Bowdoin may soon have another new property on its hands. The College has confirmed that it is looking to acquire the house located at 28 College St. The house was listed for sale on Thursday with an asking price of $1.6 million. 

“The house is for sale, the College has an option to acquire it and we intend to acquire it,” said Senior Vice President for Finance & Administration and Treasurer Katy Longley. 
If the College does acquire the house it will own all of the real estate on College St., which cuts through the heart of campus. The house is located directly next to the Multicultural Center at 30 College St. 

A controversy arose when the house was originally listed for a price of $3 million in the spring of 2014. The listing agents at the time claimed that Harriet Beecher Stowe had written the “bulk” of her famous book, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” in the house, according to the Portland Press Herald. 

 Bowdoin pushed back, arguing that the historical evidence suggested that the book was written at two buildings presently owned by the College: Appleton Hall and the recently-renovated Harriet Beecher Stowe House at 63 Federal St. 

“As far as documented evidence goes—now by documented evidence I mean Stowe’s correspondence and that of the family members that lived in the house with her—the book was written at 63 Federal Street where she lived for about two years, from 1851 to 1852,” Associate Professor of Africana Studies and English Tess Chakkalakal told the Orient at the time.

The house was originally listed in 2014 by a real estate firm in Beverly Hills, California. One of the listing agents at the time, Karen Nation, told the Press Herald that the house might be of interest to a celebrity buyer—“Maybe an Oprah Winfrey type.”

The current listing for the house stops short of definitively asserting that Stowe wrote the bulk of the novel there. However, it does read, “It is claimed and attested to that this is the home that Harriet Beecher Stowe sought in refuge to write “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” 

This time, the house’s listing agent is David Jones, of the Falmouth-based F.O. Bailey Real Estate. Jones said in an interview with the Orient that the College has a contract containing the right of first refusal to acquire the house, which was built in 1780. 

According to Jones, he has not yet spoken with anyone from Bowdoin. He said he expected to be in contact with the College by sometime next week.