History and Background
The Portland Historical Society was organized in 1973. Since that time the
society has completed and participated in many projects involving the
preservation and appreciation of the town's history. The Society's
activities have included the publication of The History of Portland,
Connecticut 1976, the placement of plaques on historic houses in town, the
placement of bronze markers at historic sites, regular meetings with
historic programs 10 months a year, a periodic newsletter to the
membership, an annual town-wide tag sale in May, an annual picnic in June,
a tour of historic homes in town, an annual Heritage Week at the Museum
Room in the Portland Library, co-sponsoring a year-round 10-kilometer
Volksmarch through historic parts of town, and the annual historical
calendar which has been produced since 1983.
Our meetings are open to the public, and we have a variety of opportunities
for individuals interested in learning about the town while helping the
Society and our new museum of Portland History.
Purpose of the Society
The purpose of the Society shall be to bring together people interested in
history, and especially in the history of Portland, Connecticut.
Understanding the history of our community is basic to our democratic way
of life, gives us a better understanding of our state and nation, and
promotes a better appreciation of our American heritage.
The Society's major function is to discover and collect materials which may
help to establish and illustrate the history of the area; its exploration,
settlement, development, and activities in peace and in war; its progress
in population, wealth, education, arts, science, agriculture,
manufacturers, trade and transportation. It will collect printed material
such as histories, genealogies, biographies, descriptions, gazetteers,
directories, newspapers, pamphlets, catalogs, circulars, handbills,
programs, and posters; manuscript material such as letters, diaries,
journals, memoranda, reminiscences, rosters, service records, account
books, charts, surveys, and field books; and museum material such as
pictures, photographs, paintings, portraits, scenes, aboriginal relics, and
material objects illustrative of life, conditions, events, and activities
of the past and present.
The Society will provide for the preservation of such material and for its
accessibility, as far as may be feasible, to all who wish to examine or
study it. It will cooperate with officials and other organizations in
insuring the preservation and accessibility of the records and archives of
the country and of its cities, towns, villages, and institutions, and will
foster the preservation of historic buildings, monuments, and markers.
The Society will disseminate historical information and arouse interest in
the past by publishing historical material in the newspapers or otherwise;
by holding meetings with pageants, addresses, lectures, papers, and
discussion; by marking historic buildings, sites and trails; and by using
the media of radio and television to awaken public interest. The Society
will cooperate with the state historical society and will collect and
preserve materials of state-wide significance so that these materials may
be made available to students and scholars.