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The largest city in Maine, Portland was founded in 1632 in a superb position on the Casco Bay Peninsula, and quickly prospered, building ships and exporting the great inland pines for use as masts. A long line of wooden wharves stretched along the seafront, with the merchants' houses on the hillside above. From the earliest days it was a cosmopolitan city, with a large free black population who traditionally worked as longshoremen; great bitterness arose when Irish immigrants began to muscle in on the scene in the 1830s. When the railroads came, the Canada Trunk Line had its terminus right on Portland's quayside, bringing the produce of Canada and the Great Plains one hundred miles closer to Europe than it would have been at any other major US port. Some of the wharves are now taken up by new condo developments, though Custom House Wharf remains much as it must have looked when Anthony Trollope passed through in 1861 and said, "I doubt whether I ever saw a town with more evident signs of prosperity." Most of what he saw of the town was destroyed by an accidental fire in 1866 (Indians in 1675, and the British in 1775, had previously burned Portland deliberately).
Wild Side Adventures International Portland, your source for extreme adventure, meeting new people and trying activities. We have skiing, adventure, ballooning, skydiving, sport fishing, scuba diving, cruises, kayaking, sailing, tours, paintball, helicopter, surfing, bungee, waterski, guest ranch, rafting, climbing, travel, tours, information, instruction, dining, hotels and fun at your fingertips. This site is for tourists and for our local visitors. Have a great time.