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Thomaston: The Town that Went to Sea

Captain Samuel Watts House

Captain Samuel Watts' House, Knox Street, Thomaston, Maine 2008
Captain Samuel Watts' House, Knox Street, Thomaston, Maine 2008

Item Contributed by
Thomaston Historical Society

Before the financial crash of 1857, shipyard owners were financially secure. Thomaston’s Captain Samuel Watts and business entrepreneur Edward O’Brien both ran successful shipyards. With their extra capitol, they were able to invest in railroads in the developing western territories, which increased their net worth to the extent they became two of the nation’s first millionaires. Both owned large properties in New York, where they spent a good deal of time with their families when not at their homes in Thomaston. Captain Watts first built a substantial cape style Greek Revival on Knox Street in which he and his family lived in 1842. As his prosperity grew, he moved the house to a lot to the south and built one of the largest homes in Thomaston as a replacement.