Tag Archives: Portland

Love in Maine

Valentine cookies

Looking for a literary, artistic, or historical spin on love this month? All sorts of options are available, right in Portland, Maine!

The Maine Historical Society is offering this month “Love in the Longfellow House: Couples Guided Tour,” complete with champagne, chocolate, roses, and valentines.

http://www.mainehistory.org/programs_events.shtml#event_463

On February 18th, I’ll be sharing some of our historic valentines at a Maine Memory Network presentation:

http://www.mainehistory.org/programs_events.shtml

Just a block away, at the Portland Public Library, on February 14th is an afternoon of “frightfully good tales that will add chills to your holiday of otherwise hot romance:”

Our Bloody Valentines: Love Notes, in which the Tuesday Mayhem Society, a group of local authors centered in Lisbon Falls, who are dedicated to carrying on the literary traditions of Poe, Lovecraft, Bradbury, and King, will be exploring the concepts of Love, Sex, and Murder through our fiction and poetry at the Portland Public Library: http://www.portlandlibrary.com/events/bloody-valentines-love-notes-tuesday-mayhem-society/#sthash.KWFWnVPB.dpuf

And, if you haven’t had your fill by then of twisted love, you can head down the hill to the Osher Map Library for a Valentine’s Day celebration at 5 p.m. which includes a talk on “Mapping Desire: Erotic Imagery in Old World Cartography.” Osher Map Library Acting Director Ian Fowler will present an enticing lecture covering the representation of love and the human body in cartography through the ages.  Cash bar and tasty treats will be served.

https://www.facebook.com/oshermaps

Finally, if you need a little guidance in writing a love letter, head to the Glickman Library at USM for a workshop by Arielle Greenberg on “How to write poems for your lover(s),” hosted by the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance:

https://www.facebook.com/oshermaps

Happy Valentines Day from the Long Island Community Library!

1924 tax records for Long Island – available for research!

Word is out – the 1924 tax records, owned by the City of Portland, are now available for research! Just go to the site (available through the Maine Memory Network, a site of the Maine Historical Society) to find your house or favorite building on Long Island:

http://www.mainememory.net/search/ptr

Probably the best way to see them all is to type in “Long Island” into the keyword search box.

You can limit the search by street address, owner, etc.

You will be able to see a picture of the building, as well as other information.

The Portland, Maine, 1924 Tax Records were created as part of a city-wide tax reevaluation.   The 2 3/4″ x 4″ original black and white photographs provide extraordinary documentation of the appearance and condition of every taxable property in the city at that time. The accompanying tax forms provide equally valuable information, including the use of the property, the original building materials and finishes and the property’s assessed value as of 1924. On the back of each form, a pencil sketch illustrates the size and shape of the building footprint on the property.

The collection consists of 131 books containing approximately 30,000 pages, each page recording a single property (properties with more than one building will generally have a page for each building).  The records were kept in a cabinet in the Portland tax assessor’s office in City Hall until 2009.1924 tax record project 6

Having these records available online has created quite a buzz all over Portland and Casco Bay, and great fun for researching houses, although some are no longer or unrecognizable.

This was a joint project between the City of Portland, the Portland Public Library, and the Maine Historical Society.

Maine Irish Heritage Center library

Another great Portland special library to visit is the Maine Irish Heritage Center library, on the corner of Gray and State Streets. Housed in the old St. Dominic’s Catholic Church, the library just opened in May of 2009. Under the tutelage and guidance of volunteer librarian Susan Flaherty, this library has grown into a wonderful resource of Irish literature, and boasts subjects such as religion, travel, history, and language. They even have Irish music cassettes, movies, knitting patterns, and just about anything else Irish you can imagine. Members are allowed to check out items, for a period of one month. Often on the Tuesday afternoons that the library is open, you can enter in through the front door of the church, which allows you to wander in through the beautiful sanctuary before entering into the library itself, which also has wonderful atmosphere, with high ceilings and a large wooden sacramental dresser now used for storing library materials.

This summer there is also, at the center, an exhibit of the photographs of our fellow Casco Bay Islander – Bill Finney of Great Diamond Island. His images, often of landscapes, are breathtaking.

For more information:

Maine Irish Heritage Center Library, 34 Gray Street (corner of State), www.maineirish.com, 207-780-0118, Tuesdays 4-6

Special libraries in Portland – Maine Charitable Mechanics Association Library

High above the din of Congress Street in Portland, is a hidden treasure: the Maine Charitable Mechanic Association’s library, a private library which dates back to the 19th century. Although created as a library for apprentices in 1815, today it boasts an outstanding collection of fiction and non-fiction, as well as Maine books. Just heading up the stairs puts you into a different world. You enter into through double doors, into a large room with high ceilings, with portraits of “mechanics” lining two sides of the room, and exhibits in glass cases to show off the Association’s treasures. Mostly, though, you will see wonderful books right at your fingertips. Pat Larrabee, the librarian, says that the collection is a great resource for book clubs, who often read the classics. (In fact, the first Tuesday of each month a book club meets, enjoying tea and pastries, conversation and laughter). They don’t usually weed at the Maine Charitable Mechanic, so you will often find well loved copies of old books, that are usually tossed onto the booksale cart at most libraries if they haven’t been checked out in the past decade. The Library also has art exhibits, and is open, outside of their usual hours, on First Fridays.  Highlights for me of this collection are the travel videos and DVDS – many of which are products of the travelogue series that the Association sponsors. Books and videos aside, it’s worth a visit just to enjoy the ambience. (And one of the things I love most about visiting this library is the chocolates and cookies often lying around).

The Maine Charitable library, located at 519 Congress St., is open Tuesday through Thursday, 10-3, and First Fridays. Membership is $25 a year, but anyone is welcome to take a look around and enjoy the exhibits. For more information: www.mainecharitablemechanicassociation.com or call 207-773-8396