On June 12th and 26th, Seth Goldstein will lead free walking tours of South Portland’s historic waterfront.
Tours begin at 1pm at the Old Settlers Cemetery on the grounds of SMCC and conclude at 3pm at Bug Light Park.
Your tour will begin with a breathtaking panoramic view of Casco Bay, and an overview of the Wabanaki, the Indigenous People of Maine who are still a vibrant part of the fabric of the state of Maine.
This will be followed by a discussion of the West Indies trade between Maine and islands in the Caribbean where enslaved Africans were forced to grow luxury commodities. Participants will learn about African enslavement in southern Maine. Your guide will then discuss the topics of the historic North Atlantic fishery and the three lighthouses that are visible from this location.
As you continue your tour along the waterfront, your guide will inform you about the many forts and harbor defenses of Casco Bay. You’ll hear about the Civil War and the little-known incident when a group of Confederate sailors snuck into Portland Harbor and stole a federal ship.
As you walk past the marina, your guide will discuss the once bustling WWII-era shipyard that employed thousands of individuals. You’ll learn how the Casco Bay region was an important part of the war effort.
You will have an opportunity to explore the Liberty Ship Memorial as your guide discusses the “Wendy the Welders;” the female shipyard workers who built Liberty ships.
Finally, you’ll walk to the Bug Light lighthouse, also known as the Portland Breakwater Light, where you’ll get to enjoy the amazing view of the Portland skyline. Here you’ll learn about the Portland Observatory, the J.B. Brown sugar refinery, and some of the region’s other industries.
Your tour concludes with a brief discussion of the Greater Portland area today. Participants will then have an opportunity to ask questions.
Seth Goldstein is a Maritime Historian, Board Member of the South Portland Historical Society, Instructor of History at the Maine College of Art and Design, and Educational Coordinator for the Atlantic Black Box Project.
There is no charge for this tour and you must be registered in advance – SPACE IS LIMITED
To register, Please call the South Portland Library 207-767-7660 ext 2.
Walking Tours Presented by: