Rumsey
The East Boothbay Series, #1
Published in 1995

The growth of a nineteenth-century Maine coastal village unfolds in this detailed history of East Boothbay’s Hodgdon shipyard and tidemill. Focusing on the early period, when the village was known as Hodgdons Mills, a wealth of information provides insight into a pioneer settlement as it evolved into a commercial center.
One man was crucial, and in profiling Caleb Hodgdon’s enterprises—shipyard, mill, and real estate—the develop-ment of East Boothbay emerges. A family enclave of four houses in the 1820s became a booming shipbuilding village within twenty years, its residents drawn by the opportunities Caleb Hodgdon created after settling there in 1826. Commerce and community expanded with the appearance of homes, stores, roads, other shipyards, a ferry, a church, and a school. An influx of skilled men—sparmakers, blockmakers, sailmakers, blacksmiths, and shipwrights—with their families guaranteed a fortunate village.
Hodgdon shipbuilding, now owned by Caleb’s great-great-grandson, has a 180-year record. The first one hundred years of the shipyard’s activities and the accomplishments of the first two Hodgdon generations are profiled. All known vessels built by the Hodgdons from 1816 to 1996 are listed, and many previously unknown Hodgdon-built vessels have been identified. Though gathered from fragmentary sources, this history is a testament to an enduring work ethic whose monument is in wood.

• Technical data on the Hodgdon village tidemill
• Original sketches by Earle G. Barlow
• 60 illustrations, including photos, maps, documents, and drawings
• Appendices: Hodgdon-built vessels, 1816-1996; vessel specifications, 1916-1996
• Sources cited in footnotes; complete bibliography and index



1. Hodgdon Beginnings on Jeremysquam
2. Caleb Hodgdon, Jeremysquam Shipwright
3. The Creation of Hodgdons Mills
4. Caleb Hodgdon, Boothbay Shipwright
5. From Abigail to Veto
6. A Thriving Shipbuilding Village
7. The Texas, the Tiger, the Wellsman, and Eliza
8. Boom and Panic
9. C. & J. P. Hodgdon & Co.
10. The First Hodgdon Brothers
11. C. & G. M. Hodgdon Co.
12. The Yacht Years Begin for Hodgdon Brothers
13. The Third Generation
A. Deeds and Court Cases
B. Vessel List, 1816-1996
C. Vessel Specifications, 1917-1996
D. Genealogy

Lincoln County towns
1772 Holland map of Jeremysquam and Boothbay
1794 Beath map of Jeremysquam
1815 Rose map showing Sheepscot River Islands
1856 map showing Boothbay place names
1824 Boothbay purchases of Caleb Hodgdon
1751 house sites of Miller, Montgomery, and Linekin
1823 highway district #5
1825 purchases of Caleb Hodgdon
William McCobb’s neighborhood
Hodgdons Mills in 1832
Hodgdons Mills in 1836
Hodgdons Mills in 1839
Hodgdons Mills in 1856
Hodgdons Mills roads, circa 1860

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