College sues to stop sale of Harriet Beecher Stowe home

Associated Press

Brunswick, Maine — Bowdoin College is suing a Florida woman to block her from selling a home on the school’s campus where Harriet Beecher Stowe allegedly wrote portions of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”

The Portland Press Herald reports the lawsuit against Arline Lay of St. Augustine, Florida, was filed Aug. 12 in Cumberland County Superior Court.

Bowdoin acquired the right of first refusal to the house in 1996, when the college bought an adjacent property from Lay’s family.

The agreement states that Bowdoin would pay 125 percent of a price based on appraisals. But Lay’s attorney says that only applies if she died and is asking Bowdoin to pay the sale price plus 25 percent for the six-bedroom residence.

Lay received a $750,000 offer for the home after listing it earlier this year.