Portland Public Library Special Collections & Archives (photographer uncredited).

This photograph ran in the Thurs. June 7, 1945 Portland Evening Express (page 15) above the following item:

“AT EARLY MORNING FIRE – Heavy damage was caused to Bill’s Cafe and lesser damage to Talbot’s flower shop, Congress Street near State Street, early today by a two-alarm fire that drove nine persons to the street.”

Both buildings still remain, near Longfellow Square, though the former “Bill’s Cafe” building never recovered its fire-damaged upper floors. The site now houses Boda Restaurant.

The Portland Room of the Portland Public Library is in the process of organizing and conserving the archival collection of original Portland Press Herald, Maine Sunday Telegram and Evening Express photographic negatives — a major collection that spans from 1937 to 2005. Find more photos at

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