Kimpslife Gallery

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"The Portland Observatory. Built in 1807 on a hill in the city. Boats pulling into the Harbor could not be seen from land until they were nearly in the Harbor. This tower was constructed and ship owners were charged a fee to have the arrival of their boats announced via flags raised on this tower. Someone in the tower used a telescope to determine the ownership of incoming ships while they were far out at sea and would hoist a flag announcing that the ship had been spotted if the owner had paid their membership fees. Then the owner could arrange to have port hands and transport ready to unload the ship and move its cargo. When this was first built the neighbors were very upset at the eye-sore."