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EMail: PortlandHistSoc@Yahoo.Com
© Copyright Bob McDougall

History and Background

The Portland Historical Society was organized in 1973. Since that time the society has completed and participated in many projects involving the preservation and appreciation of the town's history. The Society's activities have included the publication of The History of Portland, Connecticut 1976, the placement of plaques on historic houses in town, the placement of bronze markers at historic sites, regular meetings with historic programs 10 months a year, a periodic newsletter to the membership, an annual town-wide tag sale in May, an annual picnic in June, a tour of historic homes in town, an annual Heritage Week at the Museum Room in the Portland Library, co-sponsoring a year-round 10-kilometer Volksmarch through historic parts of town, and the annual historical calendar which has been produced since 1983.

Our meetings are open to the public, and we have a variety of opportunities for individuals interested in learning about the town while helping the Society and our new museum of Portland History.

Purpose of the Society

The purpose of the Society shall be to bring together people interested in history, and especially in the history of Portland, Connecticut. Understanding the history of our community is basic to our democratic way of life, gives us a better understanding of our state and nation, and promotes a better appreciation of our American heritage.

The Society's major function is to discover and collect materials which may help to establish and illustrate the history of the area; its exploration, settlement, development, and activities in peace and in war; its progress in population, wealth, education, arts, science, agriculture, manufacturers, trade and transportation. It will collect printed material such as histories, genealogies, biographies, descriptions, gazetteers, directories, newspapers, pamphlets, catalogs, circulars, handbills, programs, and posters; manuscript material such as letters, diaries, journals, memoranda, reminiscences, rosters, service records, account books, charts, surveys, and field books; and museum material such as pictures, photographs, paintings, portraits, scenes, aboriginal relics, and material objects illustrative of life, conditions, events, and activities of the past and present.

The Society will provide for the preservation of such material and for its accessibility, as far as may be feasible, to all who wish to examine or study it. It will cooperate with officials and other organizations in insuring the preservation and accessibility of the records and archives of the country and of its cities, towns, villages, and institutions, and will foster the preservation of historic buildings, monuments, and markers.

The Society will disseminate historical information and arouse interest in the past by publishing historical material in the newspapers or otherwise; by holding meetings with pageants, addresses, lectures, papers, and discussion; by marking historic buildings, sites and trails; and by using the media of radio and television to awaken public interest. The Society will cooperate with the state historical society and will collect and preserve materials of state-wide significance so that these materials may be made available to students and scholars.