U = University of Maine


I had a hard time finding a U until I remembered that faculty at the University of Maine had a small role in the second of the Rhe Brewster mysteries and the school is near the Orono Bog, which I toured for information for that second book.

University of Maine, Orono

University of Maine, Orono

The University of Maine is the only Land Grant University in the U.S.located on an island – Marsh Island, between the Penobscot and Stillwater Rivers. It is the center of the small town of Orono, which has a population of around 8500 people. The University has about 11,000 students and occupies 660 acres.

An old picture of Carnegie Hall

An old picture of Carnegie Hall

It was founded in 1862 as a function of the first Morrill Act, signed by President Lincoln, that allowed for the creation of land grant colleges. The University was originally named the Maine College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts and opened its doors on September 21, 1868, changing its name to the University of Maine in 1897.

The original campus plan was designed by renowned landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmstead, who also designed Central Park in New York City and the Stevens Hall

The Mall

The Mall

White House grounds in Washington, D.C. Central to campus is the University of Maine Mall, an open grassy area bordered by Fogler Library, Memorial Gym, one residence and five academic halls. The University of Maine’s athletic teams are nicknamed the Black Bears, and sport blue and white uniforms.

The University of Maine has another link to Lincoln, which we discoveredHannibal Hamlin when we toured the campus. Hannibal Hamlin (1809 –1891) was the 15th U.S. Vice President serving under Lincoln during the Civil War. Prior to his election in 1860, Hamlin served in the Senate, the House and and, briefly, as the Governor of Maine. Hamlin did not actually meet Lincoln until after the election.

Hamlin Hall

Hamlin Hall

While serving as Vice President, Hamlin had little authority in the Lincoln Administration, although he was a strong proponent of the Emancipation Proclamation. Hamlin and Lincoln were not close personally, but had a good working relationship. In June 1864, Lincoln was renominated, but War Democrat Andrew Johnson of Tennessee was named to replace Hamlin as Lincoln’s running mate because Lincoln was seeking to broaden his base of support. Though Hamlin went along quietly with the decision, he was hurt by the chain of events, having left his Senate seat to take a position he didn’t want, only to be ultimately let go. Nonetheless, he helped with Lincoln’s campaign

Hamlin was a member of the Company A of the Maine Coast Guard, a militia unit, and when the was called up in the summer of 1864, Hamlin opted to serve, even while he was Vice President, arguing that he could set an example by doing the duty expected of any citizen.


10 thoughts on “U = University of Maine

    • Depending on the source, I’ve heard Hamlin described as the worst VP ever. He spent a lot of his time in Maine. But other sources make him out to be more heroic.

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