Brothers William Donnell Crooker and Charles Crooker were among the most prominent mid-nineteenth-century shipbuilders in Bath, Maine, itself one of the most prominent shipbuilding cities in the world during that time. This colorful history of the Crookers' company by the great-great grandson of William Donnell provides a thorough overview of a family, its contributions to shipbuilding, and the historic sweep of shipbuilding in the area, as well as a fascinating glimpse into everyday life in Maine during this time. Today, a small portion of Maine's twenty-first-century shipbuilder, Bath Iron Works, occupies land that was once the Crooker yard.
Frederic B. Hill was a reporter, correspondent and editorial writer for The Baltimore Sun from 1965 to 1985, including tours in London and Paris, covering Europe and southern Africa. After two years as foreign affairs director for Sen. Charles McC. Mathias, Jr., he joined the State Department in 1986 and established the Office of Special Programs, which conducted policy planning exercises and roundtable discussions on political/military, economic, and global issues.
A native of Maine and graduate of Bowdoin College, he and his wife Marguerite live in Arrowsic, Maine and Baltimore, Maryland. He serves on the board of directors of Maine’s First Ship, a non-profit organization building a reconstruction of Virginia, one of the first ships built in America at Popham Beach in 1608. William Donnell Crooker, one of the principal figures in “Ships, Swindlers, and Scalded Hogs,” was his great-great grandfather.