The Federal and 555 North: Relaxed Sophistication in the Gateway for Exploring Mid-Coast Maine

Culture

Photo Credits: Linda Fasteson

The Federal recently opened in Brunswick, Maine on the storied site of the former The Daniel and Captain Daniel Stone Inn, which was originally built in 1810. Its design masterfully expands and fuses the classic New England landmark with cosmopolitan style. Crisp white, cream and neutrals throughout combine with traditional appointments in the thirty guest rooms in keeping with the character of the site. 

Its destination restaurant, 555 north, is the icing on the cake–make that the Carrot and Parsnip Cake with mascarpone, ginger and caramel. Like The Federal, it adds a contemporary flair to New England traditions. There are favorites like Pepper-Seared Scallops, Truffled Lobster Mac and Cheese, and Bangs Island Mussels as well as delights like the fried green tomato and lobster salad Knuckle Sandwich. The bar is horseshoe shaped and walls are hand painted with local ferns. Sliding doors can create private spaces. The creative seasonal menu is prepared with fresh ingredients from area farms and waters by one of Maine’s top chefs, Steve Corey and his wife, Michelle of the former 555, one of Portland’s top restaurants. Try the Signature Tasting Menu that includes soup, an appetizer, main course and dessert. Reserve a table early for what has quickly become the local favorite for fine dining. 

Foyer and sweeping stairway from second level, The Federal

Brunswick, Maine

The Federal is right in the heart of Brunswick, Maine, mid-way between Portland and Boothbay Harbor. Brunswick is known for its education and recreation. It is home to the prestigious Bowdoin College and the gateway for exploring mid-coast Maine.

It is also just steps away from the restaurants and shops of lively Maine Street, which, at 198” wide is one of the widest streets in New England. It was built in the early 1700s when a grid of streets was planned for what was then a center of lumbering and shipbuilding. Maine Street’s grassy mall is now the site of concerts and a farmers’ market that runs Tuesdays and Fridays 8-2,  May-November.

One of the sitting areas, The Federal

Bowdoin College offers visitors a range of museums, theater and music. This college town is a place to enjoy the lively arts scene, an array of restaurants, historic charm, and nearby beaches, parks and gardens.

Bowdoin was chartered in 1794 and named for a Massachusetts governor when Maine was still part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Notable alums include novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne, Arctic explorer Robert Peary and Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, Bowdoin College professor and president, Union general and four term Maine Governor.

Chamberlain was dubbed the ”Lion of Little Round Top” for his leadership in the Battle of Gettysburg and received the white flag from the Confederates at Appomattox Court House April 12, 1865. Ulysses S. Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, Helen Keller and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow were among the guests at his Brunswick home at 226 Maine, now a museum.

Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” the popular book credited with inciting the Civil War, while living in the home her family rented in Brunswick from 1850-1852. She also sheltered a slave there. The house is now part of the Bowdoin campus and primarily used for faculty offices. Harriet’s Writing Room honors her legacy and is open by appointment. The building is a National Historic Landmark and a National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom site. 

Wednesday evenings local bands entertain at the free Music on the Mall Summer Concert Series on the Brunswick Town Mall. Pickard Theater is in Bowdoin’s 600-seat Gothic-style granite and stained glass Memorial Hall and is the site of the Maine State Music Theater’s summer season. Joshua Chamberlain had Memorial Hall built to honor Bowdoin students who fought and died in the Civil War. The Bowdoin Campus is also home to the Bowdoin International Music Festival.

A glass pavilion leads to the copper-domed Bowdoin College Museum of Art, which promotes creative thought, global engagement, inclusivity, and the common good. The permanent collection of over 20,000 objects includes finely crafted Wabanaki baskets and a range of Mediterranean antiquities. The antiquities collection is one of the best and most comprehensive collections on any college campus in the United States. Admission is free.

The Peary–MacMillan Arctic Museum is dedicated to all things Arctic, from polar bears and kayaks to ivory Iñupiat carvings. It is named for Bowdoin graduates and Arctic explorers Robert E. Peary (Class of 1877) who claimed to be the first to reach the North Pole, and Donald B. MacMillan (Class of 1898), who began his career of 30 Arctic explorations in 1908 on Peary’s last expedition there. It is on the first floor of Hubbard Hall. Hubbard (Class of 1857) was one of Peary’s financial backers. Peary gave the expedition sledge in the foyer to him in appreciation for his support. Admission is free.

The 1.25-mile Androscoggin Brunswick-Topsham Riverwalk is a recreational loop that links the Frank J. Wood Bridge to the historic Swinging Bridge that crosses the Androscoggin River. The swaying pedestrian suspension bridge was built in 1892 for workers at the Cabot Mill in Brunswick and renovated in 2006.

Jeff Roberts Imaging -Horseshoe-shaped bar, 555 north

Jeff Roberts Imaging – The porch, 555 North

Jeff Roberts Imaging -Butter-Poached Maine Lobster Salad

Jeff Roberts Imaging

Duck Prosciutto with Three Minute Egg, 555 North, Brunswick, Maine

Jeff Roberts Imaging

Herb-cruster Atlantic Halibut, 555 North, Brunswick, Maine

Jeff Roberts Imaging

Housemade Wild Mushroom Agnolotti, 555 north, Brunswick, Maine

Jeff Roberts Imaging

Maine Seafood ‘Chowder,’ 555 north, Brunswick, Maine

Jeff Roberts Imaging

Steak Two Ways–Slow-Cooked Beef Short Rib and Three-Day Marinated Hanger Steak, 555 north, Brunswick, Maine

Linda Fasteson

Knuckle Sandwich, 555 north, Brunswick, Maine. 

Linda Fasteson

The decadent Coffee and Donuts, a chocoholic’s delight, 555 north, Brunswick, Maine

Linda Fasteson

Joshua L. Chamberlain Museum, Brunswick, Maine

Linda Fasteson

Harriet Beecher Stowe House, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine

Linda Fasteson

Music on the Mall Summer Concert, Maine Street, Brunswick, Maine

Linda Fasteson

Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine

Linda Fasteson

Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine

Linda Fasteson

Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine

Linda Fasteson

Peary–MacMillan Arctic Museum, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine

Linda Fasteson

Peary–MacMillan Arctic Museum, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine

Linda Fasteson

Peary–MacMillan Arctic Museum, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine

Linda Fasteson

Brunswick’s Swinging Bridge crosses the Androscoggin River, Brunswick, Maine

Linda Fasteson

View of Cabot Mill, the former cotton mill now home to Cabot Mill Antiques, Brunswick, Maine

Linda Fasteson

Harpswell, Maine

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