2012-11-09 / People

A Window on the Past

Pleasantdale memories
By Kathryn DiPhilippo
South Portland Historical Society


This photo of Elm Street Church was one of many that will be shared during an upcoming event about the Pleasantdale neighborhood in South Portland. (Photo courtesy of Muriel Blanchard) This photo of Elm Street Church was one of many that will be shared during an upcoming event about the Pleasantdale neighborhood in South Portland. (Photo courtesy of Muriel Blanchard) We are so grateful to Muriel Blanchard, who stopped in to the museum this past weekend with a wonderful donation of photographs and other materials related to South Portland’s Pleasantdale neighborhood. Some of the photographs included rare images of the Marion Street School (the school that preceded Dyer School), Reynolds School and the old Kaler School. She also brought in the accompanying photograph that shows people coming out of Elm Street United Methodist Church.

Of course, Elm Street Church holds special meaning for me, as my family moved here in the early 1970s when my father became the minister at that church. I have many memories of church services, Sunday school (sometimes with my mom as the Sunday school teacher), craft fairs, helping with the church newsletter, singing with the choir and so many other varied events and activities.

For many people, the church was the heart of the neighborhood.

We hope that others who have lived or worked in the Pleasantdale neighborhood will join us next week for a special oral history event. At 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16 in council chambers at city hall, the South Portland Historical Society’s Evening Chat series will continue with a new program that covers the history of this neighborhood that lies between Anthoine and Evans streets, from Highland Avenue to Turner’s Island on the Fore River.

Schools in this neighborhood have included Kaler, Reynolds, Marion Street, Dyer, Evans Street and Elm Street School. Technically, even the high school is located in the Pleasantdale neighborhood. The event will be filmed for preservation by SPC-TV. We hope current and former residents will join us to help preserve the history of Pleasantdale. For more information, call 767-7299.

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