HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW
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My Lost Youth: Longfellow's Portland, Then and Now

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From the Portland Observatory, 2004

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From the Portland Observatory, 2004 / Maine Historical Society

Taken from the top of the Portland Observatory, this photo of the city by the sea now boasts a population of 60,000 to 70,000. In 1809, two years after Henry's birth, the population of Portland was 7,000.

The Portland Observatory was built in 1807, the same year as Henry's birth, and it served as a signal-communications tower for vessels and the islands. Sea captains' wives and others could watch for the return of sailing vessels.

Today it welcomes cruise ships and strikes their flags as they enter the harbor.

 

Item 17 of 65