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St. Dominic's Rectory

St. Dominic's Rectory
Jun 26, 2017 (Edited Jun 26, 2017)

This structure served as the rectory for nearby St. Dominic Catholic Church from 1941 until 1995. It is now The Danforth, a bed and breakfast, but for 65 years it was the home of the Thomas family, a prominent Portland family. William Widgery Thomas (1803-1896), then president of Canal National Bank, purchased the residence in the mid-1870s. William was a direct descendant of George Cleeve, the “Founder” of Portland. His grandson Elias Thomas moved into the house in the early 1900s and resided here until his death in 1936. The noted Maine architect John Calvin Stevens made alterations to the house in 190-1903. Mrs. Dorothea Thomas, widow of Elias, sold the building in 1941 to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland. At this time the old St. Dominic’s Rectory, across the street at 156 Danforth, was discontinued.

In September 1941, Father Patrick M. Silke, pastor of St. Dominic Church, moved into this new rectory, accompanied by the Revs. John Arseneault, Francis J. Nelligan, William G. Cunneen, and George W. Corcoran, assistant priests. Fathers Clarence H. Coughlan, C. Martin O’Toole, and Robert E. Lee all served about ten years as St. Dom’s pastors (between 1950-1978), while residing here.

The Diocese sold the building in 1995. At the time, Father Don McAllister, chaplain at Mercy Hospital, lived here.

RELATED SITES: James McGlinchy House, St. Dominic/ Maine Irish Heritage Center.

Author Matt Barker
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