I read with great interest the Press Herald’s Feb. 15 story about the competing “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” houses in Brunswick (“Bowdoin College disputes that Brunswick house for sale is where Stowe penned ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ ”).

I was very interested to learn that the house on College Street, in addition to possibly being where Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote her book, was the site that inspired Norman Rockwell’s iconic painting “Freedom from Want.” And that it was where “poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote his poem ‘The Old Clock on the Stairs,’ about a grandfather clock in the house.”

Wow! What a house! I was expecting to read that it was also where “Appalachian Spring,” “Huckleberry Finn” and “American Gothic” were created.

Longfellow himself stated that he wrote “The Old Clock on the Stairs” in November 1845, when he was a professor at Harvard and living in Cambridge, Mass.

He also wrote that his inspiration for the poem was a house in Pittsfield, Mass. The house once stood on the present site of Pittsfield High School, my alma mater, where a plaque commemorates the poet’s work.

John DiPalazzo

Cape Elizabeth


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