Mary Zakarian immigrated to Portland from Bulgaria and Turkey around 1904 with her husband, John, and children Popkins and Lavon. They were Armenian.
By 1908 there were 27 families in Portland's Armenian community. They lived in the area bounded by Forest Avenue, Cumberland Avenue, Lancaster Street, and Washington Avenue. In 1915, Maine's first Armenian immigrants were prepared to assist the next wave of Armenians fleeing the horrors of genocide in Turkey.
The Armenian community in Maine was close-knit, and as their populations grew, they built Armenian schools, apartment houses, and a bank. They socialized together at dances and picnics and created humanitarian organizations like the Armenian Relief Society.
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