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Seated by the SeaThe Maritime History of Portland, Maine, and Its Irish Longshoremen$
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Michael C. Connolly

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813037226

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813037226.001.0001

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A Mixed Blessing: Portland at the Turn of the Twentieth-Century

A Mixed Blessing: Portland at the Turn of the Twentieth-Century

(p.65) 3 A Mixed Blessing: Portland at the Turn of the Twentieth-Century
Seated by the Sea

Michael C. Connolly

University Press of Florida

This chapter serves as a snapshot in time, looking at the condition of the port of Portland around the year 1900, when membership of the Portland Longshoremen's Benevolent Society soared to over 800 members. By 1900 Portland had largely recovered from the devastating Great Fire of 1866. Commercial optimism, especially by the Portland Board of Trade, would soon turn to pessimism, as economic recession would challenge the union and the larger maritime industry in the early years of the twentieth century, at least until the World War I boom in shipping (1914–19). Blue-water (international) shipping was still secondary to brown-water (domestic) trade, except for Canadian grain to Europe. The Portland Irish community, largely from County Galway, still used the Irish (Gaelic) language, and it was prominently heard along the docks.

Keywords:   Portland Board, blue-water shipping, brown-water shipping, Irish, Gaelic language, Great Fire

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