Bramhall Hill

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A postcard of the Western Promenade circa 1908.

Bramhall Hill is a hill in the west and southwest of the downtown peninsula of Portland, Maine. At its height, the hill stands 171 feet (52 m) feet above sea level, with a sharp drop below. The area includes the West End neighborhood, the Western Promenade and part of the Old Port downtown district.

Bramhall Hill commands an extensive view west and north-west of the bay, the mainland and the White Mountains some 80 miles away. The finest residence district is on Bramhall Hill. The area was originally the property of George Bramhall.[1]

George Bramhall moved to Portland in 1680 and bought 400 acres (160 ha) of land from George Cleeves. Bramhall was killed during the French and Indian Wars in the late 17th century. He was a tanner by profession and set up a tannery in the area.[2]

In 1870, a 20-inch main brought water from Sebago Lake to a 12-million-US-gallon (45,000 m3) reservoir on Bramhall Hill. This supplied most of the city's drinking water.[3]

The first capital conviction in the United States Courts after the adoption of the Constitution occurred on Bramhall Hill in 1790. Thomas Bird was convicted of piracy and murder. After a prompt refusal for pardon by President George Washington, Bird was executed.[4][5]


  1. ^ 1911 Encyclopedia
  2. ^ Society, Maine Historical (1865). Collections of the Maine Historical Society. Volume One. pp. 241–. Retrieved 31 October 2014. 
  3. ^ Parker, Gail Underwood (2004). It Happened in Maine. Globe Pequot Press. pp. 60–. ISBN 9780762727339. Retrieved 31 October 2014. 
  4. ^ Project, Federal Writers'. Maine - A Guide 'Down East'. US History Publishers. pp. 173–. ISBN 9781603540186. Retrieved 31 October 2014. 
  5. ^ Genesio, Jerry (July 25, 2010). "Author Q&A:Hanging judgment". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved 31 October 2014. 

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