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Professional Hockey History in Portland

posted: , by Abraham
tags: Adults | Teens | Kids & Families | Seniors | Art & Culture | Portland History

As the famous Stompin’ Tom Connors song goes, “the good old hockey game is the best game you can name,” and many local fans know this tune from our visits to our local arenas. Portland’s Cross Insurance Arena, the renamed and refurbished Cumberland County Civic Center, has been home to the Maine Mariners of yore (1977-1992), and currently the Portland Pirates (since 1993).  Years of exciting games and American Hockey League (AHL) Calder Cup Championships have been won by our local teams. With the start of the new 2014-15 season, here’s a salute to professional hockey in the Greater Portland area.

Ice hockey has been played in the Portland area for much longer than professional leagues have been here- especially in local colleges (notably the University of Maine and Bowdoin College), as well as unorganized pond hockey. Before the arrival of the Maine Mariners (1977), in the brand-new Civic Center, an influential team was filling the stands in Lewiston: The Maine Nordiques.

74mainor-program

In the early and mid-1970s, Portland didn’t have an ice arena large enough for a professional team. The Nordiques’ success prompted the game you see in the 2 Portland Public Library archival photos immediately below, taken on October 23, 1974. The Maine Nordiques (affiliated with the Québec Nordiques) took on the Flames- and won the game handily, 11-2, at Riverside Arena in the North Deering section of Portland. 1,200 fans were at that game, and in retrospect we can imagine the turnout helped inspire the idea of building a professional arena for a downtown team!

126841 10

Maine Nordiques vs. Atlantic Flames, at Riverside in Portland.

A bit of sports trivia in the photo below: the Flames forward being thwarted by the Nordiques’ defense is
Mike O’Connell, who later played for- and coached the Boston Bruins.

126841 8 O_Connell
The Maine Mariners, based in Portland, won 3 Calder Cup championships and many playoff wins, in their 15 seasons here. Their affliates included the Philadelphia Flyers, the New Jersey Devils, and the Boston Bruins. In the program below, you may notice the “black and gold,” from the Mariners’ latter parent NHL team. In 1993, the Bruins moved the franchise to Providence, Rhode Island.

Mariners Score

The two Library archival photos below are from the Maine Mariners’ first Calder Cup title.

1979 EX 05_12 15

The Maine Mariners celebrate their first Calder Cup, 1978.

1979 EX 05_12 6
Fortunately, Portland hockey fans didn’t have to wait long for a new team to play here in the city. Just a year after the Maine Mariners became the Providence Bruins, the Portland Pirates began in fall 1993.

Pirates Parchment
The Portland Pirates, originally affiliated with the NHL’s Washington Capitals flew out of the gates with their over-the-top home games and the Calder Cup, in 1994. Their current affiliate (after the Capitals, and the Buffalo Sabres) is the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes. The Pirates’ 2014-15 season begins this week.

Just below are some Library archival photos from the Calder Cup final in 1994. In 6 games, Portland defeated the Moncton Hawks.

1994 PH 05_30 19


Above photo: Todd Nelson of the Pirates sends one in, with the Hawks in pursuit.

Below: Pirates goalie Olaf Kolzig makes a stop on Dan Bylsma of the Hawks.
(More trivia: Bylsma went on to coach the Stanley Cup-winning Pittsburgh Penguins.)

1994 PH 05_30 12

 

1994 PH 05_30 9 SM
The Portland Pirates with the Calder Cup, on the ice on Free Street, and
(below) in front of Portland City Hall during the city’s festive parade and rally.

Press Herald June 2 1994 SM

Some Portland-area hockey memorabilia:
The Nordiques, the Mariners, the Pirates,
and regional NHL favorites- the Bruins.

IMG_0595 SM
 

 


New Collection Added to Digital Commons: Letters from the Relief Effort after the Great Fire of 1866

posted: , by Gabrielle Daniello
tags: Adults | Portland History
Telegram sent from Boston's Lamp Department to the Mayor of Portland

Telegram sent from Boston’s Lamp Department to the Mayor of Portland

 

“The oil will go by boat with agent this afternoon & Mr. Hibbard will go by rail Tuesday morning to light your streets tomorrow night.”

These are the words that the Clerk of Boston’s Lamp Department telegraphed to the mayor of Portland on July 9, 1866, just several days after the devastating fire of 1866 wiped out most of Portland’s downtown and left about 10,000 people homeless.

Stereoscopic view of Portland after the fire of 1866, taken by John P. Soule

Stereoscopic view of Portland after the fire of 1866, taken by John P. Soule

This telegram is part of a remarkable collection that is housed in the library’s Portland Room. The collection, Relief for the Portland Sufferers: The Great Fire, 1866, documents the relief effort that was carried out in the wake of the conflagration. Mayors of towns and cities around the country, as well as individuals, wrote letters and sent telegrams to Augustus E. Stevens, Portland’s mayor, to express their sympathy and to offer help. Donations ranged from $1 (“which may aid some suffering family. I earned it cleaning the snow off the sidewalks last winter”) to thousands of dollars from organized relief funds. People also sent food, clothing, and other goods and services, like the Boston lamplighter’s offer to light the darkened streets of the city. Among the goods donated: a chest of oolong tea, a case of forks and knives, three train car-loads of lumber, 1000 feet of hose for the Fire Company, a supply of disinfectant.

Other people wrote to inquire about work opportunities, hoping to be hired to help rebuild the city. Still others inquired after family and friends. A little girl named Annie wrote this on behalf of her little sister, Alice: “PS Alice says that if you know “Suzy” and “Prudy Paslin,” give the money to them if they have been burned out.”

The collection includes hundreds of documents. A small selection has been digitized and can be seen here:

http://digitalcommons.portlandlibrary.com/great_fire_relief/

Copies of some of the letters and telegrams are on display in the Portland Room, along with the black metal box in which the documents were stored for years, tightly rolled up, before Portland Room staff found them and rehoused them in archival folders and boxes. We invite you to come up and see them for yourself!

The Portland Room is open Monday-Thursday 10-7 and Friday 10-6.


Choose Civility and Constitution Week!

posted: , by Kim Simmons
tags: Programs & Events | Adults | Teens | Seniors | Business | Government | Portland History

The topic of civil discourse has emerged as a central concern in Maine and the Nation, during the past several years.  MPBN recently held its annual “Civility in Politics” call-in show, Colby College held a summit on the topic “Civil : The Way Politics Should Be”  (listen to the rebroadcast on MPBN) and the Maine Council of Churches has called for candidates to sign a “covenant of civil discourse.”  Much of this emphasis is on civility as respect and integrity in conversation.  Sometimes, calls for civility are used to discourage challenging conversation, but the best civic discourse allows a pathway for the most difficult conversations to occur productively,

Another way to think about civil discourse is that it is conversation meant to  promote a stronger Democracy.  In that way, civility is about giving people the information, tools and skills they need to understand community issues. Civics involves claiming the rights and responsibilities associated with citizenship (defined broadly).  Civil discourse involves understanding how public issues and policy decisions effect people differently and understanding the various arguments or ideas surrounding an issue.  Libraries hold a unique role in promoting civility, in that access to good information is essential to a free society.

At Portland Public Library, the “Choose Civility” initiative is not a mandate — that’s not how library’s roll – but instead an invitation to join in a community-wide reflection on what civility means in different contexts, what conditions promote civic engagement, what obstacles prevent us from participating in our communities as fully as we might like. We have great books and films, a lot of programming, and a lot of gratitude –  to the Lerner Foundation for their support of this work, and to all those who are attending public conversation programs, sharing your stories and listening with respect and curiosity to others.

This fall, we are hoping that you will join us for an even deeper look at what it means to be a community and what we can all do to promote civility in our everyday lives and in our organizations.

Portland Public Conversations

Coffee & Networking 7:30am

Program 8:00am – 10:00am

September 3oth: Portland’s People, Who Lives Among Us?

Portland’s People: Who Lives Among Us?
Portland’s People: Who Lives Among Us? (Main Library 8am, doors open at 7:30) – In 2004, Journalist Bill Bishop coined the phrase “The Big Sort” to describe growing segregation, both physical and intellectual, in the USA.  10 years later, political scientists agree that this phenomena is growing.  How are we sorted in Greater Portland and what can we learn from crossing divides?  This program will include an opportunity to reflect on the most current Census Data about our demographics and to engage in an exploration of stories and perceptions about each other with director of the Office of Minority Health Lisa Sockabasin.  Ample time will be allowed for facilitated table conversation.  Click here for our flyer: Choose Civility Portland Conversations – See more at: http://www.portlandlibrary.com/highlight/choose-civility/#sthash.3uuejQEg.dpuf

November 25th: Participating Portland, Opportunities to Get Involved!

December 9th: Picturing Portland, Visioning Our Shared Future

September 30th :  Portland’s People: Who Lives Among Us? (Main Library 8am, doors open at 7:30) – In 2004, Journalist Bill Bishop coined the phrase “The Big Sort” to describe growing segregation, both physical and intellectual, in the USA.  10 years later, political scientists agree that this phenomena is growing.  How are we sorted in Greater Portland and what can we learn from crossing divides?  This program will include an opportunity to reflect on the most current Census Data about our demographics and to engage in an exploration of stories and perceptions about each other with director of the Office of Minority Health Lisa Sockabasin.  Ample time will be allowed for facilitated table conversation.  Click here for our flyer: Choose Civility Portland Conversations

Save the following dates for more in our series: 
November 25th:  Participating Portland: Practical Opportunities to Get Involved
December 9th : Picturing Portland: Visioning Our Shared Future

- See more at: http://www.portlandlibrary.com/highlight/choose-civility/#sthash.3uuejQEg.dpuf

September 30th :  Portland’s People: Who Lives Among Us? (Main Library 8am, doors open at 7:30) – In 2004, Journalist Bill Bishop coined the phrase “The Big Sort” to describe growing segregation, both physical and intellectual, in the USA.  10 years later, political scientists agree that this phenomena is growing.  How are we sorted in Greater Portland and what can we learn from crossing divides?  This program will include an opportunity to reflect on the most current Census Data about our demographics and to engage in an exploration of stories and perceptions about each other with director of the Office of Minority Health Lisa Sockabasin.  Ample time will be allowed for facilitated table conversation.  Click here for our flyer: Choose Civility Portland Conversations

Save the following dates for more in our series: 
November 25th:  Participating Portland: Practical Opportunities to Get Involved
December 9th : Picturing Portland: Visioning Our Shared Future

- See more at: http://www.portlandlibrary.com/highlight/choose-civility/#sthash.3uuejQEg.dpuf

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