In 1870, a young doctor by the name of Henry Marble signed his diploma to graduate from Bowdoin Medical School. A few decades later, photographer Guy Shorey took a photo of some men on a mountain. Almost a hundred years later, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Scott Meiklejohn uncovered the connections of these seemingly unimportant events to both himself and to Bowdoin.

Meiklejohn has been at the College for almost eighteen years. He never saw coming to Bowdoin as fated, despite the clues he found that linked him, through time, to the College. He made these discoveries through two of his favorite hobbies—hiking and collecting old black and white photos.
Meiklejohn loved growing up close to the mountains in New Hampshire and would often go hiking with his parents.

“We lived in a very ordinary town near Hartford, Connecticut originally, but my grandmother had a place near the mountains in New Hampshire,” he said. “We visited there when we were children and eventually my parents moved there.”

His parents bought a home in the area, only two hours away from the base of the White Mountains. This house would prove to be the first tie to both Guy Shorey and Henry Marble.

Meiklejohn told the story of his parents holding their wedding reception at what was then the Carlton Brook Inn, where a member of the Marble family had lived. Fifteen years after the reception, his parents bought the inn and live there to this day. 

“After I started working at Bowdoin, we were looking in the basement and we found a diploma from the Medical School of Maine belonging to a man named Henry Marble,” he said.

The diploma is made with genuine sheepskin and Meiklejohn has kept it in his office as a memento since he started working here.

While it no longer exists today, when Henry Marble graduated from Bowdoin in 1870, the Medical School of Maine was housed in Adams Hall.

Meiklejohn said he didn’t see this first clue as a sign of his inevitable arrival here at the College.

“I don’t know about that inevitability, but it’s been fun to find these connections” he said.

The second connection he found was also tied to his parent’s house. During his lifetime, Guy Shorey was well-known for creating postcards that were often sold at local inns. One of those inns was the Carlton Brook Inn.

“His studio was actually inside the Inn’s tea house where the Inn served guest’s meals. Shorey’s studio was right there across the brook. He was just sort of a legendary figure that I knew about growing up,” said Meiklejohn.

Meiklejohn said they always had photos lying around the house, but he really began to take interest in collecting them in his twenties and has been doing so ever since.

“I found a great one recently. It is a group of hikers on top of Mount Madison and one of the hikers is wearing a Bowdoin shirt. On the back of the post card it says it was taken one hundred years ago. I have it hanging in my house,” Meiklejohn said.

Certain photos like this one, which Meiklejohn found only three years ago, are particularly special.

“All of his photographs are of places that I know but the photographs are all from one hundred years ago. My favorites are the ones that give you a sense of what it was like at a different time. I keep them in albums. Most of these mountains I’ve hiked so often that I feel that there are a set of images that I own in my head,” he said.

Meiklejohn views all of these connections to Bowdoin as just a wonderful chance occurrence.

“I don’t believe much in fate,” he said. “I think you make your own path and make your own choices but I certainly believe in good luck and I’ve been very lucky to make it here.”

Editor's note: The article originally stated the Shorey's photo and Marble's graduation were both in 1890. The story has been updated to reflect that Marble graduated in 1870 and it is unknown when Shorey's photo was taken.