2018-07-13 / Community

S A Window on the Past

Early views of Broadway still familiar today
By Kathryn Onos DiPhilippo
South Portland Historical Society

Two views of Broadway, looking east, in the 1920s. (Courtesy photo) Two views of Broadway, looking east, in the 1920s. (Courtesy photo) Seeing that we are probably about halfway through the sewer separation project in the Pleasantdale neighborhood, and many of us might find ourselves spending a little extra time on Broadway in our travels, I thought we’d pull out two historic photographs this week that show early views of the area. Both images were taken looking east on Broadway, although when these photographs were taken (circa 1920s), the street through Pleasantdale was known as Summer Street. If you continued east, the street from Cottage Road to the ocean was the only section originally known as Broadway. If you headed west, the street was known instead as Brown Street from the intersection of Evans Street, all the way west to the Scarborough line.

One of the photos here shows the intersection of Broadway and Elm Street with Ward’s Drug Store located in the corner of the large building. Ward’s Drug was a popular hangout for the neighborhood with its long lunch counter inside. In the storefront to its left, in the same building, was an old A&P grocery – the kind where you’d find pickles for sale in a pickle barrel and the shopkeeper sweeping out his wood floors each day.

In both photographs, you can clearly see that Broadway was still a dirt road and the trolley tracks ran down the street on one side. Most of the houses and buildings along Broadway in these photos are still there today.

If you have family photographs that show old buildings and neighborhood scenes in South Portland, please let us know at the South Portland Historical Society by emailing to sphistory04106@gmail.com or give us a call at 767-7299. We would love to scan your photos to save in our archives. The society’s museum at Bug Light Park is open daily, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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

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