The Bath Historical Society was incorporated in 1989 by a small group of Bath citizens. Its immediate goal was to ensure that the Sagadahoc History and Genealogy Room in the Patten Free Library was adequately funded and staffed so that its collections could remain open to the public on a regular basis. BHS conducted a three-year campaign to raise funds for an endowment to provide income for ongoing support; we continue to build our endowment fund so that we can accomplish this mission. Money raised through annual membership dues, donations and other projects is used to expand and preserve our collections (housed in the History Room), to support programming on local history topics, and to publish the Bath Historical Society Newsletter and our research publication, The Times of Bath, several times each year.
In 1997, BHS published a book, The Sesquicentennial of Bath, Maine: 1847-1997, in recognition of the 150th anniversary of the incorporation of the City of Bath. BHS also publishes an annual calendar with photographs and facts from Bath history.
BHS has annually presented lectures on historic topics in the fall, winter and spring, which we record and make available for broadcast on the local cable TV channels in Bath and surrounding towns. We also make DVDs of our programs available for purchase or for borrowing in the History Room and in our online store.
BHS has coordinated with local schools to present programs on local history. Bath was one of the first communities selected to participate in the Maine Historical Society’s Maine Community Heritage Project, which pairs schools with local historical societies and libraries to create websites within the Maine Memory Network that explain the history of their communities: http://bath.mainememory.net/page/935/display.html
Since 2005, Bath Historical has co-sponsored with the PFL History Room the annual Town History Series on six successive Saturdays in January and February. Annually, each of the six towns served by the Patten Free Library presents a program about the history of its community; these programs bring together area residents in a shared appreciation of the region’s heritage.
Bath Historical Society has cooperated with the Maine Maritime Museum, Sagadahoc Preservation, Inc., Main Street Bath and other regional historical societies to increase understanding and appreciation of the rich history of Bath and southern Sagadahoc County.