Shape of Love NOW – This week in movie-making

+ building film’s sister website

+ researching love story ideas

+ setting up fall filming schedule

PHOTO and QUICK PONDER of the Week: The Baxter of the Boulevard

Portland, Maine had a mayor named James Phinney Baxter from 1893-1896 and again in 1904-1905. A businessman, historian and philanthropist, he was instrumental in establishing the parkway that was eventually named in his honor, Baxter Boulevard. The Boulevard, which officially opened in 1917, is a well-known, well-loved and well-traveled pathway around Portland’s Back Cove. At 101, it is as vital as ever. 

Baxter Boulevard is a 3.5 mile path around the cove with a great mix of city scenery and wildlife. Despite its popularity (which includes organized running, walking and recreational events), it rarely feels crowded. I feel like I have the space to discover my own treasure – like the wildflowers against the two-toned sky below – even when I’m sharing the loop with hundreds of other people. I’m grateful it’s a Shape of Love James Phinney Baxter envisioned and made happen through his hard work, influence, civic leadership and philanthropy. 

Footnote: Baxter was born in Gorham, Maine, the youngest of six kids. The family moved to Portland when he was 10. He started a dry goods business in his 20’s and by his 40’s, his Portland Packing Company operated 20 canning plants. His first wife, Sarah Kimball Lewis, died giving birth to their seventh child. His second wife, Hetty Cummings Proctor, gave birth to a son Percival who extended the family’s legacy of civic leadership and philanthropy. Percival served in both the State House of Representatives and Senate and became Maine’s 53rd Governor in 1921. In 1930, he purchased almost 6000 acres of land, including Mount Katahdin, and promptly donated it to the State with the condition that it be kept forever wild. Another iconic Maine Shape of Love, “Katahdin, in all its glory, forever shall remain the mountain of the people of Maine.” Percival Proctor Baxter


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