History

The Observatory 100 Years On

The photographer is Joseph Harrison Lamson (1840-1901) of Portland, Maine. The photographer’s father was a maker of daguerrotypes and his mother was an artist. He began his career in photography in Bangor, Maine and then worked in Cuba, the West Indies, and South America. He made a fortune and then bought a studio in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He then moved to Maine and operated a photographic studio in Portland. He photographed the poets Longfellow and Whittier. When he died, his two sons took over the studio.

110-118 Congress

110-118 Congress St. has been many things. Early on, it was Carleton's Castle in the 1850s, a Socony gas station in the 1920s, the Whole Grocer in the 2000s, now it is home to the 118 Congress St. condos. In the second picture below, note Monument School in the background. Few pictures exist of this brick schoolhouse that sat on the north side of Monument St. between Atlantic and Munjoy Streets. Monument school closed after the Marada F. Adams School opened on Beckett St.

Mystery Train

This curious photograph appeared for sale on eBay as being from the collection of Edwin "Bill" Robinson. It depicts groups of cheerful women (and perhaps a very short sheriff or two) disembarking the Atlantic & St. Lawrence Railroad at India Street.

In the background is clearly visible the Portland Company complex and Fore Street as it bends into the Eastern Promenade on its way up Munjoy Hill. Anyone care to try to date this photo? Zoom in and look around!

Atlantic & St. Lawrence RR disembarking passengers near Munjoy Hill. Photo by Edwin Robinson, date unknown.