Whispering Pines: Brunswick Nocturne

Whispering Pines

The arrival of the Perseid meteor shower in mid-August had me out in my back yard in the early hours of the morning to watch for streaks of light, as small particles from Comet Swift-Tuttle entered the earth’s atmosphere at a high rate of speed and burned up.

I never tire of this kind of display, although I sometimes wonder if my aging eyes had really glimpsed the flash of a meteor or had registered a phantom image instead. Spending time outdoors at night, away from artificial light sources, reminds me of how much my own rhythms and daily routine are conditioned by artificial light.
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Whispering Pines: Charlie Morse’s Second Act and Denouement

Whispering Pines

We last left Charles W. Morse of the Class of 1877 at the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary in January of 1910, where he was to serve a fifteen-year sentence for misapplication of bank funds. Charlie’s statement to the press expressed his belief that he was the victim of “…a government gone mad” in its search for a scapegoat following the economic Panic of 1907: “I am going to Atlanta to begin penal servitude under the most brutal sentence ever pronounced against a citizen in a civilized country.”
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Whispering Pines: Opening Act: Charles W. Morse—Ice King, Prince of Financiers, and Steamship Magnate

Whispering Pines

Although he is largely unknown today, Charles Wyman Morse of the Bowdoin Class of 1877 was a prominent figure in the public eye and on the economic landscape during the first two decades of the twentieth century. The Boston Globe of February 11, 1906, described him as “ice king, prince of financiers and steamship magnate,” and he was compared to J. Pierpont Morgan, John D. Rockefeller Sr., and Levi Morton, despite being a generation younger than these titans of business and finance. Faced with the challenge of outlining the complexities of Charlie Morse’s remarkable business and personal life, I’ve chosen to write a two-part Whispering Pines column, with a July installment completing the narrative begun here. [Read more…]

Whispering Pines: This Old House

Whispering Pines

Anyone who has waited for the traffic light to change at the northeast corner of the campus has no doubt found their eyes drawn to the large Italianate-style building at the corner of the Federal Street-Bath Road intersection. With its impressive granite-slab front steps, Corinthian columns, eight-sided cupola, cast-iron fence and gate, the house at 85 Federal Street looks as though it had been designed for this spot, to command the attention of all who travelled these busy thoroughfares. [Read more…]