If you’re relocating to Maine and you enjoy learning about history, you’ll want to consider some Portland Maine sightseeing so you can get a close-up look at the historic buildings throughout the city. The National Register of Historic Places is a good place to start your search, as it provides numerous listings you can use to explore the richness of Maine history. There’s always something great to see in and around Portland, and it’s a popular place for locals and visitors to spend time when they want to see the beauty of yesteryear.
The Morse-Libby Mansion should definitely be on your list of buildings to see when you’re exploring Maine history. Located on Danforth St., it’s also called the Morse-Libby House or the Victoria Mansion. It was built in 1860, and has been lovingly cared for as a summer house for Ruggles Sylvester Morse. When Morse died in 1893, the house was sold to the Libby family. They used the home as their own until 1928. Then the house’s fate became uncertain, and plans to tear it down were underway. William H. Holmes stepped forward and saved it, opening it as a museum in 1941.
Portland Observatory is another place to check out if you’re relocating to Maine. You can find it on Congress St., during your Portland Maine sightseeing tour. It was built in 1807, and is the only remaining maritime signal tower that still exists in the United States. It used signal flags and a telescope to allow ships to communicate with shore up to several hours before they actually reached the docks. It’s a great example of Maine history and a lovely structure that has been restored to provide value to the city’s residents and visitors. At 86 feet tall, it’s also an imposing sight and a great photo opportunity.
Another place you’ll want to stop on your Portland Maine sightseeing tour is the Tate House in the Stroudwater neighborhood. It dates to 1755, and was built for George Tate. He was a Captain in the Royal Navy, and was overseeing the cutting and shipping of trees from the area that were being used as masts. The house, like others in the neighborhood, are in a relatively remote location when compared to the center of the city. That has helped them survive fires and other problems. Currently, the house is being used as a museum. Many people who are relocating to Maine stop to see it.
Wadsworth-Longfellow House on Congress Street is another excellent choice for sightseeing and learning about Maine history. The Maine Historical Society operates the house, which was built in 1785-1786. The third story that the house still has today was not built until 1815. It was the first house in Portland to be constructed completely out of brick, and Wadsworth raised 10 children there. One of his daughters also married her husband in that house. While Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wasn’t born there, he moved there when he was eight months old and lived there for 35 years.
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