Maine AHGP Information
Cumberland County

Portland, city, port of entry, and capital of Cumberland co., Me., is situated on a peninsula at the western extremity of Casco bay, and is in 43° 39' n. lat., and 7° 20' w. Ion., from Greenwich, and 6° 45' e. from Washington. It is 54 ms. n. n. e. from Portsmouth, 50 s. s. e. Augusta 110 n. n. E. from Boston, 545 n. e. from w. The population in 1800 was 3,677; in 1810, 7,169 in 1820, 11,581; in 1830, 12,601; in 1840, 15,316 Engaged in commerce, 397; in manufacture and trades, 1,032; navigating the ocean, 726 in the learned professions, &c, 101. It extend 3 miles from east to west, and has an averaging width of three fourths of a mile. The city presents a beautiful appearance from the sea, as rises like an amphitheater between two hills, is regularly laid out, and handsomely built, and has some fine public buildings, among which are a court house, a spacious city hall, a jail, and 16 churches. It has also a custom house, 6 banks, a theatre, and an athenaeum, containing a library of about 4,000 volumes. It has a light-house on a point at the entrance of the harbor, called Portland Head, which is of stone, 72 feet high, built in 1790. On an eminence, on which Fort Sumner formerly stood, there is an observatory, 70 feet high, which commands a fine view of the harbor and its islands. The harbor, which is among the best in the United States, is easy of entrance, spacious, and safe, being protected by elands at its entrance from the violence of storms. It is rarely obstructed much by ice. It is defended on opposite sides of the ship channel by forts Preble and Scammel, on islands a mile and 1 half from the light-house. It is well situated for trade, having an extensive back country. There were in 1840, 40 commercial and 8 commission houses, with a cap. of $658,500; 256 retail stores, with a cap. of $574,450; 2 lumber yards, cap. $4,000; fisheries, cap. $11,300; machinery produced, $3,000; 1 furnace, cap. $5,000; 2 tanneries, cap. $9,000; 2 potteries, cap. $4.000; 2 ropewalks, cap. $18,000; 9 printing offices, 5 binderies, 2 daily, 7 weekly, 3 semi-weekly newspapers, and 3 periodicals, employed 94 persons, and a cap. of $34,500. Total capital in manufac. $215,350. 11 acad. and gram. sch. 1,118 students, 12 com. sch. 1,976 scholars. The tonnage of this city in 1840 was 50,135, and that of the coasting trade about 20,000 tons. The principal articles of export are lumber and fish, with beef, butter, &c. The facilities of communication which this city enjoys have been considerably increased by the Oxford canal, which extends from it 20 miles to Sebago pond; and, by a lock in Songo River, is extended into Brady and Long ponds, 30 miles further. The trade of the city is chiefly with the West Indies and Europe, and its coasting trade primarily, though not exclusively, with Boston. With the latter place it is connected by railroad. Portland was formerly a part of Falmouth, and 130 houses, constituting two thirds of the village, were laid in ashes by the British, in October, 1775. It was incorporated with its present name in 1786, and received a city charter in 1832.  Read More about Maine other States, Counties and towns



@ Maine American History and Genealogy Project
Created May 29, 2014 by Judy White