Originally called Machigonne (Great Neck) by the Native Americans who
first inhabited it, the Portland peninsula was established by the
British in 1632 as a trading and fishing settlement. Industry grew and
Portland's waterfront became a mecca for shipping and trading companies.
The name was changed to Casco and, in 1658, to Falmouth. After the
Revolutionary War, "Falmouth” was established as a commercial port and
began rapid growth as a shipping center. Local citizens renamed their
town Portland in 1786, and in 1820 Maine became a state, with Portland
serving as its first capital.