Born Jan. 29, 1935 in Pennsylvania, Mr. Bill Baab has lived in Augusta since 1940. On January 8, 1966 Baab married his best friend and life-long companion Beatrice (Bea) Ruth Sudrabin. They were not blessed by children, but owned five dogs during
their first 45 years of marriage.
In 1955, Mr. Baab joined The Augusta Chronicle as a copyboy. Two years later he was named to the staff after forging his journalistic career by helping out on the sports desk and writing book reviews. Baab began writing a column, "Boating with Bill Baab," in 1957. In June of 1964, he became The Chronicle's outdoor editor. Mr. Baab retired from The Chronicle in January 2000. After retiring, he continued to edit the newspaper's Fishing Page.
Mr. Baab has been collecting antique bottles and antique and contemporary pottery since 1969. He has written hobby-related feature stories for magazines. He served as Southern Region editor for "Bottles & Extras," the publication of the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors, until June 2011. He was given the federation President's Award in 2004 and 2006 for his contributions. In 2011, Mr. Baab was inducted into the federation's Hall of Fame.
In 2007, he and his wife self-published a book about Augusta bottles called "Augusta on Glass." Supplements featuring Augusta area dairies and their bottles (2011) and Augusta drug stores of the 19th and early 20th centuries (2010) were also published. His wife, Bea, did the printing, collating and binding by herself. They had lots of technical help from Mrs. Kathy Hopson-Sathe.
In the spring of 2014, the Baabs decided to donate their 531-bottle collection, along with a few local merchants' jugs, to the Augusta Museum of History. They also have donated more than 3,500 other Augusta-related artifacts.