The article from The Forecaster explains it all well, includes much more information and is worth reading. But here is a short quote:
In 1907, Chamberlain received approval from the town to establish a subdivision that included provisions for a Hawthorne Street (which is completely different from the nearby Hawthorne Street that exists in Brunswick today).
But when Chamberlain died seven years later, the subdivision remained unbuilt, and Hawthorne Street remained only as lines on a surveyor’s map.
In 1923, the town purchased the property, and inherited the street along with it. Chamberlain’s will had specified that nothing could be built on the land with the exception of schools or “dwellings to cost not less than $2,000,” a significant sum at the time.
General Chamberlain’s plans were approved but never executed before he died. The land the road was to be on became a school. The school is no longer in use. But Bowdoin College wants to lease the old school, with a playground in the non-existant roadway. Questions of the title come up and must be settled! That’s the gist of the story.
But if four-time Governor Chamberlain had not been involved in this land settlement it would never have come up on my radar. Still, it’s an intriguing little bit of history and reminds us that history does not go away, it’s impact is not predictable, and the consequences of which are never really known.
Is there a non-existing road near you that will come up in a title search someday?