Brownstone Quarry, Portland

Brownstone Quarry, Portland

Portland, in Middlesex County, is located in south-central Connecticut on the east bank of the Connecticut River. Originally named East Middletown or Conway, then Chatham, it was incorporated as a town in 1841. Defined by its relation to the Connecticut River, shipbuilding and quarrying were the foundation of the town’s early economy. Portland brownstone was used in the row houses in Manhattan and Brooklyn, mansions in San Francisco, Hartford’s Old State house, Wesleyan University campus buildings, and monuments and gravestones across the state. The town includes part of the Meshomasic State Forest, the first state forest in Connecticut.

More on Portland from the CT Digital Archive

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Portland Passenger Bridge, ca. 1906

The Longest Highway Drawbridge – Who Knew?

In 1896, when the Middletown and Portland Bridge over the Connecticut River opened, it was the longest highway drawbridge in the world. …[more]

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“Portland Historical Society,” 2012. Link.


“Map - Higganum and Portland - Town and City Atlas of the State of Connecticut.” Boston, MA: D. H. Hurd, 1893. University of Connecticut Libraries - Map and Geographic Information Center - MAGIC. Link.
Beers, F. W. “Map - Portland.” New York, NY: F.W. Beers & Company, 1874. Connecticut Historical Society and Connecticut History Online. Link.
Connecticut State Library Digital Collections. “Portland - WPA Architectural Survey,” 2015. Link.
“Portland Collection.” Connecticut Digital Archive, n.d. Link.


Beers, F. W. County Atlas of Middlesex, Connecticut: From Actual Surveys. New York, NY: F.W. Beers & Company, 1874. Link.
Beers, J.B., & Company, and Henry Whittemore. History of Middlesex County, Connecticut, with Biographical Sketches of Its Prominent Men. New York, NY: J.B. Beers & Company, 1884. Link.
McDougall, Robert. Portland. Charleston,  SC: Arcadia, 2004.
Portland Historical Society. The History of Portland, Connecticut. Portland,  CT: Portland Historical Society, 1976.
Hall, Catherine. The Leading Business Men of Middletown, Portland, Durham and Middlefield. Boston, MA: Mercantile Publishing Company, 1890. Link.
Donlan, H. F. The Middletown Tribune Souvenir Edition an Illustrated and Descriptive Exposition of Middletown, Portland, Cromwell, East Berlin, and Higganum. Middletown,  CT: E.P. Bigelow, 1896. Link.