South Portland Historical Society

PO Box 2623

South Portland, Maine  04116-2623



3rd Wednesday of the Month



Linda Eastman, President





(posted with permission)


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                        South Portland Historical Society

 Highlights of 2006 Late Spring and Summer Plans and Activities


 The following slate of names was presented to membership at the May 18th Annual Meeting of the South Portland Historical Society. 

                             President ……………..Linda Eastman

                            V President…………    Mike Eastman

                            Secretary ……………. Susan Mooney

                            Treasurer……………. Tim Carr

                            Historian ……………..Kathy DiPhilippo

                            Curator ……………… Mary Anne Wallace

                            At Large ……………..  Sharyn Dawson, Ralph Baxter,

                                                               David Mishkin, Craig Skelton, Marian Peterson

 The Secretary cast one ballot in favor of the recommended slate of officers.



Since we last communicated by newsletter, the society has made some incredible moves, literally and figuratively!  After a lot of huffing and puffing, all documents and ephemera were moved to the new office area in the basement of City Hall.  It quickly became apparent that there was no room in the small area to accommodate the larger items – nor was there enough space for volunteers to be able to work.

Linda asked Acting City Manager Jim Gailey to meet with her and discuss the situation.  During their conversation, Jim suggested that they look at the Electrical Building, which sits within the city’s Mill Creek   Park.  A visit to the building showed that it had great potential to serve as the Society’s new headquarters.  The SPHS Board of Directors attended a City Council Workshop in early July and was delighted to hear favorable support for the Society to occupy the Electrical Building by all City Councilors.

And now the hard work begins!  An Occupancy Permit requires a lot of hard work for the Society.  Meeting with key city people, looking for grant money, submitting plans, cleaning, etc. will require many hours of hard, and sometimes dirty, work.  The goal is to meet the requirements for occupancy and open the building to the public in the spring of 2007.  We will keep you updated as to our progress.  And will you give some thought as to how you might assist us with the gargantuan task ahead?  Give Linda a call (799-3937) if you could be called on for some help. 

In the meantime, the Society’s office is open for business on the lower floor of City Hall.  It will be opened this summer and fall from 1 – 3 PM on Saturdays.  Here is how to locate the office:  Enter by way of the door in the back of City Hall.  Once you enter the building, take the elevator to B level (basement), exit the elevator,  turn left, then a right and follow the hall down to the office. 



 The city, as well as the Society, recently lost a treasured friend and supporter.  Rosella Loveitt died on June 26, 2006, leaving behind a legacy that will never be matched in our lifetime.  Loved and respected city-wide for her passion for local history as well as her avid support of area sports, Rosella was truly a legend in her time. The Society will be forever grateful for her vital part in founding the South Portland Historical Society in 1964.  Donations made to the Society in her name will be used in a manner to honor her contributions.


The Society continues to add to its collection.  Following is a sampling of recent donations and additions to our holdings:

-          a ticket to the Grand Horse Fair at Rigby Park in August 1894

-          an 1826 Maine Register

-          scrapbooks containing clippings of Pleasantdale news in the 1920s and ‘30s

-          New England Keel, newspaper from July 1944

-          an 1866 Portland Directory

-          the 3-volume set of The Family Jordan

-          Genealogy of the Cushing Family by Lemuel Cushing

-          Seven volumes of Maine Families in 1790

-          Journals containing the minutes of the Knightville Volunteer Hose Co. 4

-          Booklet summarizing the minutes of the Thornton Heights Improvement Society, as well as other Thornton Heights historical trivia, compiled by Society member Elford Messer

-          1 quart milk bottle from the Howard F. Cotton dairy, South Portland



The Society’s book, The Many Villages of South Portland, Maine, is being very well received by the public.  You may purchase your copy by contacting either Kathy (, 767-3268) or Linda (799-3937,  You may also obtain a copy at the City Clerk’s office in City Hall or by dropping into the Society office (downstairs at City Hall) on Saturday afternoons, 1 – 3 PM.  Books are also for sale at Nonesuch Books in Mill Creek. 



Folks were pleased with the Society t-shirt. The quality is excellent and the Society will sell them at cost to members.   In order to benefit from the lower price, we will need an order of 36 shirts to place another order.  The color is medium blue with navy blue logo.  Sizes are s, m, l, xl and xxl.  Price is $7.50.  Give Linda a call if you would like one and she will place the order when the magic number of 36 is reached! 



Historian Kathy DiPhilippo sought and received monies in the form of grants from the Maine Historical Records Advisory Board via funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.  The grant monies will allow for the purchase of a dehumidifier as well as allow for the proper preservation of a donation of nitrate negatives of South Portland images circa 1900. 



We are counting on your continued support for the membership year 2006/2007.   Our major funding comes from membership support from wonderful people like you!!   If you have not done so already, please renew now so we can save on mailing out separate renewal reminders.  Membership dues are due on September 1st.   Send your renewal to the South Portland Historical Society, PO Box 2623, South Portland, Maine  04116.  You may use the renewal form attached at the end of this newsletter.  While supplies last, we are offering our new Society tote bags as a gift with your membership at the $25 level and above. 



Monthly meetings of the SPHS are held on the 3rd Wednesday of the month in the Lower Conference Room in City Hall.  Meetings begin at 5:45 PM and usually are an hour and a half long.  While the Board of Directors is charged with the management of the Society, all members are most welcome to attend meetings.


The Society’s fundraiser for the coming year will be an exciting one.  We will be holding a special Afternoon with the South Portland Historical Society on Saturday, January 12th, 2007, at the South Portland Community Center. Featured will be guest lecturers David Mishkin (photograph preservation) and Kathy Amoroso (genealogy).  The event will also act as the finale for our first Silent Auction. We are currently seeking items for the auction.  Do you have a talent (or know someone who does?) or would you make a monetary donation to allow for a purchase?  One 85-year old member is donating a hand-made quilt.  Another member has crocheted an afghan.  Mike Eastman is working on finishing a piece of furniture.  Area businesses will be solicited for donations…… and we are hoping the membership will lend a hand with both donations and physical assistance.  Watch for more information on this affair.  And be sure to contact any board member for information, donation or assistance.



For the first time, the Society organized its presence at Art in the Park to raise funds for our organization. Working in two-hour shifts, Society volunteers manned a display table and sold 17 books, 6 shirts, and signed up 9 new members to the Society.  We will be making a similar appearance at the polls on Election Day in November, as we have done successfully for the past two elections.  Please call Linda or Kathy if you can help.  This is a great way for the Society to get out in the public’s eye.  Each time we have had volunteers appear in public, we have signed up new members and received donations of historic items which might otherwise not have been preserved.



Moving the large items from the museum on Braeburn to the Electrical Building was very hard work.  Volunteers had to be recruited for the heavy display cases…..and the move was made in the late afternoon of the hottest and most humid day of the summer.  Special thanks to Mark Reuscher, Steve Hayworth, Ed  & Kathy DiPhilippo, Craig Skelton, Mike Eastman and Tim Carr.  They all deserve medals for that deed!!!



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