Visit our amazing museums and historic sites to learn more about Portland's rich history.
1632 English settlers inhabited the Portland Peninsula, then called by the Indian name Machigonne. The name was changed to Casco and, in 1658, to Falmouth.
1652 The entire Casco Bay area became part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
1675 Area completely destroyed by Indians during King Phillip's War.
1690 Fort Loyal destroyed by French and Indians.
1775 British warships under the command of the notorious Captain Henry Mowatt shelled and burned the city of Falmouth.
1776 After the Revolutionary War, Falmouth was established as a commercial port and began rapid growth as a shipping center.
1786 Local citizens renamed their town Portland.
1820 Maine became a state and Portland its first Capital.
1820s Portland recovers from the Embargo Act and War of 1812. Maine boats could trade all over the world.
1823 First steamship from Boston; beginning of regular passenger service between the two cities.
1852 Commercial Street opened to connect rail and water transportation networks.
1866 The Great Fire of 1866, started by a 4th of July celebration, destroyed most of the public buildings, half the churches, and hundreds of houses. The city was rebuilt with brick Victorian style and early 20th century houses, now seen throughout Portland.
1941 Portland became the home port of US North American Fleet during World War II.
1961 Beginning of the preservation movement in Portland.
1970s The Old Port became an area of artist's studios and a lively retail center.
1980s Emphasis placed on preserving the waterfront for active commercial marine activities.
1990s Revitalization of the city's major artery, Congress St., and establishment of downtown Arts District.
2001 Passenger rail service between Boston and Portland revived.