The Irish community of Portland has a long and rich history dating back to the 1800’s when they immigrated from the Emerald Isle for America, fleeing the horrors of the Potato Famine and in search of a better life in the new world.
As a proud descendant of those Irish immigrants, it’s fascinating for me to think about the agonizing struggle that my ancestors had to endure in the fight to create a better life for themselves, their children, and their grand-children.
Much of Portland was built on the backs of Irish immigrants, in fact it was largely Irish laborers who were responsible for the landfill project that was the construction of Commercial Street. If it wasn’t for this project, the Old Port as we know it would not exist today.
For anyone interested in finding out more about the history of Irish immigration in Maine, check out the Maine Irish Heritage Center. Also through ancestry.com, I was able to pinpoint my Franco and Scandinavian roots as well as find the original spelling of my mother’s maiden name.
Happy St. Paddy’s Day folks.