The old name of my neighborhood is Windsor Heights. About 20 (?) years ago the city put a sign labeling it as such at the entrance to the neighborhood. The deed to my house shows it as being in Windsor Heights. But otherwise I don’t think the neighborhood, which consists of a tiny peninsula, has been commonly called that in years. I tried to ferret out some history by searching online, and came up with almost nothing using the keywords “Windsor Heights.”
We used to jokingly call it “Deering Foreside.” Well, we thought it was a joke — but I just did a search and was amazed to see a bunch of sites calling it that in all seriousness. I also noticed that someone called it an “upcoming trendy neighborhood” — jeez, how did that happen? “Modest” is one word I’ve always used for it. “Beautiful” is another.
Our small complex of dead-end streets is bounded by Veranda Street, I-295, and the ocean. A couple of the streets were cut in two when I-295 was built, and if you walk down Veranda Street you can see their other halves, which are now separate streets with different names. I wish I could see what the neighborhood looked like when you could get into it via several streets, instead of just Kensington.
When I first moved in nearly 34 years ago, someone told me there had been a boatbuilding company in the neighborhood, and for years you could see a large old piece of equipment on the little pebbly beach that’s kitty-corner from my back yard. I’ve just ordered a book from the Maine Historical Society titled “Deering: A Social and Architectural History,” which apparently focuses on the off-peninsula (non-downtown) areas of Portland. Since my walks have been mostly in these outlying neighborhoods, I’m hoping I can learn more about the history of these places, including my own neighborhood, and use some of that information here.
The photo at top shows the end of my street. You can’t see the Maine Yacht Center, but it would be on the right (maybe that’s why it’s an “upcoming trendy neighborhood”?). Below is the neighborhood, and my street, seen from the opposite angle — taken from the railroad tracks that run between the marina and B&M Baked Beans. I think the tree almost in the center is the tree in the photo above. My house, which is set back from the street, is hidden by foliage and other houses toward the left.
I’m going to write more about Windsor Heights, which is why I called this post Windsor Heights I. Every street has a different character and a different view of the water and the islands.