The collection is organized into two categories. General Business records, and Vessel papers. The first part is quite small and only encompasses a few invoices that do not pertain to the construction of any vessels. There are also a small number of labor accounts for repair work done on non Percy & Small vessels and one correspondence. There are two large ledgers—General Accounts (1894-1908) and Trial Balances (1901-1916).
There are two vessel specifications for a 4-mast schooner that I could not place in any particular vessel folder in Series II. Although one is labeled in pencil “Cohen,” the vessel specs are quite different from the 4-mast schooner Cecilia Cohen which makes me wonder if this is a preliminary spec for Hull #46 that was never built. The second vessel specification is dated 1919 but does not match any vessel in that time period. Again, could this be preliminary spec for Hull #46 or some other vessel which was never built. There are four items that do not seem to fit in either series comfortably. I placed these few items in a folder marked Miscellaneous. A note of interest on the advertising flyer for the World War I War Savings Stamp Drive in the miscellaneous folder: these were issued in 1918 with a maturity date of 1923. On the back of this flyer is a handwritten list of expenses for an unidentified vessel under construction. I am unable to match the dollar amounts to any of the vessel account summaries within this time frame and that is why I put this under miscellaneous.
<h1 align="left"> </h1><h1 align="left"> The second part is the bulk of the Percy & Small shipyard records. The “Vessel Papers” deal with the construction work done between 1894 and 1920. These include, for the most part, specifications, registrations, construction summaries and invoices. There is very little correspondence or labor accounts in this series. The records include all the vessels built by Percy & Small shipyard except for the following:</h1>
<ul> <li> Oakley C. Curtis (5M), Hull #9</li></ul><h1 align="left"> ·Pequosette (coal lighter), Hull #34</h1><h1 align="left"> ·Pocahontas No. 1 (lighter), Hull #35</h1><h1 align="left"> ·Randall & McAllister #2 (coal lighter), Hull #33</h1><h1 align="left"> ·Robert P. Murphy (4M), Hull #23 </h1><ul> <li> William C. Carnegie (5M), Hull #8</li></ul>
Captain Samuel Rogers Percy, Jr. (1856-1940), son of Captain Samuel Rogers Percy, Sr. and Eleanor M. (Golder) Percy, was born at Parkers Head in Phippsburg, Maine on December 13, 1856. After the death of his father, at the age of eleven, his mother remarried George M. Adams, a well-known Bath shipbuilder. Samuel Jr. and his mother moved from Phippsburg to Bath to live in the Adams home on the corner of Washington and Union streets. There Samuel Jr. attended Bath schools until he reached the age of sixteen. He then left formal education behind and took a job working for Treat & Lang’s steam sawmill for six months. He then spent three years in shipyards, first at his stepfather’s operation—Adams & Hitchcock—and then at Hagan & Thurlow’s. By the time he was eighteen, young Samuel had a basic education in timber processing and wooden shipbuilding. At the age of nineteen years, he went to sea as boy in the Chapman & Flint ship M. P. Grace. He spent seven years in the California trade, a portion of that time in a coastwise steamer out of San Francisco. At 23, he had risen to the rank of mate and served as first officer on the Freeport ship Enos Soule, under Captain Claude M. Lawrence.
On June 2, 1880, Samuel Percy married Lucy Toby, daughter of James Toby of Bath and had one child, a daughter Eleanor.
In 1882, stepfather George Adams offered Sam the command of the Adams & Hitchcock three-mast schooner Normandy, built in 1878. In 1884, Captain Percy took the command of the brand new tern (three-mast) schooner Henry P Mason, the last addition to the Adams & Hitchcock fleet. On March 11, 1893, George Adams died; two days after Captain Sam Percy arrived home in response to his stepfather’s illness.
In 1894, he associated himself with Frank A. Small in the shipbuilding business at Bath, Maine, under the firm name of Percy & Small. For the length of time they have engaged in this line of work, they have conducted the largest business of any shipbuilding firm in Maine between 1894 and 1920.
On a personal note, Captain Samuel R. Percy represented ward two in Bath as Alderman for two years, was mayor of the city of Bath in 1901 and was a representative in the Maine legislature in 1904-05. Captain Samuel Rogers Percy died in 1940 at the age of 84.