Oct. 6, 1869: The newly built location of the Bangor Children’s Home is dedicated at 218 Ohio St. in Bangor.

A group of Bangor women established the home’s predecessor organization, the Bangor Female Orphans Asylum, in 1836 on the city’s Fourth Street. For many years, that institution took in girls and arranged for their adoption.

In 1866, its managers accepted a gift of $1,200 from Franklin W. Pitcher to build a more useful home to replace the Fourth Street building. Conditions attached to the gift included a requirement that the institution begin accepting boys as well as girls, and that it conduct a community fundraising drive to establish a $25,000 endowment.

Boston architect Henry W. Hartwell designed the three-story, brick-faced building, which has a dormer-laden Mansard roof. The building stands on a hill that offers a panoramic view of the city’s center.

The Bangor Children’s home exemplifies the stick-style architecture that was becoming popular after the Civil War, as well as the social concerns of Americans of the mid-Victorian era.

The building is added to the National Register of Historic Places on Sept. 9, 1975. It now is the location of the Hilltop School, which is a preschool education and day care center.

Joseph Owen is an author, retired newspaper editor and board member of the Kennebec Historical Society. Owen’s book, “This Day in Maine,” can be ordered at islandportpress.com. To get a signed copy use promo code signedbyjoe at checkout. Joe can be contacted at: [email protected]

 


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