Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Brunswick & Bowdoin

Brunswick, is a town in Cumberland County, Maine. Settled in 1628DSCN5706 by Thomas Purchase and other fishermen, the area was called by its Indian name, Pejepscot (long, rocky rapids part of the river). In 1639, Purchase placed the settlement under protection of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. During King Philip's War in 1676, Pejepscot was burned and abandoned, although a garrison called Fort Andros was built on the ruins during King William's War. The 1713 Treaty of Portsmouth brought peace to the region between the Abenaki Indians and English colonists.

In 1714, a group from Boston and Portsmouth bought the land afterwards called the Pejepscot Purchase. The Massachusetts General Court constituted the township in 1717 and named it Brunswick in honor of the House of Brunswick and its scion, King George. After a fire, Brunswick was rebuilt in 1727, and was incorporated in 1739.

The Androscoggin River, which falls in 3 successive stages over a distance of 41 feet, provided water power for Brunswick industry. The town became a prosperous seaport and major producer of lumber, with as many as 25 sawmills. Some of the lumber went into shipbuilding. Other firms produced paper, soap, flour, marble and granite work, carriages and harness, plows, furniture, shoes and confections. The town was the site of Maine’s first cotton mill, Brunswick Cotton Manufactory Company, built in 1809.

The former Fort Andros site was later the Cabot Mill whichDSCN5718 served a number of businesses in the manufacture of cotton, cloth, woolen broadcloth, synthetics, and shoes. Later, the mill was renovated for use as offices, art studios, galleries, and warehouse space and renamed Fort Andros.

Nearby, Sea Dog Brewery is located on the river banks.

DSCN5723The Frank J. Woods Bridge is a steel bridge, built in 1932, which spans the Androscoggin River and connects Brunswick with Topsham, Maine. It replaced a wooden toll bridge built in 1756 and later destroyed by fire. The new bridge was named after a farmer who suggested the relocation of the bridge.

brunswick collage2Brunswick is home to Bowdoin College, the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum, and the Naval Air Station Brunswick. Bowdoin College, founded in 1794, is a private liberal arts college with a student body of 1,700 and ranks sixth among liberal colleges in the U.S. The college was named for ex-Massachusetts governor, James Bowdoin, whose son was a major benefactor.

bowdoin collage1

Author Nathanial Hawthorne graduated from Bowdoin College in 1825 His classmates included future president Franklin Pierce and future poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. In 1829, Longfellow secured a professorship at the college in modern European languages and taught French, Spanish, and Italian leaving in 1834 to accept a Professorship of Modern Languages at Harvard College.

Bowdoin's connections to the Civil War prompted comments that theDSCN5836 war “began and ended” in Brunswick. Harriet Beecher Stowe, started writing her anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin in Bowdoin's Appleton Hall, while her husband, Calvin, was teaching at the College. Stowe said she got a key vision for the book in the First Parish Church. 



Brigadier General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, a Bowdoin alumnus DSCN5942 and  professor, received the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Court House in 1865. For his gallantry at Gettysburg, he was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Chamberlain later served four years as governor of Maine, adjutant-general of Maine, and as president of his alma mater, Bowdoin College.


foliage collage


Lois Evensen said...

Thanks for sharing more great history. Uncle Tom's Cabin was set in the Cincinnati area, center for the Underground Railroad. Eliza crossed the Ohio River here before the Army Corps of Engineers put in dams that make the river too deep to cross on foot. Harriet Beecher Stowe's home, now a museum, is within walking distance from our home. Small world, isn't it?

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Lois, thanks for the adding to my knowledge too as I didn't know the setting for Stowe's story. It's been many years since I read the story in school.

And, yes, it is a small world and more things and people are connected than we know. On our travels, we have met folks from our home state of NJ and current home of VA.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

wow..i am really enjoying your maine trip. we will be in salem next week and looking at all your pics makes me even more excited than i already am! one of the first things i am making when i get there is lobster braised in vanilla butter. i just got a new french cookbook and they say that it is the best way to prepare lobster!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Hi OctoberFarm, so glad you stopped by and posted and glad to read you are enjoying the Maine posts. Grenville and I are having fun doing them, but find ourselves running a day or so behind because we are on the go all day and then tired to night. Your recipes are wonderful and look delicious just from viewing the "how to" step-by-step photos. When we are cooking, we sometimes forget to take many pics OR our hands are too messy to grab a camera. THANKS for the comments and please drop in again!

Sara said...

Another interesting and entertaining addition to your travel stories. Super photos and commentary on Brunswick. It is a neat town. IN the summers Maine State Music Theatre uses Bowdoin's theatre for its productions. Good views and acoustics from any seat in the house. So glad to hear you got down the Pemaquid peninsula-and can't wait to hear your review of Moody's diner.

Anonymous said...

Once again thanks for that interesting history! Now I´ve read about some wars I´v never even heard of before.

Have a great day now!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Sara, one of the things we notice (and liked) about Brunswick is that it's not a tourist town in that there were not lots of shops selling souvenirs, t-shirts, etc., like as Bar Harbor or Camden, Maine. I plan to do an entire separate post about Moody's. The food was good and so were the prices :-)

Christer, glad you are enjoying the blog posts. We're learning lots of history too!

Out on the prairie said...

Some fun pictures and nice blog. I would have a hard time getting tired of eating lobster.I went to Acadia last time there.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Welcome "Out on the Prairie" thanks for the visit and comments - enjoyed your blog as well. Acadia National Park is a place we could visit many times over and well worth more visits here. As for lobster, not tired of it, just not one of my favorites and thankfully there are lots of seafood choices here.

Cheryl said...

I so enjoyed your post about one of my favorite places, Brunswick! Brunswick is where we go to dine out and shop, its about 30 minutes from my home. Its the biggest town nearby us. You have some great photos.

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