2012-09-21 / Community

A view of the Ferry Village waterfront

By Kathryn DiPhilippo
South Portland Historical Society

The Ferry Village waterfront as it was in 1905. (Courtesy photo) The Ferry Village waterfront as it was in 1905. (Courtesy photo) This week’s Window on the Past looks at the Ferry Village waterfront circa 1905.

Several beautiful schooners are tied up at a wharf near the ferry terminal where residents could catch the ferry to Portland instead of going all the way to Knightville to go over the bridge. In the distance, the two grain elevators at the Grand Trunk Railway station can be seen on the Portland waterfront. The Grand Trunk Railway was a tremendous feat of economic development in the mid- 1800s. The use of Portland as a trading port had dwindled by the 1840s, so the establishment of the rail line to Montreal helped to differentiate Portland from the ports in Massachusetts. The Grand Trunk Railway led to increased activity on the Portland waterfront and also helped to support a thriving shipyard industry in South Portland over several decades. The photograph comes from the Detroit Publishing Co. collection at the Library of Congress.

Reminder to readers: The South Portland Historical Society will host a book launch event at the South Portland Community Center on Friday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. to celebrate the release of the republished book, “A History of Cape Elizabeth, Maine: including South Portland prior to 1895,” originally written and published by Professor William B. Jordan Jr. in 1965.

Jordan will attend the event to sign copies of the book. Books will be available for purchase at the event and are also now available for sale at the historical society’s museum at Bug Light Park. For more information, call 767-7299.

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