2018-06-08 / Community

A Window on the Past

Turnpike construction led to changes in South Portland
By Kathryn Onos DiPhilippo
South Portland Historical Society


George Talbot farm, located at 361 Payne Road in South Portland, had to be demolished to make way for the construction of the Maine Turnpike. (Courtesy photos) George Talbot farm, located at 361 Payne Road in South Portland, had to be demolished to make way for the construction of the Maine Turnpike. (Courtesy photos) When the first section of the Maine Turnpike opened in December 1947, the highway covered just the southern part of Maine, from Kittery up to Portland. The western area of South Portland that is now home to the Maine Mall and many other businesses had been a very agricultural area up to that point. Like every other community in the new highway’s path, major changes had to take place to clear the way for construction. The road that we now call Maine Mall Road in South Portland was formerly known as Payne Road (the road was renamed after the Maine Mall was constructed in 1971). Payne Road was actually much closer to the highway than it is today; the road had to be relocated in places as the path of the highway came too close.

The photos shown here were taken in 1946 and show some of the farms on the old Payne Road in South Portland that had to be demolished. There were also a number of old barns that were removed.


The Robert Skillin farm, shown here in April 1946, was located a 349 Payne Road. The Robert Skillin farm, shown here in April 1946, was located a 349 Payne Road. The South Portland Historical Society has been trying to locate additional historic photographs of this western area of the city. If you have any images to share, please contact us at 767-7299 or sphistory04106@gmail.com.

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



Below, one of many barns along Payne Road in South Portland, an area which was largely agricultural in earlier times. Below, one of many barns along Payne Road in South Portland, an area which was largely agricultural in earlier times.

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