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Portland Town

Portland Town Hall is located at 33 East Main Street, Portland CT 06480; phone: 862-342-6700.

Beginnings [1]

Portland was first known as East Middletown, being constituted the Third Society of Middletown, in 1714. In 1767, it was incorporated at Chatham, that township also including the societies of Middle Haddam and East Hampton.

In May, 1841, that part which was known as the First Society of Chatham was set off as a separate town, with the name of Portland.

The aboriginal proprietors of Portland were the Wangunks, or Womgoms, a small tribe or fragment of a tribe which had belonged to the great Algonkin race, but in the confusion resulting from the incursions of the conquering Pequots, the great tribes were split into large or small bands, under the leadership of their own sagamores, or sachems, and wandered along the banks of the Connecticut River, sometimes settling in a locality which promised to supply their simple requirements, owning allegiance indeed to one great chief or king, but with little clannish feeling or national strength. These small clans, comprising all Indians living on the shores of the Connecticut River, within the limits of the colony, were known to the early settlers under the general designation of "River Indians." Their king was Sequassen, the sachem of Hartford, but the particular chief of the Wangunks was Sowheag, or Sequin, who, when first known to the white men, lived at Pyquag, or Wethersfield, but after some quarrels with the settlers he removed to Mattabeseet (Middletown).

  1. Historic of Middlesex County, Connecticut, J. B. Beers & Co., 36 Vesey Street, New York, 1884.
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