It was here, in 1878, that the University of Southern Maine had its start as the Western Normal School. A school for teachers.
The building was first named "Recitation Hall," and was later named Corthell Hall to honor the first principal, William Corthell, who held that office from 1878 to 1905
Information from: usm.maine.edu
The site of the new Normal School (there were already two in Maine - Castine and Farmington) was a five acre lot of land owned by another J.T. McLellan, which was on Townhouse Hill facing High Street, as College Avenue was then called. Since the Gorham Academy had been only for boys, the Academy Trustees established the Female Seminary in 1836. It is said that Kate Douglas Wiggins attended the Seminary. In the 1870's, when public high schools became common in Maine, the school failed, as did many other private secondary schools of the time. The Trustees, who wanted the Normal School in Gorham, offered the buildings to the State for the use of the Normal School, and the Seminary building became the first dormitory for women.
The Seminary building was destroyed by fire in 1894.
Find out who Kate Douglas Wiggin
Photo of the Seminary building