19 Anderson Street

Built ca: 1882 for Robert McCloskey

A scruffy but vibrant Italianate in the East Bayside neighborhood.

“They change their sky, not their soul, who rush across the sea”                                Horace

    Famine drove them across the sea. They left their homeland, where they had watched their families and friends die for the want of food. So they went across the sea. They went to a new country seeking shelter and succor. They were met with scorn and often violence. They were treated as less than human. And still, they went across the sea

Killing the Goose That Laid the Golden Egg, by Thomas Nast, 11 November 1871. Harper’s Weekly. Source: Museum of Fine Art Houston via public domain license Thomasnastcartoons.com

Robert McCloskey and Mary McAuley came across the sea in the diaspora. Robert arrived in Portland in 1848. Mary’s arrival is not recorded but it was probably around the same time as Robert. The 1850 census found Robert working as a laborer and living, with his brother Michael, in the house of Catherine Deehan on Danforth Street. Mary was a live-in servant for Sophia Preble on Congress Street. Mary and Robert married in August of 1851. They had 7 children by 1870. They moved around the city, living on York, Poplar, & Oxford Streets before purchasing the land for our subject in 1882. I suspect the eldest son, 23-year-old George, may have been disabled as the 1880 census lists him as not working nor had he worked in the last 12 months while living at home while his 3 younger brothers were all working.

Robert purchased the land from Samuel J Anderson. Anderson was the son of John Anderson who had been mayor of Portland and served in the US House and Senate in the 1820s and 30s. Samuel was a Bowdoin College graduate and long-time executive with the Portland and Ogdensburg Railroad. The Anderson farm and estate in Windham, Maplewood, is still in the family.

Maplewood. The Anderson family farm on the River Road in Windham.

The house Robert and Mary had built is 26′ on the street and 50′ deep. It is 2 full stories with a third in the garrett. A substantial house for a large family.  The windows are all quite deep for the period and all have substantial trim and caps. The detailing is pretty standard. Corner boards lead up to a heavy entablature. Chunky brackets and dentils hold up a modestly projecting cornice.  The main facade is classic ‘East Ender’ but the 4 part window on the third floor with scroll cut pediment is a unique feature that adds some extra character.

By the time of purchasing the property, Robert was working as a night watchman for a railroad but what railroad is not specified. The family lived here through Mary’s death in 1894 and Robert’s in 1900.  Between those dates, all 4 of the McCloskey sons died as well. Mary and Robert’s daughters sold 19 Anderson Street to William and Mary Welch or Walsh in 1901.

The Welch/Walsh family didn’t live in 19 Anderson Street. They had a house on Monument Street. Anderson Street was rented out to various tenants.

  • Herman Boothby. Boothby was an electrician and ran a supply business on Middle Street.
  • Harry Haskell. Haskell was a paper cutter at Lakeside Printing on Middle Street.
  • Edgar Wyman. Wyman worked as a clerk for the Railway Mail Service in the First National Bank building on the corner of Middle & exchange Streets.
  • Henry Cropley. Cropley was a watchman and janitor for the Eastman Brothers & Bancroft dry goods store on Congress Street.
  • Henry Hanson. Hanson was a native of Denmark and was listed as a fruit dealer in the census and various directories.

On October 19, 1917, William and Mary Welch/Walsh sold 19 Anderson Street to Henry Hanson. That same day, Hanson sold it to Patrick Joyce. The exact figure Joyce paid isn’t noted but we can infer from the mortgage Joyce took from Hanson that it was in the area of $4000 as that is what Joyce was required to keep the home insured for during the 5-year life of the note. Notes on the mortgage state it was paid in full in 1922.

19 Anderson Street in 1924. Maine Memory Network

Patrick and Mary Joyce were born in Ireland in 1886 & 1888 and came to the US in 1903 & 1902 respectively. They were married in 1916. Mary’s birth name was Joyce. Patrick and Mary’s mothers were both named Bridget Their first child, Katherine, was born the same year they purchased 19 Anderson Street. They had a son, Thomas, and 2 more daughters, Mary & Annie, by 1921. Patrick worked as a longshoreman.

The entry doors may well be original. They are visible in the 1924 tax photo and are correct for the period.  The entry is well detailed with a deep hood overhead. The hood is supported by substantial brackets with an arched motif. I like the light over the house number.

The Joyce’s rented out the first-floor of the house for much of their residence. The tenants varied but included a widow named Eva Libby in the late 20s and Karl, Marie, and Inger Mikkelsen. Karl and Marie were Danes who had immigrated to the US in 1923. Inger was born in Portland, while her parents were residing on Anderson Street, in 1931. Karl was a fisherman. The Mikkelsens moved to Oregon Street, near some other Danes, in 1942.

Patrick Joyce died in 1959 and Mary in 1964. In 1966 their children sold 19 Anderson Street to Avis and Edwin Beardsley. The following year, the Beardsley’s sold it to the Portland Savings Bank. In 1968, the Portland Savings Bank transferred the property to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.  It’s possible the house was slated for removal under Urban Renewal but was granted a ‘reprieve’ as, in 1969, HUD sold it to Pasquale Lapomarda Jr. Lapomarda was a Portland native and Vietnam veteran. He operated a variety store on Veranda Street and briefly ran “Erasmo’s Restaurant” at the corner of Commercial and India Streets. Lapomarda sold it to Raymond Howe of South Portland in 1973.

19 Anderson Street is currently listed as a 3 family residence. Condition is good.

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