Sunday, July 11, 2010

Maine Minutiae : Maine's Largest City

With a population of about 63,000 people, Portland is Maine's largest city. The metro area of Portland is home to over a half a million folks, over one-third of the entire state of Maine's head count. Machigonne or "Great Neck", as the Native Americans called it, was settled by Europeans in 1623 by Captain Christoffer Levett. However, that settlement failed and it wasn't until 1633 that the peninsula was permanently settled as a fishing and trading village called Casco, later Falmouth and in 1786 took on the name of Portland. The climate of the area is very moderate with summer time temperatures over 90 degrees occurring less than five days a year (in Texas we call that "this week"). On the other hand, Portland averages over 67 inches of snowfall per year and temperatures have been known to plummet to well below zero. The record low is minus 26 degrees. Record high? 103. Or as they say back home, "yesterday". At one time, Portland was the capital of Maine until losing that honor to Augusta in 1832. According to, "Portland has recovered from four fires, the most devastating having occurred on Independence Day, 1866, when most of the commercial buildings, half of the churches, and hundreds of homes were destroyed. Portland was almost completely rebuilt during the Victorian era, and has maintained much of it’s 19th century architecture, due to constant attention to landmark preservation." Portland is cool place to visit with several museums, the waterfront, shops, restaurants and pubs on said waterfront and is home to the Portland Sea Dogs, the Double A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. (FYI : Fenway Park is only about an hour and a half from Portland...just sayin'). As you can see, there's a lot to like about Maine's biggest city and if you like more info on Portland click here.

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