During the early 1860s Westbrook Seminary closed briefly.
In June 1861, trustees informed the Maine Universalist Convention that the Seminary was "unfurnished with teachers," probably as a result of male teachers in the North enlisting in Civil War regiments.
In February 1862 a committee was charged with appointing a principal and board of instruction "for opening as soon as possible."
The Rev. S. H. McCollester was appointed principal, his wife was appointed assistant, and Charles S. Fobes, a recent Westbrook Seminary and Tufts graduate, was appointed associate principal.
Two women teachers were hired -- a preceptress and teacher of music, and a teacher of ornamental branches.
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