One of Portland’s oldest and most successful businessmen was Mr. James Laverty. In April 1854, he established the town’s largest store of its time at 188 Main Street. Laverty’s shop was filled with a wide variety of inventory, and he was known to sell “everything from a needle to an anchor.”
On June 4, 1884, Laverty’s property was destroyed by the largest fire in the history of Portland. Rather than let this terrible tragedy end his career and business, Laverty's entrepreneurial spirit kicked in and he worked quickly to reopen his store. According to historical records, “the fire occurred on a Thursday, and by Saturday, business resumed in a temporary building on the same site which had risen Phoenix-like from the ashes of the old.” Laverty’s store was officially reopened in the newly constructed brick building in November 1884. The lower floor and cellar was also used for “an extensive fine wine and liquor wholesale and retail” business.
Mr. Laverty’s “hard work, perseverance and strict integrity” afforded him a great deal of success and provided a great service and contribution to the town of Portland. Our menu cover pays tribute to Mr. Laverty with a vintage picture of the building where our family now operates The Portland Ale House. We will work hard to continue this legacy of service and engagement and look forward to being a part of this great community for many years to come!
-Source: Portland Historical Society