100 Years Ago: 1923

Residents of the two of the two cities who haven’t a pair of smoked glasses may witness the partial eclipse of the sun this afternoon without bothering their eyes if they take a piece of clear glass and smoke it over a flame and use it in place of glasses. About one half of the sun’s surface will be hidden. The eclipse commences at 4.44 o’clock and ends at 6.25 pm. On Jan. 24, 1925, a total obscuration of the sun was visible in New York City and the Eastern United States.

50 Years Ago: 1973

Demolition of the last remaining commercial structure in the Auburn Urban Renewal Area was scheduled to get underway today.

The large wrecking ball was due to fall onto the former Casco Bank and Trust Co., on the Androscoggin River Bank after workmen salvaged radiators, a furnace and various other items from the structure.

The demolition is expected to be completed on Tuesday.


25 Years Ago: 1998

The Stowe House Restaurant and Motor Inn, a town landmark encompassing the home in which Harriet Beecher Stowe began writing “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” has gone out of business while a buyer is sought. The closing has left 25 employees without jobs and three elderly tenants with uncertain futures.

Robert Matthews, who has owned the Federal Street property for 26 years, told employees of the shutdown after they completed their last shift at the restaurant Friday. He cited losses due to the “reversal of family investments.”

The main part of the complex, a Greek Revival structure built around 1806, served for two years as home to Stowe and her husband, the Rev. Calvin Ellis Stowe.

It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The 19th century novelist began writing “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” there while her husband was a Bowdoin College professor and minister at the First Parish Church.

The material used in Looking Back is produced exactly  as it originally appeared although misspellings and errors may be corrected.

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