Champagne baptizes not only stern, but several workmen on staging below

Nov 15, 2019

Nov. 18, 1859

J. Y. McClintock, Esq., has introduced gas into City Hall, and hung a new and splendid chandelier, which lights up the hall brilliantly. The chandelier, which cost $200, is a massive one of gilt and bronze, with nine Argand burners, which have much greater illuminating power than common ones. The fresco painting on the walls and ceiling was designed for center light, and the present mode of lighting brings out these decorations very finely.

Nov. 14, 1895

The new gas burners introduced by the Belfast Light and Power Co. have only to be seen to be appreciated. While giving more light than the old burners they consume less gas—a double recommendation.

Nov. 19, 1908

Hon. John S. Hyde, President of the Bath Iron Works, extended a general invitation to the citizens of Belfast to attend the launching of the turbine steamer Belfast last Thursday, and forty-six responded and enjoyed the hospitalities of the Shipping City on that day…It may be said here that Belfast money was not current in Bath last Thursday, and the visitors were given the freedom of the city and all that it contained, and will long remember the courtesies and hospitality extended on this occasion….

A large platform had been erected at the bow of the steamer, prettily decorated with bunting and flags, and here the Belfast party were stationed, with President Hyde, Treasurer H. H. McCarty and other officials of the Bath Iron Works, Calvin Austin and others of the Eastern Steamship Company. Miss Greenlaw was presented with a handsome bouquet of American Beauty roses tied with two-toned red and green ribbon and Miss Keene with a bouquet of violets tied with violet ribbon.

During the short interval before the launching Miss Greenlaw was instructed as to her duties, and at 2.58 the signal was given, and as the steamer “felt the thrill of life along her keel” Miss Carrie M. Greenlaw of this city, the sponsor, carried out her instructions as to the christening ceremony perfectly and at the first blow with the gaily decorated bottle of American champagne the contents baptized not only the stern but several workmen on the staging below, and there was a scramble by the sightseers to secure the fragments of the bottle as souvenirs. Miss Keene, the maid of honor, held Miss Greenlaw’s bouquet while the latter performed the time-honored ceremony; and as the stately steamer slid swiftly and smoothly down the ways a hearty salute was given by the Belfast delegation.

Compiled from archival holdings by Sharon Pietryka, Reference & Special Collections Librarian at Belfast Free Library.

If you appreciated reading this news story and want to support local journalism, consider subscribing today.
Call (207) 594-4401 or join online at
Donate directly to keeping quality journalism alive at
Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.