Thursday, March 10, 2016

A Walk from Bowdoin College to the Androscoggin Swinging Bridge

Only a good friend would brave Maine at this time of year. I met Sherry during my junior year abroad in London. She's always been a game traveler. On a previous visit, we'd gone cross-country skiing in our woods, but it's been a freakishly warm winter in New England.

My house is next door to Bowdoin College, where my husband teaches Japanese and British Politics.

You might recognize my husband as Lord Grantham on Downton Abbey. Thanks to Bowdoin art professor Mark Wethli for the uncanny PhotoShop job! Yes, we are mourning the end of that gig.

Bowdoin has deeper roots in the past: it was founded in 1794. Massachusetts Hall, the oldest building on campus, dates back to when we were part of Massachusetts. Maine didn't become state until 1820.

Another old campus beauty is Searles Hall. During winter the quad is flooded to become a skating rink.

Bowdoin is located in Brunswick, the biggest town in Maine with a population of 20,000.

There are plenty of mom and pop stores like Frosty's Donuts (circa 1965).

 Keep walking, folks. We don't need a warm-out-of-the-oven wild blueberry doughnut...maybe later?

Time to cross the bridge over the Androscoggin River to Topsham, past Sea Dog Brewing.

The dam once powered the Androscoggin Mill. Now the mill houses art studios, restaurants, a flea market, an indie movie theater, our local radio station, and the winter farmers' market (on Saturday mornings).

The Androscoggin Swinging Bridge from Topsham to Brunswick, Maine
On the Topsham bank of the Androscoggin is a lovely path leading to the Androscoggin Swinging Bridge.

This footbridge was built in 1892 by John A. Roebling's Sons Co., who also designed and built the Brooklyn Bridge. No joke!

A transplanted New Yorker myself, I find this fact reassuring, despite the pronounced bounce underfoot.

Factory workers used the bridge to commute from their dormitory style housing in Topsham to the cotton mill in Brunswick.

This scenic walk is a three-mile loop from my front door.

I love my town!

Blogwatch: This post is part of Les@TideWaterGarden's Winter Walk Off. If you want to share a winter walk from your home, post it by March 19th with a link to Les. Links to more Winter Walk Off posts coming next week.


Anonymous said...

So which one does that make you? Do not be the mean sister. P.S. I used to bike over that bridge on my way to teach at Mt. Ararat, back in the early 80s when I had no car....

Sarah Laurence said...

Charlotte, what a delightful commute! As a half Jewish American married to a Brit with a tweedy wardrobe, I'm the closest match to Cora Crawley, but my favorite characters are Thomas and the dowager duchess, Violet (Maggie Smith delivers the best lines). By moral code, I stand with Mrs. Hughes if I could have Mary's wardrobe. Henry resembles Lord Grantham physically, but he could rival Miss Patmore in the kitchen. You, my friend, are Sybil had she survived. We shall miss this show!

Les said...

In all the years of following your blog, I don't think I have ever seen photos of Bowdoin. It looks very charming, as does Brunswick. We traveled through the town during a long ago trip to Maine, but I remember nothing of it. That day's destination was Pemaquid Point and Harbor, which I remember vividly. The whole state is lovely, and I could consider living there, if it were not for the winters. Perhaps global warming might make it more palatable for me, but I hope not. Thank you once again for joining in.

A Cuban In London said...

Wow, there's so much history in this post. Loved it. The views are magnificent. Of course you love your town. So would I.

Greetings from London.

troutbirder said...

What a lovely post. And a charming town. Not too bi Not too small. Just right..:)

khaki said...

Thanks for the tour! Cute/funny pic of "Lord Grantham" haha. Beautiful photos and I love the swinging bridge shot!!

Swimray said...

Nice walk. I enjoyed the small scale and the interesting human scale of your town.

thecuecard said...

Awesome town! Thanks for sharing the 3 mile walk photos. Maine looks like fun.

Bee said...

I remember walking across that bridge! And it was such a HOT day.
Enjoyed this post -- and your sly wit.