Campus News

Maine, Bowdoin History on Display at Hawthorne-Longfellow Library

Story posted June 29, 1999

The Hawthorne-Longfellow Library at Bowdoin College celebrates summer with two exhibits that highlight the history of Maine and Bowdoin.
“Rail and Sail in Nineteenth Century Maine,” will be on view until late August and “Digging into Bowdoin’s Past” will be on display until September 15 in the library. The exhibits can be viewed on the second floor of Hawthorne-Longfellow Library Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call 725-3288.
“Rail and Sail” features two groups of business records from the library’s special collections: The Atlantic & St. Lawrence Railroad records and the Tucker Shipping papers.
The Atlantic & St. Lawrence Railroad was the first line to be built between Portland, Maine, and Montreal, Quebec. Chartered in 1845, it was designed to connect the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway to an Atlantic port, and was a primary factor in the growth of the Portland waterfront. This exhibit documents the development, route selection and initial construction of the railroad with a wide variety of material, including broadsides, petitions, and correspondence.
The Tucker Shipping Papers include more than 2,700 letters and other records pertaining to the Tucker family’s Wiscasset shipping business from 1826 to 1890. The Tuckers were chiefly in the cotton export business, carrying their cargoes from Savannah or Charleston to European ports. Selections in the exhibit are organized around quotations from Richard Hawley Tucker’s “Directions,” a 120-page letter of advice written in 1838 to his older son, Richard, Jr., who became a captain at age 22.
“Digging into Bowdoin’s Past” combines archaeological artifacts, photographs and documents to explore life in the early years of Bowdoin. The artifacts were discovered during excavations on campus in 1998. They include items such as clay pipe stems, hand-blown glass and a shark’s tooth.

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