Wednesday, May 27, 2009


At the foot of Coyle Street, down a short pathway, you'll find three granite benches and this wonderful sundial. In 1894, Mayor James Phinney Baxter commissioned a group to look into the 'back cove' area, which, at the time, was not much more than an overgrown cesspool and a city health risk. He envisioned a series of 'parkways', that would connect Eastern Promenade, Back Cove, Deering Oaks and Western Promenade, modeled after the 'Emerald Necklace' of the Boston park system. This visionary's idea came to fruition as the Back Cove Boulevard was completed in 1917. A few year's later in 1921, Baxter died, leaving behind a legacy of public parks, and in fitting tribute the Portland City Council soon renamed it Baxter Boulevard. In 1925, the granite ellipse was added along with this sundial. His son, Percival P. Baxter, ex-Governor of the state of Maine spoke at its dedication. "It is given to but few men to live to see the realization of their dreams. Only occasionally is a man with a vision for the future spared to look upon the perfected structure which he planned and the foundation of which he laid."
Bold Vision, the Development of the Parks of Portland, Maine; edited by Theo H.B.M. Holtwijk and Earle Shettleworth, Jr. and published by Greater Portland Landmarks


  1. Beautiful shot. Great history.

  2. Fine photo. The lighting is superb. I enjoyed the brief history lesson, too!