Portland’s neighborhoods have been home to many well-known or influential people. Here are some of our favorites, and the neighborhoods where they lived.
Son of a six-term Portland mayor, Baxter graduated from Portland High School and Bowdoin College. He was Maine’s governor from 1921 to 1924 and is best known for buying up and then donating large tracts of land in Maine that became the state park that bears his name. The act was critical to preserving Mount Katahdin for public use. Baxter also donated Mackworth Island to the state.
Photo: PPH archives, handout
Brennan is a former two-term governor and two-term congressman. He became a representative in the Maine House in 1965, went on to serve as district attorney for Cumberland County, a state senator and attorney general. He was governor from 1979 to 1987 and then served in the U.S. House of Representatives until 1991.
Photo: PPH file photo
Chute is a writer and populist activist. She is best known for her 1985 debut novel, "The Beans of Egypt, Maine," and her simple, remote lifestyle in the western Maine woods. Her writing about rural poverty reveals a side of Maine not seen in tourism brochures.
Crocker graduated from Cheverus High School and learned to swim competitively with the Portland Porpoises swim team. He competed in the 2000 Olympic Summer Games in Sydney, Australia, the 2004 Olympics in Athens and the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, winning five medals.
Called the "Father of Prohibition," Dow was mayor of Portland from 1855 to 1856 and the author of "the Maine Law," which made it illegal to produce or consume liquor in the state and was an inspiration for the national Prohibition movement.
Photo: Library of Congress
A lawyer, Fessenden served as U.S. representative from 1841 to 1843 and U.S. senator in 1854-64 and 1865-69. Fessenden was an ardent abolitionist who served as President Abraham Lincoln’s treasury secretary in 1864 and 1865. He was one of seven Republican senators who cast critical votes against impeaching Lincoln’s successor, Andrew Johnson, in 1868.
A star athlete at Deering High School, Class of 2005, Flaherty played for Vanderbilt University and went on to a career in Major League Baseball, most recently playing second base and other positions for the Baltimore Orioles.
Photo: The Associated Press
Born John Feeney, Ford played football for Deering High School and became a prolific and iconic movie director. "Stagecoach" (1939), "The Grapes of Wrath" (1940) and "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" (1962) are among the many movies he directed. Ford won four Oscars for best director.
A Massachusetts native who lived in Raymond, Hawthorne went to boarding school in Stroudwater in 1818 and graduated from Bowdoin in 1825. He is best known as the author of "The House of the Seven Gables" and "The Scarlet Letter."
Julavits is a freelance journalist and novelist. Her most recent work of fiction is "The Folded Clock."
Kendrick, who graduated from Deering High School in 2003, is an actress and singer who started her career as a 12-year-old playing Dinah Lord in the 1998 Broadway musical "High Society." Her movie career has included a role in "Up in the Air" that earned an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress in 2009. More recently she starred in "Pitch Perfect" and "Pitch Perfect 2." She recorded the hit song "Cups" in 2012.
A world-famous poet and literary figure in the 19th century, Longfellow grew up on Congress Street, and his childhood home remains a popular tourist destination. Longfellow immortalized Portland in some of his poems, including "My Lost Youth":
Often I think of the beautiful town
That is seated by the sea;
Often in thought go up and down
The pleasant streets of that dear old town,
And my youth comes back to me.
Marley, Maine’s best-known comedian, has worked as a comic full time for 20 years. He lives in Falmouth and performs stand-up shows around the country.
Odokara-Okigbo, a 2008 Waynflete graduate, is a singer and actor. Now performing under the name Michael O, he made a splash as member of the Dartmouth Aires a cappella on the NBC show "The Sing-Off" in 2011. He recently appeared in his first movie role in "Pitch Perfect 2," which stars fellow Portlander Anna Kendrick.
A large and acerbic native Portlander, Reed served in the Maine Legislature and in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1877 to 1898. He was one of the most powerful speakers of the House in its history, and was known as "Czar" Reed. When asked about the possibility that he might be nominated by the Republicans to run for president, he said: "They could do worse, and they probably will."
Artist: John Singer Sargent, Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives.
An actress, Tyler attended Waynflete School in Portland until sixth grade. She is the daughter of Aerosmith's lead singer, Steven Tyler, and model and singer Bebe Buell. Her movie credits include "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy and "The Incredible Hulk."
Wiggin lived for a few years in Portland as a young child around 1860 before moving to Hollis. She was an educator and author of children's stories, including "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm."
© 2015 MaineToday Media | Originally published Dec. 29, 2015