I commend you on the very fine series “The Night Portland Burned” – July 4, 1866.

The staff writer, Randy Billings, has done a masterful and comprehensive account of such a horrific event and the rising of this great city from the ashes.

Would that any of us would have had the courage of Messrs. John Marshall Brown, William Wilberforce Ruby, Alfred Wiggin and all the rest who worked tirelessly that terrible evening to both rescue citizens, respond to the conflagration and begin the hard work of rebuilding Portland. I am even more proud of this wonderful place.

In particular, I want to say what a rich and amazing resource we have in Maine State Historian Earle G. Shettleworth Jr. and local historian Herbert Adams. They most professionally and carefully tell our history in a manner that conveys the richness and reality of much and many who have gone before us. We are blessed to have these two gentlemen in our midst. They keep our amazing story alive.

C. Waite Maclin


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