In 1852 George F. and John Patten purchased the library of William King, first Governor of the State of Maine, and presented it to the Patten Library Association. A businessman, military officer, and politician, King lived in Bath from 1800 until his death in 1852. Governor King’s books were typical of a nineteenth-century gentleman’s library and covered a range of subjects that included literature, politics, history, and religion. Originally consisting of nearly 800 volumes of books, pamphlets, and newspapers, the collection now contains 534 volumes and occupies glass bookcases in the Reading Room. To preserve these unique resources, the Library no longer circulates the materials but does make them available for in-house use. Click here to search the collection.
Frank H. Whitmore spent most of his childhood at sea. Whitmore’s father, who was born in Arrowsic, was a ship captain. Young Frank returned to Maine and graduated from high school in Gardiner, where his mother was born. After attending Harvard College he became a librarian and worked at Bowdoin College before serving public libraries in Massachusetts and Indiana. In 1946 Whitmore gave to Patten Free Library a collection of books about ships and seafaring, including some fiction. Around 550 volumes of the original collection of 750 remain and are housed in the Reading Room. To preserve these unique resources, the Library no longer circulates the materials but does make them available for in-house use. Click here to search the collection.