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Welcome to Prospero's Blog! My wife Mollie and I work together in our Rough Magic studio on the coast of Maine. I've always loved old books, memorabilia, curiosities and Americana (especially 19th century dramatic literature) and am happy to share my discoveries in my Etsy Shops. Please come by and browse ~ there's just no telling what you'll find!

August 21, 2010

Remembering Riverton

Riverton Park, Portland, Maine



















Although the old Riverton Amusement Park on the Presumpscot River was only a short distance from my family home in Portland, Maine, I remember very little about it. My memory for long ago places and faces is generally pretty good, but since we spent our summers at the family camp on Sebago Lake, I don't recall much about the park itself. And by the time I was old enough to take serious stock of landmarks and such, the park was long gone, perhaps a casualty of the Great Depression and other catastrophic events.

But in its heyday in the 19th century, Riverton Park is said to have been one of the most popular attractions in the entire state of Maine. I've been told that on a nice summer day streetcars filled with visitors to Riverton would line up for a mile or more along Forest Avenue.

This antique photo card from the early 20th century shows the park as viewed from the river. Canoes were launched from the dock in the right foreground. That large building in the center is the casino, with the gazebo to its right.

Probably printed as an advertisement for the Portland Railroad Company, the card is available in my Etsy vintage shop. To view it there, please click here.

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