Munjoy Hill



92 Congress Street

Portland, Maine 04101

September 1, 2023



Greetings Munjoy Hill Friends and Neighbors!


This past week my husband, Ned, and I were playing tourist on Chebeague Island. It is just far enough removed to be "away" but close enough to be very convenient. Happily, we wandered into the Chebeague Island Historical Society, a restored schoolhouse, to see the current exhibit, "Growing Up on Chebeague." This excellent exhibit explores growing up on the island from the Civil War to present through the eyes of its children. Culled from thousands of photographs and memorabilia, the exhibit captures the unique sense of place of this particular island, but also explores the universal experience of growing up as part of a tightly knit community.


As we were reflecting upon our own distant childhoods and enjoying the humor woven into the photo selection (don't miss the "Pranks" section, hung in the bathroom), we struck up a conversation with Donna Miller Damon, curator of the Chebeague Island Historical Society. "Where are you folks from?" she asked. We quickly replied "Munjoy Hill" and were immediately off into a wide-ranging discussion about our neighborhood and its own social fabric of 45 years ago. It turns out Donna had worked various places on Portland's peninsula in the 1970s and the three of us had a shared appreciation for many of the unique individuals who inhabited Munjoy Hill in that era. Donna also recalled that 40 years ago she wrote a piece about the Moses Gould house on North Street for inclusion in the MHNO's monthly newspaper; we noted that Ned and I were probably the folks who pasted up that article for the Munjoy Hill Observer.


Small world, of course. You probably have your own stories about running into somebody with a Munjoy Hill connection in an improbable location. But beyond that, I was struck by similarities of the Chebeague and Munjoy Hill communities -- the importance of the shared traditions, the tireless mentoring of children by special adults, and the painstakingly woven social fabric. The details may be different (probably not as much hunting and fishing on Munjoy Hill, and dogfish probably did not have a starring role in Munjoy Hill pranks), but for each there is a strong loyalty to place and pervasive sense of identity shaped by having grown up in that particular community. If you have a chance to see the exhibit, I would be interested in whether you see similarities to Munjoy Hill of the same era. For more information: