Success at riding a bike mirrored success in life. Bicycling could bring families together. Bicycling was good for one's health. Bicycling was fun. Bicycles could go fast. Such were some of the arguments made to induce many thousands of people around Maine and the nation to take up the new pastime at the end of the nineteenth century.
In the 1950s and the 1960s, Maine's Civil Defense effort focused on preparedness for hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters and a more global concern, nuclear war. Civil Defense materials urged awareness, along with measures like storing food and other staple items and preparing underground or other shelters.
The Wadsworth-Longfellow house is the oldest building on the Portland peninsula, the first historic site in Maine, a National Historic Landmark, home to three generations of Wadsworth and Longfellow family members -- including the boyhood home of the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The history of the house and its inhabitants provide a unique view of the growth and changes of Portland -- as well as of the immediate surroundings of the home.