2017-11-10 / Community

A Window on the Past

Red’s ornament to raise funds for historical society
By Kathryn Onos DiPhilippo
South Portland Historical Society


Red’s Dairy Freeze ornaments are being sold at the South Portland Historical Society’s museum at Bug Light Park, and also at Drillen Hardware, Broadway Variety and Embers Stove Shop. (Courtesy photo) Red’s Dairy Freeze ornaments are being sold at the South Portland Historical Society’s museum at Bug Light Park, and also at Drillen Hardware, Broadway Variety and Embers Stove Shop. (Courtesy photo) South Portland Historical Society is pleased to announce the fourth in its series of holiday ornaments. Society board member Chuck Igo conceived of and has spearheaded this effort to create a brass ornament series that has created lasting keepsakes of South Portland landmarks. The first ornament in the series depicted Bug Light, the second edition showed the fish shacks at Fishermen’s Point with Portland Head Light in the background, and last year featured a Liberty Shipyards ornament with an image of a liberty ship built here in South Portland during World War II.

For the 2017 ornament, the fourth in our series, we decided to feature one of South Portland’s most beloved landmarks, Red’s Dairy Freeze. When Chuck brought the idea to Chris Bolling, the owner of Red’s Dairy Freeze, Chris very generously agreed to allow us to use his family’s ice cream shop for our ornament series. The business was originally started by Chris’ father, Leonard “Red” Bolling in 1952 as a franchise of Tastee Freez. Over the years, the Bolling family dropped the franchise and changed the business name to Red’s Dairy Freeze, and has continued the tradition of serving up ice cream to generations of families, Little League and school sports teams, churchgoers and more.

Each ornament is cast in a durable metal with a beautiful brass finish and comes in a protective cloth bag. It also includes a card that lets a gift recipient know that proceeds from the sale of each ornament go directly to the South Portland Historical Society and its museum. Priced at $20 each, the ornaments are available for purchase at the society’s museum gift shop at Bug Light Park, open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., through December. You will also find them for sale at Drillen Hardware, Broadway Variety and Embers Stove Shop. All of these stores have graciously agreed to offer them for sale and will collect the proceeds on behalf of the society.

If you come into the museum gift shop, you will find not only the current Red’s Dairy Freeze ornament, but also a supply of each of the other ornaments in the series.

Book signing this weekend

Speaking of the museum, our season is wrapping up quickly. The museum is now open on Saturdays and Sundays for the remainder of the year. This weekend, we’ll host local historian, cemetery expert and author Ron Romano at a book signing. Ron will be at the museum on Sunday, Nov. 12, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to sign copies of his new book, “Portland’s Historic Eastern Cemetery.”

We hope you’ll keep our museum gift shop in mind for your holiday purchases. We seek out local craftspeople and local manufacturers whenever possible to support our local economy. Gift shop proceeds are an important source of funds to maintain our museum and archives. Although the museum may be closed in the middle of the winter, we are still active inside working on exhibits, processing donations of artifacts, cataloging our collections, doing historic research and, most importantly, we maintain year-round climate control so that South Portland’s history is preserved for future generations. It is a tribute to the wonderful community of South Portland that we are able to maintain a thriving local historical society in our city.

For more information, call 767-7299, visit us at the museum at 55 Bug Light Park, and don’t forget to follow and participate with us on Facebook where we post photographs and other information related to the history of South Portland.

Kathryn Onos DiPhilippo is executive director of South Portland Historical Society.

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