Advocates: Protect what’s left of the ‘Coney Island of Maine’

The organization Greater Portland Landmarks released its annual list of Places in Peril, which are historically important properties in danger of being lost forever, either because of the encroachment of development demands or lack of upkeep — or both.

This year’s list includes the Peaks Island amusement park property that once attracted the nickname “the Coney Island of Maine,” as well as the 1855 Bowery Beach School in Cape Elizabeth and the 1925 Seth Thomas street clock at 749 Congress St.

Check the Greater Portland Landmarks website in the days ahead for the full list and more information.

“These properties help define greater Portland,” said Executive Director Hilary Bassett in a statement Tuesday. “In every case, the properties we’ve identified are prominently visible or have such historic significance that we must advocate for their protection and preservation.”

What we’re talking about

It was a another busy night for the Portland City Council Monday, and the BDN’s Jake Bleiberg has the highlights if you weren’t able to attend:

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland has sold off the last of the churches closed as part of the consolidation plan that bound at least six York County churches into a single Parish. Hardypond Construction of Portland wants to convert Saco’s former Notre Dame de Lourdes Church into an apartment building, the Journal Tribune’s Ed Pierce is reporting.

Portland’s Rosemont Market & Bakery is opening up a Cape Elizabeth location, according to The Forecaster’s Jocelyn Van Saun. The popular local market will open up in the former trolley stop at 537 Shore Road in November. Rosemont has five other locations — four in Portland and one in Yarmouth — according to The Forecaster.

Portland police have released the sketch of a person of interest in the homicide case of Sunao Thomas Yamada, Jr., 54. Yamada was found dead in the early morning hours of Sept. 10 in front of 19 Temple St. Now police are hoping the public can help them find a thin, white man they say Yamada was seen with around the presumed time of his death. See the sketch, which mostly just shows the mystery man’s clothing, here.

The South American fork-tailed flycatcher was last seen in Maine about five years ago. But now it’s back, and bird watchers are flocking to the state for a glimpse, according to the Portland Press Herald. The bird has been seen lately at the Gilsland Farm Audubon Center in Falmouth and isn’t expected to stay in the area long, as it’s particularly rare to see this far north this time of year.

Tweet of the day

From History Lovers’ Club:

The Big Idea

New England has been overtaken as the world’s giant pumpkin hotbed. Since a Rhode Island farmer was the first to grow a pumpkin heavier than 1,500 pounds in 2006, European farmers have come on strong, getting closer and closer to the coveted 3,000-pound mark every year. It’s a sore subject, especially considering pumpkins are native to North America, and New England was for generations the best place in the world for the gourds — not too hot, not too cold. So how did we fall behind? Smithsonian magazine reports that European growers are going indoors, and growing in greenhouse facilities that can replicate a perfect June day in Maine all year long.

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