The South Portland Historical Society offers a series of brass ornaments that cover various historic places in South Portland. Each ornament is cast in a durable metal with a beautiful brass finish, and comes in a protective cloth bag. It also includes a card outlining the history of the site and which lets a gift recipient know that proceeds from the sale of each ornament go directly to the South Portland Historical Society and its museum. These ornaments are available for $19.95 plus tax at the Society's museum gift shop at 55 Bug Light Park, South Portland, ME 04106. Shipping is also available; please call us at 207-767-7299 to inquire.
Liberty Shipyard Ornament, 2016
The current ornament, the 3rd in the series, is the Liberty Shipyards ornament. The 2016 design celebrates the World War II shipyards in South Portland, Maine. The ornament features a Liberty ship, one of many built in South Portland at its shipyards. During WWII, South Portland was home to huge shipyards. The first shipyard was known as Todd-Bath Iron Shipbuilding Corporation, which built 30 Ocean ships for Great Britain at first, and then went on to build Liberty ships; the yard was known locally as the East Yard. The second shipyard was created on filled land and was known as South Portland Shipbuilding Corporation; it was known as the West Yard and workers there built Liberty ships. Around 1943, the two yards were merged into one giant shipyard, known as New England Shipbuilding Corporation, or NESC. The shipyards in South Portland built a total of 274 of these giant steel cargo ships that provided much-needed supplies to the Allied forces during WWII. There are only two Liberty ships left today. One of those was built in South Portland, Maine - the S.S. Jeremiah O'Brien, which is now a floating museum stationed in San Francisco, CA.
Fishermen's Point Ornament, 2015
The 2nd in the series is the Fishermen's Point ornament. It shows the fishing shacks at Fishermen's Point in South Portland, adjacent to Willard Beach, with the majestic Portland Head Light lighthouse in the background. Fishermen's Point is a historic site in So. Portland, ME. Early in its history, it was known as Wharf Point and large sailing ships used to tie up at a large pier there to load and unload. In the past century, the point has been home to shacks that were used by lobstermen and fishermen for storage of nets, buoys, traps and other supplies. There once were many fish shacks along the point, but in more recent years, just three shacks have remained.
Bug Light Ornament, 2014
The historic society's 1st ornament in the series was initially made available in 2014. It features Portland Breakwater Light, more affectionately known as Bug Light in South Portland. Bug Light is a part of the logo for both the historical society and the City of South Portland. The lighthouse is one of only a few National Historic Landmarks which are currently designated in our city.