A Mellon Humanities research project by Katherine Randall '16, directed by Professor Tess Chakkalakal.
A digital timeline presents the evolving role of The Stowe House in Brunswick culture, from the private residence of Harriet Beecher Stowe where Uncle Tom’s Cabin was written, to an important twentieth-century inn and restaurant that served Brunswick’s residents and visitors for fifty years.
Few buildings in Brunswick have been as consistently significant to the town’s history and culture as the Harriet Beecher Stowe House. Also known as the Titcomb House, the building at 63 Federal Street has fulfilled many roles in the community since it was constructed in 1806. The original Colonial style building, built by prominent Brunswick architect Samuel Melcher III, is where Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin. It also housed Henry Wadsworth Longfellow as a Bowdoin College student. Remodeled in 1855, the Stowe House was applauded for its fashionable Greek Revival design. The building became an inn and restaurant in 1946, and until the business closed in 1998, the Harriet Beecher Stowe House reflected the town’s changing relationships with its history and the tourism industry. Changes to the building during this period show the influence of post-World War II patriotism, 1950s McCarthyism, the quest for a sophisticated and modern downtown, and historic preservation. Today, the Stowe House is owned by Bowdoin College and has been newly renovated to serve as offices for faculty on leave. Additionally, one room of the house will focus on Stowe’s time in the house and will be open to the public. Entering this new chapter in its life in September 2015, the Harriet Beecher Stowe House demonstrates its ongoing importance to Brunswick, both as a historic landmark and an active part of the town.
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