Near the banks of the meandering Androscoggin River, Brunswick (first settled in 1628) is a handsome, well-kept town set with a pretty village green and historic homes tucked along its tree-lined streets. It’s home to the highly respected Bowdoin College (founded in 1794), which infuses the town with a surprising cultural presence, while the nearby Brunswick Naval Air Station brings capital to the city (though it will close in 2011).
A short drive through the city center reveals stately Federal and Greek mansions built by wealthy sea captains. Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin at 63 Federal St. This poignant story of a runaway slave, published in 1852, was hugely popular and fired the imagination of people in the northern states, who saw the book as a powerful indictment against slavery. You can visit also Harriet Beecher Stowe’s House in Hartford, Connecticut.
Brunswick’s green, called the Town Mall, is along Maine St. Farmers markets are set up Tuesday and Friday and there are band concerts Wednesday evening in summer. Also worth seeing are the Androscoggin Falls, once a source of hydroelectric power for 18th-century sawmills. A well-placed restaurant just across the bridge provides a waterside vantage point.