2013-03-22 / Community

A Window on the Past

A View of Ocean Street
By Kathryn DiPhilippo
South Portland Historical Society


Ocean Street in South Portland during the 1950s to 1960s. (Courtesy photo) Ocean Street in South Portland during the 1950s to 1960s. (Courtesy photo) Anyone who lived in South Portland in the 1950s and 1960s will find this to be a very familiar photograph. The image shows Ocean Street in Mill Creek, looking south toward the intersection of Ocean and Broadway.

On the left in the distance, the landmark Mahoney building can be seen; undoubtedly at the time this photo was taken, that building was still housing South Portland High School. Also on the left top corner of the photo, we see the sign for the A & P (formerly known as the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co.). The A & P was first located in a smaller building with an address of 47 Thomas St., but when a new, larger store was built next to it in the early 1960s, the address changed to 170 Ocean St.

Becky Higgins-Charles shared this memory: “We’d stop at this A & P every Saturday morning for the mid-week grocery shop, 1962-67.”

The building was later renovated by Blake, Hall & Sprague; it is now home to a branch of Town & Country FCU and Noyes, Hall & Allen Insurance, among others.

On the right side of the photo, we see the sign for Uncle Andy’s Bakery at 171 Ocean St. John and Helen Palanza ran that bakery for more than 40 years before it was sold in the early 1990s to one of their employees. Bruce Larrabee remembers the bakery well.

“Uncle Andy’s honey glazed doughnuts – now that is a childhood memory everyone should have!”

Pat Murphy commented, “I remember Uncle Andy’s Bakery, they made my wedding cake in 1970.”

Some people viewing this photo have drawn attention to the three-story building just beyond Uncle Andy’s. Mary McDonough ran her “Ma’s Pinball Parlor” from that building at 173 Ocean St., serving hot dogs, hamburgers and other snacks right from the kitchen. Our historical society is still looking for photos related to Ma’s Pinball Parlor. If you have photos or anything else related to it, please contact us at 767-7299 or sphistoricalsociety@maine. rr.com.

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