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

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Deering's bridge in the forties

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Deering's bridge in the forties / Maine Historical Society

AND DEERING'S WOODS ARE FRESH AND FAIR,
AND WITH JOY THAT IS ALMOST PAIN
MY HEART GOES BACK TO WANDER THERE,
AND AMONG THE DREAMS OF THE DAYS THAT WERE,
I FIND MY LOST YOUTH AGAIN.

According to Barry and Shettleworth, Jr., the towns of Portland, Falmouth, and Westbrook financially committed to build the bridge in 1805. The bridge, which is now part of Forest Avenue, was named for James Deering who lived in a beautiful house where the University of Maine stands now. No doubt the young Longfellow would be aware that folks caught minnows from the bridge to use as bait for smelting. According to Nathan Gould's article in the Portland Transcript of August 31, 1898, he knew the old mill on the western side of the bridge ground corn and, he thought, salt as well.

 

Item 63 of 65