Portland is the largest city in the U.S. state of Maine, with a population of 66,881 as of 2015. The Greater Portland metropolitan area is home to over half a million people, more than one-third of Maine's total population. The Old Port district is frequented by tourists, while Portland Head Light is also a destination. The city seal depicts a phoenix rising from ashes, which is a reference to the recoveries from four devastating fires. Portland was named for the English Isle of Portland, and the city of Portland, Oregon was in turn named after Portland, Maine.
Native Americans originally called the Portland peninsula Machigonne ("Great Neck"). Portland, Maine was named for the English Isle of Portland, and the city of Portland, Oregon was in turn named for Portland, Maine. The first European settler was Capt. Christopher Levett, an English naval captain granted 6,000 acres (2,400 ha) in 1623 to found a settlement in Casco Bay. A member of the Council for New England and agent for Ferdinando Gorges, Levett built a stone house where he left a company of ten men, then returned to England and wrote a book about his voyage to drum up support for the settlement. The settlement failed, and the fate of Levett's colonists is unknown. The explorer sailed from England to the Massachusetts Bay Colony to meet John Winthrop in 1630, but never returned to Maine. Fort Levett in the harbor is named for him. Read more