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Burgess & O'Brien Shipyard

Thomaston - A Town That Went to Sea

Known as "A Town That Went to Sea", Thomaston gained that moniker because it was here that more wooden ocean going ships were constructed than in any other place in the country. Extensive records and ships' registries (including measurements, design features, holding capacity, owners and captains, crew members, types of cargo and routes traveled) are available for research.

Ocean going tall masted schooners, as well as full rigged ships, some with as many as five or six masts, were built in record numbers and with great speed. Local ship builders, known for their exceptionally skilled workmanship and their attention to detail, were frequently referred to as artisans.

During the height of the shipbuilding era, the 1840 United States Census reported seven millionaires in the country. Three of the seven lived in Thomaston. All were both sea captains and boat builders. Their homes are still in existence, one is now the town's funeral parlor and the other two remain private residences.

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Burgess & O'Brien Wharf


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