Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine is located on the southern coast of Maine in Cumberland County. It is the county seat of Cumberland County and the 2010 population was 66,000 with a three percent growth in population since the 2000 census. The city is Maine's largest and the greater Portland area is home to over one third of the entire population of Maine.

The city seal has a phoenix that is rising out of ashes and goes along with the city motto of "I will rise again." This is due to the city's recovery on four separate occasions from huge fires. One of the most popular areas of the city is the Old Port District that runs along the area of Portland Harbor. The school system in Portland is the state's largest with over 7,000 students. Of late, the city has started to transform into a more cosmopolitan area due to many new nationalities of people moving to the still inexpensive city.

The city, as well as the rest of the state, is well known for its Maine Lobster. This famous seafood has supported many fishermen for years and the vast majority of restaurants in the Portland area serve Maine lobster.

Portland is a great place to live in. There are intriquing options in entertainment, education, affordable living and many other benefits the city offers its residents. The city is known for its ambient social atmosphere and its lively residents.

Portland History

Portland, Maine was first named Machigonne by Native Americans. The original European to settle in the area, which is now Portland, was Christopher Levett. King Charles I granted him 6,000 acres in 1623 to found a new settlement in Casco Bay. He left ten men in charge of the settlement and returned to England to write about his trip, the settlement failed and it is still a mystery as to what happened to the ten men.

The peninsula where Portland is located was first settled as a trading and fishing village in 1633 named Casco. In 1658, when the area was taken over by the Massachusetts Bay Colony it was renamed Falmouth. Following the revolutionary War in 1786, the citizens of Falmouth formed another city at the neck of the peninsula and named it Portland.

Maine was named a state on 1820 and Portland was named the capital. The capital however was moved 12 years later to its current location, Augusta. One of the northernmost battles during the Civil War took place in 1863 in Portland Harbor. In 1866 the majority of commercial buildings located in the city were destroyed by a fire that was started from the July 4 Independence Day celebrations. Hundreds of homes and churches were lost and over 10,000 people were left without homes.

The city lived and nearly died by the railroad system. When the city became linked to the rest of the east coast railroad system, its huge lumbering industry was able to better transport its products. They also linked to the railroad system from Canada and began to rely on its use to export into Canada. This link was stopped when much of Canada's product was diverted to Nova Scotia causing a great decline in the economy of Maine.

The Maine Mall was constructed in the 1970s and helped the economy greatly in Maine. With more people visiting the area and spending more money, businesses start to thrive and this started the revitalization of the downtown area. Today the Maine Mall is the largest mall in all of Maine. The city has also increased the size of its International Airport making it easier for not only travelers but also for airlines because of the larger terminals and numbers of gates.

About Portland, Maine

Portland is laid out in a series of different neighborhoods, but they do not have specific beginning or ending limits to each neighborhood. The residents themselves set the neighborhood limits. There are a number of neighborhood associations that have formed to help as a go between with residents and the city government.

The latest census showed Portland to consist of over 88% white, 6% black or African American, 4% Asian and a mix of other nationalities completing the full population. Many of the neighborhoods are also areas where ethnically similar people have settled in the same area.

Portland is the center of commerce for Maine and its economic capital. The entire eastern section of Maine is on the Atlantic Coast and Portland is the state's largest port and is only 115 miles north of the port of Boston. Over the course of time the city's economy has gone from manufacturing, fishing and agriculture to one of being more service industry oriented.

The majority of national and multinational businesses that have offices in Maine make Portland their base. The unemployment rate for Portland is normally much less than the national average and the median income for individuals in the Portland area are higher than any other area or region of Maine.

The city has a council and manager government, with the citizens represented by the council members and the council members appoint a manager. There are five voting districts in the city and nine council members. The other four members are voted in at large, not representing any specific district.

There are many interesting sites in the city. The Arts District is along Congress Street and home to many sites such as the Portland Museum of Art, Maine Historical Society & Museum, The Portland Stage Company, Maine College of Art and the Children's Museum of Maine. There are also a number of different smaller galleries and studios.

The Old Port located on along the Portland Harbor is the entertainment center of the city with a number of restaurants, bars, nightclubs and shops. The area always has many people and is where you can find the best seafood in the city. Portland is said to have over 230 restaurants to choose from with the vast majority offering Maine's most famous seafood, lobster, which has helped put Maine on the map internationally.

There are a number of festivals that Portland hosts, such as the festival of Nations, Harvest of the Harbor, Maine Brewers Festival, Taste of the Nation and the Greek Festival.

Portland is the largest and most developed city north of Boston and is only a short hour and a half drive from the Boston. The city has three professional sports teams. The Portland Sea Dogs are a minor league baseball teams, the Maine Red Claws are an NBA development team and the Portland Pirates are a minor league hockey team.

About Cumberland County, Maine

Portland is located in Cumberland County, which is Maine's most populated county with over 281,000 people accounted for in the 2010 census. The county seat for Cumberland County is Portland and is also the most affluent of the sixteen counties in Maine. The state's second largest and deepest body of water is in Cumberland County.

Sebago Lake supplies drinking water to the majority of the county. The county is the state's industrial and economic center because of the large port located in Portland, the Maine Mall and with a number of different corporate headquarters for large companies that do business in Maine. Cumberland County was founded from a part of Yorkshire County in 1760 before Maine was a state.

The county is over 1,216 square miles of which 835 is land and 381 is water. The county is made up of county commissioners and its daily operations are the responsibility of the county manager. The county operates the sheriff's office, the county jail and the court system of the county. It has its own treasury department and emergency management system.

The county owns part of the Cumberland County Civic Center that hosts a myriad of different events such as sporting and music. There have been works of fiction by world-renowned author Stephen King, a Maine native, that have used Cumberland County as the backdrop of novels. The county has also been mentioned in video games such as Trauma Team that speaks of places like Portland and the Back Cove of Portland.

Cumberland County has weather that is milder than most of Maine due to its location on the Atlantic Coast. Snowfall is generally from late November until the beginning of April. Summers are seasonably warm and can be subject to heavy thunderstorms when hot humid weather travels up the eastern seaboard and runs into cooler air. The county also has a number of higher learning institutions. The University of Southern Maine, Kaplan University, Southern Maine Community College and the Maine College of Art all are located in Cumberland County.