Zachariah Bangs Brackett built this home on what is now Brackett Street in downtown Westbrook in 1812, using bricks from his Prides Corner brickyard. An addition in later years faced Main Street, with the first two floors used for commercial space and the upper floors residential. During the Civil War, Brackett’s son Sewell, businessman and real estate broker Capt. Isaac Quimby, Universalist minister Horace Bradbury and local railroad agent John Brown took up the cause of helping slaves flee to Canada. The slaves were taken to house under cover of darkness and hidden on the fourth floor until it was safe for them to continue their journey. The building was demolished in 1974 for Urban Renewal and is now the site of the Westbrook Commons. Courtesy of Westbrook Historical Society

In commemoration of Maine’s bicentennial this year, the American Journal is featuring historical highlights from our communities’ past 200 years. This feature can be found in print and online every other week.