Cape Cottage Casino

Collection: Osher Map Library Collection

Name: Cape Cottage Casino

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Date/Date Range: 1898 - 1910

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Physical Description: 57 glass plate negatives. 13 x 10.5 cm each.

Historical Context: Images of late nineteenth and early twentieth century town of Maine.

Notes: Glass plate negatives taken by J. A. Waterman. Images depict Gorham, Kittery, Falmouth, Yarmouth, and Portland. This photo shows Cape Cottage Casino in Cape Elizabeth Maine. From Maine HistoryPix: "In June of 1898, the Portland and Cape Elizabeth Railway opened its new trolley resort at Cape Cottage in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Cars left Monument Square daily every ten minutes for a scenic run along the Cape Shore Road out to the Park. The Cape Cottage Casino, designed by John Calvin Stevens, was a three story building with two wide verandas facing the main shipping channel. It was built on the grounds of the former Cape Cottage hotel which burned in 1894, built in 1851 and bought in 1853 by lumber baron John Goddard, who built the Goddard Mansion next door in 1858. In "Trolley Tripping around New England", Robert Alexander Harrison wrote: "On its rocky bluffs, pine-fragrant, we may sit and see the unbroken procession of sail and steam craft passing thru the Ship Channel directly in front of the Casino. A prospect that ever changes, never tires. It is beautiful and restful here at any time." The dining hall, famed for its shore dinners, was on the first floor of the casino and had wide windows on all sides that could swing open to let in the cool ocean breezes. The ballroom was located on the second floor with a balcony at one end to provide a place for the orchestra. The gardens and grounds were designed by Gray & Blaisdell, the same Boston landscape architects who worked on Riverton Park. The 1000-seat Cape Cottage Theatre, described in an advertisement as "a beautiful theatre equipped with all modern improvements and luxurious appointments" was another popular feature of the park. The theatre was managed by Bartley McCullum, a local actor who is credited with pioneering summer stock theater in Maine. World War I was the beginning of the end for Cape Cottage Park, now owned by the Portland Railroad Co. In 1922, the casino and park were officially closed; the theatre was dismantled in 1921. The casino became the Cape Shore Inn, later converted to a single family home; it exists today, as a preschool on Cottage Lane, though with one less floor."

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