"HELENSBURGH, town on north coast of Firth of Clyde, opposite Greenock and 8 miles west-north-west of Dumbarton. It was founded in 1777; it enjoyed from the first remarkable advantages of plan and position; it took a first rank among watering-places at the era of steam navigation; and it has steadily advanced in attractiveness and size. It adjoins the mouth of Gareloch; stands partly on a belt of low ground along the beach, partly on gentle ascending skirt of broad-based hill-range; commands from all its area very fine views; consists chiefly of a terrace fronting the beach, and spacious straight thoroughfares crossing one another at right angles; and abounds in villas, ornate cottages, garden plots, and shrubberies. It has a post office, with money order and telegraph departments, under Glasgow, a terminal railway station, 3 banking offices, 2 hotels, a steamboat pier sold to the North British Company in 1876 for £10,000, municipal buildings of 1879, an obelisk monument to Henry Bell, 2 Established churches of 1847 and 1880, 2 steepled Free churches of 1852 and 1860, a steepled United Presbyterian church of 1855, a Congregational church projected in 1881 in lieu of a previous one, an Episcopal church of 1869, a Roman Catholic church of 1880, 2 large public schools, a public library, and a fine bowling-green; it publishes 2 weekly newspapers; and it was designed in 1880 to acquire an extensive esplanade, public baths, aquarium, band-stand, and fountain. Its population at the census of 1881 was 7690; but that in the summer months was probably three times greater."
[From The Gazetteer of Scotland, by Rev. John Wilson, 1882.]