Bowdoin College buys College St. home

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BRUNSWICK — Bowdoin College reported it has acquired 28 College St., ending a legal tussle over the home with alleged ties to “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” author Harriet Beecher Stowe.

The Sept. 7 sale, for an undisclosed amount, follows Bowdoin’s April victory in a Superior Court lawsuit that affirmed the college’s right to purchase the home from its former owner, Arline P. Lay, before any other buyer.

The ruling required Lay to uphold a 1996 agreement giving the Bowdoin the right to first refusal, and prevented Lay from selling the house to a South Portland woman who had made her an offer.

Lay has claimed the house was where Harriet Beecher Stowe, whose husband taught at the college in the mid-19th century, penned her history-making novel that ushered tensions leading to the Civil War. Bowdoin has disputed that history as inaccurate.

Bowdoin said it has no immediate plans for the property. According to the student newspaper the Bowdoin Orient, the home was the last remaining property on College Street not already under Bowdoin’s ownership.

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