History

Unearthing Fort Sumner

Unearthing Fort Sumner

Following the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization's published position on the preservation of the treasured vista from Fort Sumner Park, the Observer continues its coverage of the site. 

In August we republished Ken Thompson's February, 1983 treatise on the Revolutionary War era fort. Since then, there has been little movement in the development of the downhill site at 155 Sheridan which threatens to compromise the historic panorama with the exception of a reworked, yet still obtrusive, design submitted to the City. No level-III site plan has yet been submitted by developer Bernard Saulnier.

In this installment of historical coverage of Fort Sumner, an 1886 volume brings into relief several aspects of the site not commonly understood. Notably, the nature of the covered way (more of a trench) connecting the hilltop citadel to the Monument St. battery, which was never completed due the high cost of remediating the loose earth in that area.

Dirty Laundry, Part 1: Smells and Bells by Peter Donatelli

Dirty Laundry, Part 1: Smells and Bells by Peter Donatelli

The smell of Nissen's Bakery permeated the Hill. As a child in the 70's, there was a certain comfort growing up in a neighborhood that was a community of friends in a setting that was, for me, both sensationally sensory and mystically spiritual. The best of all worlds for a family that immigrated to Maine (of all places) from Italy, a country filled with a plethora of traditions and superstitions that many townships and communities would reject and ostracize but NOT Portland, Maine and more specifically the culturally diverse yet amazingly inclusive Munjoy Hill. In the 70's we had the benefit of being accepted for our financial struggles in an area where most of our neighbors had no pretense nor condescension.