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Neal Dow`s Home

Neal Dow's Home is a late Federal-style mansion located at 714 Congress Street in Portland, Maine. Built in 1829 at a cost of under $6,000, it was the lifelong home of Neal Dow — one of the great men of the Reform Movement of the 19th century — and his bride, Maria Cornelia Durant. The residence was a center of political and humanitarian activity. From there, the zealous reformer set out on countless journeys throughout Maine and finally abroad in the cause of temperance. Dow was also active in the cause of the abolition of slavery. During the Civil War, he was commissioned as a brigadier general by President Abraham Lincoln. While serving the Union, Dow was injured, captured, and held as a prisoner of war for nine months at the Libby Prison in Virginia. Later, he was exchanged for a Southern prisoner, General Fitzhugh Lee, a relative of Robert E. Lee. His Civil War memorabilia is on display at the Neal Dow Memorial. Colonel Fred N. Dow, the reformer's son, willed the family mansion and its contents to the Maine Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), with provision for restoration and maintenance of the property. Thus, the completely restored mansion was dedicated as the Neal Dow Memorial, in October 22, 1971. State headquarters of the Maine WCTU are in the building and facilities for group meetings are available at the discretion of the organization. The memorial is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is open to the public on weekdays.