2012-11-02 / Community

A Window on the Past

A World War II honor roll in Pleasantdale
By Kathryn DiPhilippo
South Portland Historical Society


The South Portland Historical Society is wondering what happened to a World War II honor roll that used to be located in the Pleasantdale neighborhood. Anyone who knows is encouraged to get in touch with the society. (Courtesy photos) The South Portland Historical Society is wondering what happened to a World War II honor roll that used to be located in the Pleasantdale neighborhood. Anyone who knows is encouraged to get in touch with the society. (Courtesy photos) As the historical society prepares for the Evening Chat program on the Pleasantdale neighborhood, we are going through our archives to find photographs and artifacts. We also encourage residents to look through their own photo albums and drawers to try to locate images and memorabilia from Pleasantdale (roughly the neighborhood between Evans and Anthoine streets). In 2013, the society’s museum will feature an exhibit that covers the history of that neighborhood.

Two photographs donated by Russell Emery show the large wooden “honor roll” that was erected in winter 1942/1943 to honor neighborhood residents who were then serving in World War II. The large board stood close to the point of land where Hill Street intersects with Broadway, between the two streets. One photograph gives us a close-up view of the board, while the other gives us a better idea of exactly where the board was located.

Back in December 2006, Craig Skelton wrote a history column in the Sentry that covered the subsequent World War II memorial that was put in and dedicated on May 30, 1951 in Pleasantdale; that stone/ plaque still stands on the site. In Skelton’s column, the photo shown (that was donated by Isabelle Williams) pictured not only the new memorial, but also the large honor roll board that was covered by a large drape. The board was taken down shortly after the dedication of the new memorial in 1951. One question we get from time to time is, “What happened to that honor roll board?” If you have any idea what became of it, please call the society. It may have been thrown away, but we would at least like to document what was done with it.

The oral history program about Pleasantdale will be held at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16 in council chambers at city hall. If you have photographs, memorabilia or stories to share about growing up, living, working or recreating in the Pleasantdale neighborhood, contact the historical society at 767-7299, on Facebook, by email at sphi storicalsociety@maine.rr.com, or at 55 Bug Light Park, South Portland, ME 04106.

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