This marker has two plaques mounted on the same base
The home of Kings once stood here.
In 1798 William King bought land in the new downtown, just starting on Shaw Point, and began to build a home close to the Kennebec River and his neighboring store, wharf, and shipyard. A year later he met the woman he would marry in 1802, Ann Frazier. In the years to come their one-and-one-half story home would be expanded into a three-story mansion; until it became, as one young visitor remembered, "a perfect treasure house of enjoyment." The house allowed King an easy view of both the river, with the comings and goings of vessels that might influence his varied business interests, and his Bath Bank at the corner of Front and Centre Streets. An orchard of plum, cherry, pear, and apple trees grew to the north and west of the house. It is on the site of that orchard that this Custom House stands now.
"The building will stand as long as the hills endure."The Bath Daily Tribune, September 15, 1856
A custom house provided space for officials, who collected customs or tolls on commodities brought into a seaport, clear vessels and their cargo and crew for entering or leaving the country, and process all the paperwork associated with these and related tasks.
Bath growing prominence in shipbuilding and booming population in the late 1840s made the need for a dedicated custom house critical, particularly when combined with the additional space required for another federal responsibility, the United States Postal Service. This was a necessary structure, built for pragmatic purposes, but Ammi Burnham Young made it beautiful.