Back to All Events

CANCELLED: Cycling The Suburbs of Portland, Maine: History and Place at the Turn-of-the-Century

  • Portland New Church 302 Stevens Avenue Portland, ME, 04103 United States (map)


Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control we have to cancel this event.  We apologize for any inconvenience.  Hopefully we will see you at another event!

Join Greater Portland Landmarks for a fascinating look at the late 19th century bicycle phenomenon here in Portland with a lecture and bike tour through the historic Deering section of Portland with PHD candidate Sam Shupe. 


Throughout the 1880s and the 1890s the people of Portland, Maine fell in love with the bicycle. At the same time, the suburbs of Deering and South Portland flourished, growing into model residential and commercial neighborhoods that bordered spacious pastoral farms and the rapidly expanding industrialized port city. This lecture explores how nineteenth century cyclists negotiated the changing urban and suburban landscapes of the greater Portland area. Riding for leisure, sport, and community building, cyclists adopted the suburbs as essential landscapes for their brand of two-wheeled recreation.  


After the lecture, interested attendees can participate in a leisurely group bicycle ride, approximately two miles round trip, to the Deering High School sports fields (corner of Ludlow and Leland Streets) to continue the conversation about nineteenth century suburban cycling. The high school sports fields, once the home of the Presumpscot Park Trotting Park, was a nineteenth century hub of local amateur bicycle races throughout the 1890s. A popular space for bicycle club meets and celebrations, the park was a central destination for cyclists and spectators alike to commune and cheer their neighbors on as they raced on the half-mile packed-dirt track for prizes and local fame.

Sam Shupe

Sam Shupe is a Ph.D. candidate in the American and New England Studies Program at Boston University. His dissertation, titled, "Pedaling Vacationland: Bicycles, Genteel Recreation, and the Maine Landscape, 1878-1902," explores the role of the bicycle in developing Maine's turn-of-the-century tourist industry. An active cyclist from Portland, Maine, Sam developed his love of cycling on Portland's streets, a passion he maintains in Boston.


Earlier Event: July 28
Homes of Portland's Golden Age Tours
Later Event: August 7
Kayak Tour to Fort Gorges