The Stroudwater neighborhood is one of Portland’s oldest and most desirable areas. Settled in the 1720’s, Stroudwater’s early economy was a thriving “mast trade” in which massive timbers were harvested to provide ship masts for the crown. The ca. 1755 Tate House, a national historic landmark, was the home of the British Royal Navy’s mast agent. Today, it is one of Portland’s oldest homes and is open to the public as a museum.
Construction of the Cumberland and Oxford Canal between 1825 and 1830 brought additional trade through the Stroudwater area. Local industries included a bark mill and a tidal mill and shipbuilding remained an important industry through the 1850s. This on‑going economic growth resulted in a village that in 1871 had its own churches, shops, school, and Grange Hall. Many of the structures remain today and the feeling of a village remains intact. Today, the historic significance of the Stroudwater neighborhood is recognized by its listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
Today’s Stroudwater residents enjoy living in a quiet setting within Portland’s city limits. The historic village core sits on a beautiful peninsula between the Fore and Stroudwater Rivers and water views are everywhere. From Stroudwater, it’s a short trip into downtown Portland and also easy access to shopping, dining and other services at the Maine Mall.
The Stroudwater Village Association actively represents the area and advocates for quality‑of‑life issues. The association also hosts local tours, pancake breakfasts and ice cream socials for the neighborhood. Stroudwater has its own playground on Cobb Street and across Congress Street is one of Portland’s most beautiful nature areas, the Fore River Sanctuary. The sanctuary’s eighty‑five acres offer trails for hiking, snowshoeing, bird watching, and mountain biking.
It shows up on many lists, confirming what we locals already know: Portland is a great city where people of all ages can afford an active, healthy lifestyle and enjoy a wide range of cultural and outdoor activities in a scenic environment.
Portland is a beautiful city situated on Casco Bay. Its many distinct neighborhoods have unique personalities. Commercial Street and the Old Port are the historic waterfront and commercial heart of the City. Their many warehouses attest to a trading past. The West End is full of large, historic brick and stone homes on quiet, tree‑lined streets. Congress Street and the arts districts were once the retail downtown and today offer a mix of shopping, art and cultural destinations, professional space, and many restaurants. In Portland, beautiful outdoor spaces and parks are never far.
Portland’s high‑quality dining destinations have been featured in many publications including the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Boston Globe. From the gourmet offerings of our numerous James Beard Award nominees and winners to fresh lobsters and clams at an ocean front shack, you’ll love discovering the full range of dining opportunities. For those who prefer to do their own cooking, twice‑weekly farmer’s markets and a wide range of ethnic food stores provide both the supplies and the inspiration.