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Portland Borough


Portland Borough Hall is located at 206 Division Street, Portland, PA 18351; phone: 570-897-0559.

Portland Borough is located along the Delaware River.

Beginnings [1]

The Borough was first known as Dill's Ferry, for the reason that Henry Dill in 1817 kept a tavern and operated a ferry at this location. The piers for a bridge across the Delaware River were first built in 1817, but collapsed and it was not until 1868 that a bridge was completed connecting Portland to New Jersey.

In the middle of the 19th century the location became known as Columbia Station. In 1870 the first application was made for a borough charter, the population being at this time 550 inhabitants. This was not, however, granted until 1876, in which year the borough, which was formerly a part of Upper Mount Bethel Township, was incorporated. The first borough election was held November 21, 1876.

Portland in 1920 had the usual mercantile establishments, a bank, 3 churches, a schoolhouse and a newspaper. It was a station on the Bangor & Portland branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad system. The most important industry then was a limestone quarry where fertilizer was made. It employed about 20 men.

Portland Methodist Episcopal Church was built in 1872, and dedicated July 12, 1874. The Reverend H. T. Zeider was pastor in 1915. In 1919 Reverend David W. Siegrist was pastor. Portland's Mount Bethel Baptist Church was organized in 1875. Upon its organization a congregation that had been worshipping at Johnsonville was dissolved.

  1. William J. Heller et. al, History of Northampton County Pennsylvania and The Grand Valley of the Lehigh, The American Historical Society, New York, 1920.
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