Record ID: 145

Site Name

Portland, Maine [Falmouth]


Seaport - American


city (1990 pop. 64,358; 2000 pop. 64,249), (cap.) Cumberland co., SW Maine, on a small peninsula and adjacent land, with a large, deepwater harbor on Casco Bay; 43�40'N 70�12'W. The largest city in Maine, it is a port of entry (the nearest U.S. port to Europe), the commercial center of the state, and the RR, highway, shipping, and processing center for a vast farming, lumbering, and resort area. It is the E terminus of the Portland-Montreal (Que.) oil pipeline and a major receiving port for goods destined for Montreal. Has shipyards, canneries (esp. for fish), printing and publishing firms, foundries, and important lumbering, paper-milling, computer chips, fishing, chemical, and textile industries. Portland has an internatl. airport, scheduled ferry service to Yarmouth (N.S.), and Coast Guard base. The restored Old Port waterfront dist. is a tourist center.

George Cleeve settled here to trade c.1632. His post grew in importance, and the settlement known as Falmouth developed; in the late 17th cent. it became a commercial center. It was almost completely destroyed by the British in 1775. Served as state capital 1820�1832. Maine�s 1st newspaper, the Falmouth Gazette, was issued here in 1785. In 1866 a great fire destroyed much of Portland. Seat of the Univ. of Southern Maine and Westbrook Col. Numerous museums. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (whose house is a landmark) and Robert E. Peary lived here. The old lighthouse at Cape Elizabeth nearby, est. 1791, is still in use. Settled c.1632, set off from Falmouth and inc. 1786.

NOAA #13292 (Image Id: 1947)
NOAA #13292 (Image Id: 1947)