By Levi Clancy for לוי on
in chronological order
Site № 9-16, 1000 BC
Eastern Cemetery, 1670
Tate House, 1755
Wadsworth Longfellow House, 1785-6
How Family Houses, 1799, 1817, 1818
McLellan-Sweat Mansion, 1800
Joseph Holt Ingraham House, 1801
William Minott House, 1805, 1807
Hunnewell-Shepley House, 1805, 1920s
Portland Observatory, 1807
First Parish Church, 1825-1826
Charles Q. Clapp Block (H H Hay Block), 1826
Portland's nineteenth-century waterfront and adjacent commercial district are of major historic and architectural significance. The city is one of the oldest [European] ports on the Atlantic seaboard, and the relics of its maritime prosperity are among the best-preserved in the nation. First settled [by Europeans] between 1632 and 1633, the community on the Portland peninsula has survived Indian attacks, British bombardment, economic hardship, and devastating fires to become Maine's largest city and most important commercial center.
The mast trade and, after it, the West Indies trade established Portland's maritime importance [among Europeans]. With the Embargo of 1807 and the War of 1812, new local industries helped make Portland a commercial area. By the 1820s, Portland was a thriving port with a fleet larger than any other on the Atlantic seaboard. The city became a railroad center in the mid nineteenth century.
With this expansion and prosperity, the waterfront and commercial areas of Portland were changed and extended. New wharves, warehouses, and stores were built, and, after the Civil War, the city devoted its energies to maritime and p 302 → p 304 commercial pursuits. The Great Fire of July 4, 1866, however, left ten thousand people homeless and caused $12 million worth of damage. The new waterfront was not destroyed, but Middle, Exchange, and Fore streets were devastated. Beard, p 302, 304
US Customs House
Spring Street district
Portland's Spring Street Historic District lies within an area of approximately 101 acres centred around Spring Street. The district includes part of Danforth, Pine, and Congress streets as well. During the period between 1800 and the 1890s, it was in this section of Portland that many prosperous citizens made their homes. Architectural styles ranging from the Federal period to the Greek and Gothic revivals to the Italianate and later Victorian are represented in the district. ... Mid-nineteenth-century prosperity led to the construction of lavish homes, culminating in the Victoria Mansion (Morse-Libby House). This residential district also includes churches and museums, reflecting the cultural awareness of the city as it developed into an important nineteenth-century urban center. Beard, p 300
111 High St
by John Kimball Sr, 1800
The McLellan-Sweat Mansion was built in 1800 from designs by John Kimball, Sr., who was also the builder. Hugh McLellan, a wealthy Portland merchant is said to have paid $20,000 for the construction of his new home. Beard, p
Charles Q. Clapp House
Spring Street's most impressive Greek Revival-style home.
Park Street Row
The fourteen-family Park Street Row shows Portland's increasing refinement in the 1830s.
The significance of Stroudwater Historic District is not limited to the merits of individual buildings. The whole formed by these single elements stands today as a fine example p 300 → 302 of a nineteenth-century village. The pattern of the village's growth is visible in the sequence of its architecture. Although the commercial enterprises carried on in the village are no longer in existence, their sites are clearly evident. The current residents of Stroudwater take pride in their historic village. Their homes are well maintained; many are restored to their original exterior appearance. .... The sense of history that envelops Stroudwater is heightened because the buildings have been continuously lived in and cared for. Beard, p 302
Thomas Means House
Francis Waldo House
Samuel Fickett House
Martin Hawes House
Dr. Jeremiah Barker House
1267 Westbrook St, Portland
The Tate House is a Georgian home built in 1755 for George Tate and his family. Tate, who lived in the home 1755 - 1794, was a senior mast agent for the Royal Navy. "Tate's duties were to manage the cutting, trimming, and transportation of trees selected by the King's surveyors as potential masts Beard, p 306." Stroudwater was the principal shipping point for masts, as Portsmouth had declined due to depletion of suitable mast trees in that area.
"This home is an unusual example of its style, having a clerestory in its indented gambrel roof. Other outstanding architectural features are its fine paneling, p 306 → 307 the bolection molding, the cove ceiling in the front hall, the wide stairways, and the tall chimney breasts. Beard, p 306-307"
At the time the only coeducational boarding school in the country, Westbrook College was established as a result of a proposal put forward at a meeting of the Kennebec Association p 304 → p 305 of Universalists in 1830. It was then determined that a "classical school" be founded at Stevens Plains in Westbrook, later separated as Deering, and still later annexed as part of the city of Portland.
The charter for Westbrook Seminary, as it was called for nearly a century, was signed in 1831 by Governor Daniel E. Smith, and the first term of classes began in June 1832. The first building occupied by the Seminary was the present Alumni Hall, newly built, with a tower taken from the Portland Market House, which once stood in the present Monument Square in Portland.
Among notable alumni of the seminary was Edwin Ginn, 1855, who later founded Ginn and Company, a famous publishing house.
In 1925, Westbrook Seminary became Westbrook Seminary and Junior College for women only and, in 1933, Westbrook Junior College. Since 1974, it has operated under the name of Westbrook College with a four-year extension program in certain fields and a limited number of male students. Beard, p 305
Rest of Portland
Edward T Gignoux US Courthouse
Edward T Gignoux US Courthouse
156 Federal St
by James Knox Taylor, 1908-1911
by James A. Wetmore, 1931-1932
Italian Renaissance Revival
The Courthouse was the first federal courthouse in Maine at the time of its completion. Wetmore supervised the construction of the addition, so the completed building followed Taylor's original plan.
How Family Houses
Danforth and Pleasant Streets
1799, 1817, 1818
With the Daniel How House of 1799, this district includes three houses: Daniel's, his son John's (1817), and his brother Joseph's (1818). Together, these substantial brick structures form a Federal enclave in the midst of a peripheral commercial area and reflect the appearance of Portland at the turn of the century. Beard, p 308
Congress St and Mountfort St
Used 1670 - late 19th cent
Union Co Bagel
Open daily 6a to 2p
Maine Jewish Museum
M-f 10a to 2p and by appointment
Free admissions, donations accepted
267 Congress St
133-141 Middle St, Portland, Maine
architect George M. Harding, 1867
Second Empire style
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow House & Garden
489 Congress St, Portland
207 774 1822
This three-storey brick home was built from 1785 to 1786 by the poet's grandfather General Peleg Wadsworth. It was the boyhood home of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and is maintained by the Maine Historical Society. The House is the oldest and first brick structure on Portland's peninsula, and has been restored to the 1850s with original furnishings and family memorabilia.
Longfellow was born in 1807 and lived in Portland until 1843, except during his student days at Bowdoin and the period of his European travels. His first wife died here in 1835, and he was inspired by his sorrow to write The Rainy p 307 → 308 Day in this house. Two of his first ambitious works were novels of European travel, but Longfellow realized his greatest achievements in poetry, from sonnets to the long narratives, such as Hiawatha, Evangeline, and The Courtship of Miles Standish. He was immensely popular in Europe, and his works had been translated into twelve languages by 1900. Longfellow's fame, fluctuating with the times, endures, and he must be counted as one of the outstanding figures in American literature. Beard, p 307-308
Spring Point Ledge lighthouse
Portland Museum of Art
by Dahlov Ipcar, 1978
Portland Museum of Art, 1987.58
by John Moore, 2013
by Franklin B Simmons
Portland Museum of Art
Deering Oaks Park
Portland Observatory Museum
138 Congress st on Munjoy Hill
|Peaks Island||Ferry service|
|Chebeague Island||Ferry service|
|Long Island||Ferry service|
|Cliff Island||Ferry service|
|Little Diamond||Ferry service|
|Great Diamond||Ferry service||Of note is Site № 9-16, a shellheap/shell midden. "Excavations at the site have shown that it has been occupied since about 1,000 B.C. It was primarily a spring and early summer camp location, where major activities included cod-fishing and the harvesting of soft-shelled clams. This site is a major key to the reconstruction of prehistoric subsistence and settlement patterns in Casco Bay. Beard, p 305"|
|Hog Island||Home to Fort Georges.|
Hog Island + Fort Georges
Maine's Historic Places: Properties on the National Register of Historic Places. Author: Frank A. Beard. Photographs by Bette A. Smith. Down East Books, 1982. ISBN 0892721405, 9780892721405