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Charles V. Minott Sr. (1826-1903) | Maine Maritime Museum Manuscript Collection Online Catalog

Name: Charles V. Minott Sr. (1826-1903)

Historical Note:

Charles V. Minott, Sr. was born in Bowdoin, Maine on October 13, 1826 to parents Thomas Minott of Brunswick and Frances Campbell Coombs of Bowdoin. He was the eldest of eight children—Nancy (1828), Rufus (1830), Frances (1833), John (1837), Marietta (1841), Thomas, Jr. (1843), and Elizabeth (1845). He married Sarah Catherine Rogers (1832-1913) of Georgetown, daughter of Capt. John C. Rogers of Farmington and Abigail Stinson of Georgetown, on May 31, 1855.  Sarah Catherine’s brother was Capt. David C. Rogers. Charles Sr. and Sarah had four children; Vincent Rufus Rogers (1857-1866), Alice Maud (1860-1934), Charles Vincent (1867-1936) and Abbie Frances (1873-1944).

Charles V. Minott, Sr. received a common school education leaving school after eighth grade to help work the family farm. But he had an interest in the shipping business and left home in 1845 coming to Bath. He was 19 years old. He worked at the Levi Houghton shipyard learning the shipbuilding trade. In 1849 he went to a Georgetown shipyard in Robinhood Cove to work for General Joseph Berry and became a master builder there in 1850. In October 1853, he left the Georgetown Shipyard and moved to Phippsburg Center. Obtaining financial backing from Capt. James Drummond, who became his business partner, he leased a shipyard site in Phippsburg Center just east of the church to build his own vessels. He eventually bought out Capt. Drummond. 

The first vessel built by Charles Minott Sr. was the brig Nebraska for Trufant & Drummond. After building the brig Nebraska, Minott Sr. moved to another yard just down the river. He eventually bought the yard and a number of associated properties.

He bought McCobb-Hill home in Phippsburg Center in 1854 and married Sarah C. Rogers a year later. 

Minott, Sr. rarely built vessels on contract, instead building on his own account. Between 1854 and 1903, the Minott shipyard built 34 vessels under his supervision as master builder; Minott built 13 ships, 2 brigs, 3 barks and 16 schooners. His first vessel was launched in May 1854 and his last in May 1901. He is best known for the ship Aryan launched July 13, 1893; said to be the last full-rigged ship built in North America.

Minott, Sr. also ran a general merchandise store known as the Brick Store. The building was built by Mark Hill and Thomas McCobb in 1806.  Minott, Sr. bought the building in 1861 as a general merchandise store providing much needed goods to the community as well as to vessels. The Brick Store operated up until 1921. It was left vacant and the building was razed in 1958.

Minott, Sr. was active in Phippsburg town affairs being its Treasurer for several decades. He died on May 2, 1903 after suffering internal injuries from a carriage accident a week prior to his death.

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