Life in Willard Square
Letter from owner at 419 Preble in South Portland;
In 2001, with our daughter going to college at USM, my family decided to buy a house in the Portland, Maine area. My husband and I spent an entire summer driving around looking for the perfect house; we studied maps of Portland and all the surrounding areas. It was quite an adventure…we learned back roads to Gorham; when to avoid traffic on Route 1; and where the best lobster rolls were!
With the end of August fast approaching, we still did not have a home. We had some “near-deals” but nothing worked out and were about to give up the search and go apartment shopping, again. And then it happened……an ad in the newspaper (Yes, it is true; back in the day we looked for houses in the paper).
There was a house “for sale by owner” in South Portland and it was on Willard Square. We were definitely excited because during the summer search, we had discovered the Willard Beach area. To us it was perfect in so many aspects: close to Portland; Willard Beach was dog and family friendly; great walking trails; down the road from Portland Head Light; and most of all it had a great sense of community.
Needless to say, we bought the house at 419 Preble Street. By that fall our daughter and roommates were ensconced on “the Square”. After she graduated, our son and his wife took up residency. As time went by gardens were planted; decks were added; and children came along.
Over the years, we have seen changes to Willard Square. What was once a quiet, little place with a lamp repair shop, now has a bakery, ice cream parlor; real estate agency and lots of visitors. It has been really exciting to see this development occur…..not to mention the fact that we always have access to a great bagel.
Our family continues to grow and we really need a bigger house, so sadly, we have decided to sell. We hope that others may share our love of this area and see the unique potential of Willard Square. Our family always thought about adding space for a tea room; bicycle shop; antique shop or book store. Hopefully, others, with their own dreams, will appreciate our home the way we have.