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Portland — Est. 1804

February 5, 2010
Observer Today
Acres of land in the town of Portland are covered with grape vineyards..

During the fall months, when the grapes have ripened and before they are harvested, their sweet smell hangs heavy over the community.

According to a history of the area written by Edward Kurtz Sr., in the summer of 1804, James Dunn found and cleared a plot of land in Portland and made arrangements to buy 1,000 acres. He is considered the founder of Portland, which today remains a rural community.

Deacon Elijah Fay introduced grape growing into the Portland community with the Concord variety first planted in 1859 and expanding until it became a major industry in the area. The business industry grapes once generated has declined, but grape growing continues.



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