NeighborhoodHistory

Remembering the Past

Early Neighborhood History

 

Due to the proximity to the Penobscot River, our neighborhood was established as one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city.  Bustling with businesses and factories along Main Street, our neighborhood also encompassed a park on the corner of Cedar and Main and several school houses.  At the heart of this neighborhood were the many colonial and Victorian houses that were the homes to hard working families.  Bangor was primarily built by Irish and Greek immigrants and our neighborhood reflected that population.  While most of the homes belonged to middle and some upper middle class families, according to the Bangor Museum and Center for History, a part of our neighborhood, the section of Sanford Street behind the present day YWCA/YMCA, was known as Paddy Hollow reflective of its poor Irish dwellers.  Because of our close proximity to the waterfront and downtown, the West Side Village neighborhood was always a desired neighborhood in which to live.  Many of the residents who lived on First, Second, Sanford, Third, Cedar and Parker Streets worked for the Maine Central Railroad along the waterfront or in the brick yard, the Gas Works, the nearby Stove and Furnace Foundry or in local factories making moccasins and shoes...many of the residents worked downtown and/or owned businesses. 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to the “West Side Village*” of yesteryear...when one walked to work or traversed by horse and carriage...when one read by the warm glow of candlelight or gas lantern.  Join us as we explore our neighborhood’s vibrant past and rich history! 

 

As we work in the present to reclaim our neighborhood from vandals and criminals, we also look toward the future with excitement as we, together, the residents of West Side Village, work to restore physically our neighborhood to its former glory. By working together and taking pride in our neighborhood, its past and present, we truly believe that we can create and maintain a safe and beautiful neighborhood in which to live, work and play. 

 

*West Side Village refers to our neighborhood of Main to 3rd St from Union to Buck

 

 

Maine Central Railroad

Engineer Eddie Cahill

Oval Callout:

Bangor was settled in the 1760’s at the mouth of the Kenduskeag stream.  Fur trading and fishing drew early settlers to the area.  The first saw mill in Bangor was built in 1772.  Maine’s vast forests offered huge supplies of lumber.  By the 1830’s, there were over 300 saw mills in Bangor.  The lumber industry brought unprecedented wealth to the region.  The beautiful mansions on present day West Broadway were built and owned by the lumber barons of that era.  By 1850 Bangor was considered the “lumber capital of the world”.

The Streets of our Neighborhood

By 1875, First, Third, Warren and Parker Streets including all the streets west of Parker were well established.  Due to a large ravine, Second and Sanford Streets from Cedar to Warren did not exist in 1875!  Those streets stopped at Cedar!

 

Rowe Street was a street that ran parallel to Barker and went from Main St. up to First Street (directly behind the old St. Mary’s Church).

By 1885, sewer lines were run through the ravine giving birth to the sale of house lots on the newly extended Second St. to Warren St. and newly formed Plum Street.

 

Rowe Street now extended up to Second Street.

Brief History of Bangor

Did you know…

 

Local lumbermen were referred to

as “Bangor Tigers”. 

A Bangor Tiger: a man who could handle himself with panache

both on the logs

and in a bar room brawl!

Did you know…

 

What is now Sanford St. between Cedar and Warren used to be called

Plum Street!

Did you know…

 

During the 1930’s and 1940’s, after a heavy snow the streets would be “closed” and neighborhood children used to slide down Cedar Street beginning at Fifth Street.  The goal was to get a running start from Sixth St. or Hammond to build momentum to be able to get over the Second St. “hump” to end at Davenport Park!

How Fun!! 

Workers on the Maine Central Railroad

Did you know…

 

In 1890,

Bangor Policemen

made

$2.25/day

Did you know…

 

In 1888, Bangor was 1st in Maine and 2nd in the nation to have an electronic trolley system!

Did you know…

 

The last log drive on the Penobscot River was in 1971. 

 

The last log drive in Maine (on the Kennebec River) was in 1976.

THIS PAGE:

 

Brief History of Bangor

 

The Streets of our Neighborhood Late 1800’s

 

Early Neighborhood History

SOURCES FOR NEIGHBORHOOD HISTORY AND POINTS OF INTEREST:

 

Map Archives. Maine Geneology. (n.d.) Web. 15 Jul 2012

“Bangor Historic Preservation Program”. Bangor Maine. (2010). Web. 15 Jul 2012

“Bangor History.” Bangor Info. (n.d.). Web. 7 Jun 2013

Bangor Maine. Wikipedia. 8 Jun 2013

Bangor Museum and History Center

“History”.  Northern Conservatory of Music Bangor, Maine. (n.d.). Web. 10 Jun 2013

Dumont, Shawn. “Logging on the Kennebec”. Maine Memory Network. (n.d.) Web. 4 Jun 2013

Judd, Richard. “Moving Lumber, Growing Bangor.” Maine Memory Network. (n.d.) Web. 4 Jun 2013

“Town Annual Reports for the City of Bangor.” UMaine Library. (1882, 1901 & 1910). Web. 2 Jun 2013

“History.” Stained Glass Association of America. (n.d.). Web. 9 Jun 2013

Historic New England. (n.d.) Web. 9 Jun 2013

“Stained Glass Windows.” Capitol Hill Historic District. (n.d.). Web 9 Jun 2013

Fitzpatric, David. “The History of Bangor’s Auditorium”. Bangor Daily News. 9 Jan 2013. Web.  10 Jun 2013

Croul, Robert. “Stoneware was once material of choice”. Bangor Daily News. Google News. 17 Jul 1987. Web. 7 Jun 2013

“Father Michael C. O’Brien.” Boston College Sacred Heart Review Vol.26, No. 20. 16, Nov. 1901. Web. 1 Jun 2013

Bangor Historical Magazine. Vol. 6. 1891. Google Books. Web. 6 Jun 2013

 “History of Penobscot County, Maine.”  Williams, Chase & Co. 1882 Google Books. Web. 2 Jun 2013

“St. Mary’s Parish Erects New Church.” Bangor Daily News. 12 Dec.1980. Google. Web. 5 Jun 2013

CardCow.com

“History of Bangor, Maine.” Maine Resource Guide. (n.d.). Web. 1 Jun 2013

Edward Mitchell Blanding. “The City of Bangor: The Industries, Resources, Attractions and Business Life and its Environs” Google EBooks. 1899. Web. 4 June 2013

~ THE STORY OF BANGOR MAINE ~

 

“THE TIME MAY SOON ARRIVE WHEN THE THREE GREAT CITIES OF NORTH AMERICA; BANGOR, NEW YORK AND SAN FRANCISCO SHALL BE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE WEALTH, POPULATION, INTELLIGENCE AND ENTERPRISE OF THE EASTERN, CENTRAL AND WESTERN DIVISIONS OF OUR COUNTRY”

 

~ OLIVER FROST ~ 1869

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Courtesy of T. Kelly

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