A Mixed Blessing: Portland at the Turn of the Twentieth-Century

Michael C. Connolly

in Seated by the Sea

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780813037226
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813041759 | DOI:
A Mixed Blessing: Portland at the Turn of the Twentieth-Century

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This chapter serves as a snapshot in time, looking at the condition of the port of Portland around the year 1900, when membership of the Portland Longshoremen's Benevolent Society soared to over 800 members. By 1900 Portland had largely recovered from the devastating Great Fire of 1866. Commercial optimism, especially by the Portland Board of Trade, would soon turn to pessimism, as economic recession would challenge the union and the larger maritime industry in the early years of the twentieth century, at least until the World War I boom in shipping (1914–19). Blue-water (international) shipping was still secondary to brown-water (domestic) trade, except for Canadian grain to Europe. The Portland Irish community, largely from County Galway, still used the Irish (Gaelic) language, and it was prominently heard along the docks.

Keywords: Portland Board; blue-water shipping; brown-water shipping; Irish; Gaelic language; Great Fire

Chapter.  6337 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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