Jews in Forest Park and Victory Village post-WWII
Data collection coordinated by Shirley Rosen
If you have additional information or recollection to share, please send them to
Shirley via email@example.com
info as of March 16 2012
Forest Park notes from Shirley Rosen
Forest Park is now known as Princeton Properties. A map as it was then and as it is now is in the mail. Different owners and tenants, but it's still Forest Park to me.
The current Princeton Properties manager told me that each unit now has a washer and dryer in the basement, no more gas burners, they're now electric, and the apartment incinerators are gone because they were a fire hazard.
Leo Golodetz and Saul Chason built the Garden Apartments after WWII to accommodate the returning veterans and others. The people that owned the property in 1956 when Murray and I rented and moved in was Danny Singer of Mass. Our rent in 1956 was $67 incl. heat and free parking, we moved eleven years later because the rent was going up to $100 and so we bought our house in 1967 that we're still living in.
No wonder it was called Little Jerusalem.
I moved into the Park in 1956. I remember it as a young bride that moved to Maine from NYC. The one thing that did remain [with me] was the smell at low tide, but then it wasn't only the park it was the city that got the smell. I remember the sulfur from S. D. Warren that smelled like cabbage. The basements really weren't that dark, each tenant had a section for storage, there was an outdoor area for hanging washed clothes and in the winter we'd hang it in the basement. Eventually we bought a dryer for downstairs once our children came along. Today there are washers and dryers in each unit. The Murinson's Josh and Bertha owned a store opposite the plaza where Howard Johnsons was located. Some of the things you wrote about, the delivery of milk by Oakhurst, Cushman's were still ongoing but ABC Cleaners by Abe Levine would pick up and deliver clothes, and we can't forget the diaper man. In those days diapers were made of cloth, and you used safety pins to tighten them, they weren't the disposable ones like today.
My children were born there and they too went to the Oakdale Kindergarten and then on to Nathan Clifford until we moved to Longfellow Woods in 1967. The homes there were built by Mitchell, Nathan, & Arthur Cope. Many of the people from the Park bought homes from them.
I've always had fond memories of the Park, the friends we made that are now part of our extended family. It was a good starting point for many young families.
Forest Park notes from Ed Schultz
When my parents were first married, they lived in an apartment house on Pitt Street, just off Forest Avenue. From the living room window on the top floor, they could look across Forest Avenue to where Forest Park is now. In those days (early 1940's) the area was all woods.
I can remember my mother telling me that on more than one occasion, she would look out that window at night and see crosses burning in those woods. The KKK was pretty active in Maine up until after WW II. They were protesting the thousands of Catholic Quebecois coming into Maine to work in the textile mills, and taking jobs away from WASPs.
Forest Park notes from Harvey Elowitch
Princeton Properties is owned by my cousin , Howard Reef, he lived in Forest Park with his brother, sister, and his parents. His father, Robert Reef, was my father's cousin through the Glovsky side of our ancestors. His mother , Flora, was my mother's niece. My mother had brothers old enough to be her father. Flora, who was about my mother's age, was the daughter of my mother's brother, Joseph Sanders.
Forest Park notes from Mark Aranson
My parents moved from Boston to Forest Park in 1948 when they moved to Portland where we lived for 2 years while our home on Caleb St was being built.
One of my folk's friends were the Mandells Dave and Flo and they had 2 children Cynthia and Cliff. Dave and family moved out of Forest Park to live in
So. Portland. From there, they moved to Pittsburg. Flo unfortunately died at an early age and Dave remarried and lived the rest of his life in Cal.
Cliff whom I stay in touch with lives in Vancouver and Cynthia (who visited us here in Me last summer) lives in Cal and has renamed herself Beth.
When my brother Peter was dying of mesothelioma in 1999, he remembered playing in the basement of our Forest Park apartment and hitting the pipes and
watching the "snow-flakes" fall on him which most likely represented asbestos which was sprayed on the pipes, costing him his life that year at age 56.
On a more happy topic, my Dad at Forest Park raised and bred the white Samoyed dogs he became famous for over the years. And yes my Dad began his medical
practice at the Mercy Hosp. because when he came to Portland in 1948, he was told by the docs at the MMC (at the time the Me Gen Hosp) that he wasn't
Forest Park notes from Jerry and Sue Gordon
We lived at 28 Forest Park from 1958 to 1961, after which we moved to our own home on Wayside Road in Portland .
The rent when we first moved to Forest Park was $78 a month and was $84 a month when we left. There was no charge for parking until after we moved out. We did not have our own thermostat. It got so hot in the Wintertime that we had to open the windows.
On the floor below us lived Berne and Barbara Resnick.
Forest Park notes from Kenny Nelson
My family, Harold and Millie Nelson lived in Forest Park with Lenny, Bruce, and me in about 1945. For a year or two before we moved to Falmouth as the first full time Falmouth Jewish residents. (We had lived at Dartmouth Street before Forest Park). Also living at Forest Park then were Francis and Yudy Elowitch and kids Linda and Robert, and also Dr Henry Pollard and I believe his wife Annabelle Shur Pollard, although I think Henry was away at war for some of that residency. I think my brothers had pals living in Forest Park. I believe the Frank Labens may have been there at the same time. I remember the Forest Park life quite well. We had a large dog named Chipsie squeezed in that apartment too! There was an A&P supermarket abutting the apartmen houses on Forest Ave, a Howard Johnson owned by a man named Doc Doherity who never smiled and a First National grocery across the street. I think I went to nursery school at the corner of Deerfield Road in Mrs. Macombers school. The Elowitch garage was in the next block.
Forest Park notes from Steve Joachim
I have fond memories of growing up in Forest Park in apt. 26. I was 5 to about 14 in the years 1946 to 1954. I remember it as a great place to play with many kids and great open fields. The park had three areas,one in front of my apt, another to the right and the third to the left just beyond some apts. The park had baxter blvd on one side and an A and P in front with a big parking lot. We were always playing something somewhere. The parking lot in the winter when plowed had great big piles of snow which we called bankings. We climbed them and made snow forts and tunnels. There was a large standing sign at the back of the lot over the piles which I think was for Sanborn coffee which we used for snowball target practice. Just behind this sign in the park was a chopped down tree which we called the logs. It was a great place to play. In the park there were two trees around the corner of my apt which we used for climbing.
As for playing games we played everything,marbles,hopscotch,baseball,tag football,baseball card tossing against the brick steps in front of the apt, hide and seek, red rover, snow sledding on the side field which unfortunately when down the embankment to baxter blvd-but we were kids then and fearless.
I remember walking to school. My route would take me through the walkway up to the parking lot. At the corner of the lot on forest ave was a large white house in which I remember the Zimmerman and Burns lived. I continued down forest ave to falmouth street. Just before falmouth was my uncle Maurice elowitch's used car lot. I would cross the ave and on my left was Oakhurst Dairy and on my right was my aunt and uncle Bertha and Josh Murinson's convience store which had a counter and served ice cream and sandwichs. I would continue up falmouth to Nathan Clifford grammar school passing a small store which sold great penny candy.
I have great memories of Forest Park.
Forest Park notes from Richard Petter Fisher
I'd be interested to know what the rent was back then. The incinerators in the kitchen (trash shoot) was the coolest thing.
Forest Park/ Belmeade Rd notes from Pat Reef
Next door to Forest Park on 4 Belmeade Road across from a little park overlooking Baxter Boulevard lived my parents,
David and Sally Davidson and me, Pat Davidson Reef with our little Dashound dog Pumpernickle. We moved there in 1943 when
I was just three years old. I played with Nancy Lawler Payson every day also with her twin brothers Robert and Richard,
who all lived in Forest Park. Forest Park was across the street from Belmeade Road. I remember the A&P on Forest Avenue and
the Howard Johnsons. Around the corner on Deerfiled Road were other wonderful Jewish families. Deerfield road came around Forest Park
on the back side. Pearl Levine lived on Deerfield road and her son Steven and he had another younger brother.
Next door to her on Deerfield Road was Charlotte and Sidney Wernick and next door to them were the Edward Bermans.
All those houses on Deefield Road had backyards that faced Forest park on one side and was a Jewish community there.
Pearl Levine is 99. She is at the Atrium and may be a wonderful source of information.
there was another family who lived in Forest Park in the 1950's their name was Fisher.
I went to school with a Jerry Fisher.
Forest Park notes from Don Ward
Things I remember about Forest Park: the smells. At the time, untreated sewage flowed into Back Bay (which is what we called it) so when the tide was out and the wind was right, everyone knew it. Also, the incinerators. If I’m not mistaken, everyone had a chute in their kitchens to the basement. Every item of trash and garbage went into them, and once a week it was all burned. Smoke and cinders in the air and in our lungs. One other smell. There was a pickle factory on Forest Ave. near Falmouth St., whose odors were memorable, especially on warm days.
The basements, dark, dingy and scary, had two entrances, I think front and back. As such, they were great places for hiding places and escaping chasers in our running games. Most of the young kids went to Oakdale (K and sub-primary) and Clifford Elementary. We pretty much walked to Clifford, but on bad weather days, the mothers would hire a cab for 5 or 6 kids to share. It was often the same driver, and he would have unwrapped penny candy for us on his trip clipboard, which my mother warned me not to eat (unsanitary!).
Regular deliveries by Oakhurst Dairy and Cushman’s Bakery, and visits by the knife sharpener and of course the ice cream truck -- when he came into each court, the kids poured out of the houses.
We called it a candy store then, but what we now would call a “convenience store” was right across Forest Ave
from the A&P next to the First National. Don’t remember the name of it.
Another similar establishment, on the corner of Falmouth St., this one with a fountain and counter I think.
Was this called Josh’s and was it owned by Josh Murinson? We frequented both joints.
And one more candy store right across the street from the Clifford School – prime location!
Forest Park notes from Cynthia Mandell Kohnen
I was born in Long Island, NY, in 1944. My name was Cynthia Elizabeth Mandell. My parents names were Flo and Dave Mandell. We moved to a small apartment in Forest Park in 1947. Later that year my brother Cliff was born and we moved to a larger apartment in Forest Park, upstairs in number 19. We lived there until 1951 when we moved to our own house in South Portland. In 1956 Dad got a job in Pittsburgh PA and we moved away from Maine.
I enjoyed reading everyone's stories about Forest Park. I especially enjoyed accounts from people I used to know. I can't imagine Donny Ward or Stevie Joachim all grown up. Conversely, I just saw my friend Mark Aranson a few years ago and he is the same good person I've known forever.
So in 1947 we lived upstairs at 19 Forest Park. The Kornetskys lived in the same court. So did the Aransons and the Elowitches (Harvy and his cousin Stanley). Stevie Joakim used to shoot marbles with his friends in playground behind our apartment. He was one of the 'big kids'. I played with Donny Ward who was my age and loved the piano as much as I did and with Peter Aranson who was a year older than me. Karen Kornetsky was about two years younger. In the Maine 'dialect' we called their last name "Kahnetsky". I remember thinking Mrs Kornetsky was strikingly beautiful. A very nice older Christian couple named Mr and Mrs Lee lived across the hall from us and our kitchens shared a very thin wall. Every time Mrs Lee sneezed in her kitchen we would call out "Gazundheit Mrs Lee!!"
I notice lots of people wrote about the old kitchen incinerator chutes in every apartment. I thought I was the only one who thought about those chutes long after we moved away. I used to open ours and imagine I could feel the heat of the roaring flames of hell down there waiting to eat up everything we threw in. I remember when my mom accidentally threw a good knife down there - and a full jar of strawberry jelly. Gone forever to the everlasting flames. I felt a scientific curiosity about the incinerator chutes to hell. What really terrified me was the huge noisy garbage truck that used to drive on the sidewalks between the buildings. Now I realize they were just getting closer to the place where the garbage cans were stored. Back then I believed that the garbage man -- who truly dressed in baggy saggy black and shambled from side to side when he walked -- was the boogy man himself. If Stephan King had spent his preschool years in Forest Park he would have written a fine story about the incinerator chutes in every apartment, the garbage truck that rode the sidewalks, and the shambling man in black.
My favorite grown up women in Forest Park were my friend Donny Ward's Grandma Mrs Tabor and his mom who I knew as Mrs Ward. My favorite grown up man was Dr Aranson. I remember them with love.
|FirstName||SpouseFirstName||FamilyName||Children||ApartmentNum||Appx Years in Forest Park||moved to||Source|
|Goldie||Al||Aranson||Peter , Mark and Paul||1948 - 1950||Caleb St||Karen Kornetsky Levine / Mark Aranson|
|Jim||Baker||1966 - 1969||Sam Johnson|
|Sarah||Zundel||Berman||23 Forest Park||Shirley Rosen|
|Edward||Berman||Deerfield Rd||Pat Reef|
|Selma||Louis||Black||24 Forest Park||1958 c||Portland City Directory 1958|
|Rose||William||Bogg||22 Forest Park||1958 c||Shirley Rosen / Portland City Directory 1958|
|Lillian||Benjamin||Brilliant||Irwin (Jay) and Susan||15 Forest Park||1945 c||Karen Kornetsky Levine|
|Rose||Caplan||12 Forest Park||1958 c||Portland City Directory 1958|
|Mrs Robyn||Chait||Shirley Rosen|
|Marge||Joe||Chandler||Barry ?||Shirley Rosen|
|Esther||Marty||Clenott||Laurie & Neil||1946 - 1951||Shirley Rosen|
|Rowland||Cohen||9 Forest Park||1945 c||Portland City Director 1945|
|Sarah||Cox||14 Forest Park||1958 c||Portland City Directory 1958|
|Sally||David||Davidson||Pat Davidson Reef||4 Belmeade Rd||1943 -||Pat Reef|
|Anna (Mrs)||Dickerson||20 Forest Park||1958 c||Portland City Directory 1958|
|Yudi||Frances||Elowitch||Linda and Robert||Kenny Nelson|
|Abe||Elowitch||19 Forest Park||1945 c||Portland City Director 1945|
|Morris M||Epstein||16 Forest Park||1958 c||Portland City Directory 1958|
|Max||Feinstein||28 Forest Park||1945 c||Portland City Director 1945|
|James H||Field||31 Forest Park||1945 c||Portland City Director 1945|
|Hannah||Finberg||Shirley Rosen / Harris Gleckman|
|Henry B||Finks||35 Forest Park||1945 c||Portland City Director 1945|
|Mrs Louis||Fish||Shirley Rosen|
|Tillie||Bob||Fish||9 Forest Park||1945 c||Matthew Goldfarb / 1945 Portland City Directory|
|Anne||Max||Fisher||Jerry and Richard||3 Forest Park||1958 c - 1959||Memphis, TN||Richard Petter Fisher/ Matthew Goldfarb / 1958 Portland City Directory / Pat Reef|
|Gerber||Sarabeth||Springfield MA||Karen Kornetsky Levine|
|Morris||Glantz||20 Forest Park||1958 c||Portland City Directory 1958|
|Frances||Maurice||Gleckman||Harris||28 Forest Park||1945 - 1955||Bradley St||Harris Gleckman / 1945 Portland City Directory|
|Rebecca||Glovsky||1956 - 1967||Jeane Glovsky|
|Emily||Harry||Goldberg||Bob & Mona||13 Forest Park||1946 - 1956||Bob Goldberg / 1945 Portland City Directory|
|Frances||Samuel||Goldfarb||Matthew & Viviene||3 Forest Park||1945 c||Matthew Goldfarb / 1945 Portland City Directory|
|Fannie||Goldstein||2 Forest Park||1958 c||Portland City Directory 1958|
|Sue||Jerry||Gordon||Max||28 Forest Park (2nd floor)||1958 - 1961||Wayside Rd, Portland||Jerry and Sue Gordon|
|Benjamin M||Gordon||35 Forest Park||1945 c||Portland City Director 1945|
|Bernice||Frederic||Hartstone||1949 - 1950||Massachusetts||Wendy Hayes|
|Fannie L (Mrs)||Herman||18 Forest Park (2nd floor)||1944 - 1954 c||Jewish Home for the Aged||Larry Kane / Portland City Directory 1958|
|W Leslie||Hoffman||33 Forest Park||1945 c||Portland City Director 1945|
|Minne Mack Goldman||Jacobs||3 Forest Park||late 1950s - early 1960s||Ed Goldman|
|Benjamin H||Jacobs||11 Forest Park||1945 c||Portland City Director 1945|
|Hildy||Wallace||Jaffee||Victory Village||1952 - 1955||Shirley Rosen|
|Rose||Al||Joachim||Steve and Lenny||26 Forest Park||Karen / Harris|
|Golda (Rudner)||Ruben J||Karlin||Denise||19 Forest Park||1956 - 1960||Denise Karlin / Portland City Directory 1958|
|Annetta||Daniel||Kornetsky||Karen & Steven||23 Forest Park||Shirley / Karen|
|Doris||Frank||Laben||Lawrence||Matthew Goldfarb / Kenny Nelson|
|Morris||Levin||15 Forest Park||1958 c||Portland City Directory 1958|
|Pearl||Levine||Steven & another sonr||Deerfield Rd||Pat Reef|
|Elaine||David||Lewis||8 Forest Park||1958 c||Shirley Rosen / Portland City Directory 1958|
|Ben||Lewis||3 Forest Park||1945 c||Portland City Director 1945|
|Frances||Bradley||Mack||33 Forest Park||1958 c||Shirley Rosen / Portland City Directory 1958|
|Mrs Minnie||Mack||Shirley Rosen|
|Harry||Matluck||43 Forest Park||1945 c||Caleb St||Portland City Director 1945 / Harris Gleckman|
|Robert||Melnick||5 Forest Park||1945 c||Portland City Director 1945|
|Merdek||Cindy and ..||Karen Kornetsky Levine|
|Sonja||Kurt||Messerschmidt||Evie and Michael||Craigie St||Shirley / Harris|
|Louis||Modes||9 Forest Park||1958 c||Portland City Directory 1958|
|Mrs Lillian||Mofenson||11 Forest Park||still resides there, don't know when she moved there||Shirley Rosen|
|Bertha||Josh||Murinson||Donald & Larry||23 Forest Park||Shirley Rosen|
|Morris||Murinson||23 Forest Park||1958 c||Portland City Directory 1958|
|Harold||Millie||Nelson||Leonard and Kenneth (Lenny and Kenny)||abt 1946||Falmouth, Me||Kenny Nelson|
|Louis||Neveloff||11 Forest Park||1945 c||Portland City Director 1945|
|Marsha (Gordon)||Oransky||Shirley Rosen|
|Howard||Orloff||6 Forest Park||1945 c||Portland City Director 1945|
|Susie||Bill||Pinansky||Irving, Richard (Dickie), and||Whitney Ave||Karen / Harris|
|Philip||Polansky||3 Forest Park||1958 c||Portland City Directory 1958|
|Annabelle Shur||Henry||Pollard||Kenny Nelson|
|Abe||Posner||4 Forest Park||1958 c||Portland City Directory 1958|
|Barbara||Bernie||Resnick||28 Forest Park||appx 1958 - 1961||Jerry and Sue Gordon|
|Barbara||Berne||Resnick||28 Forest Park (1st floor)||1958 - 1961||Jerry and Sue Gordon|
|Anne||Bob||Rosen||27 Forest Park||1958 c||Shirley Rosen / Portland City Directory 1958|
|Shirley||Murray||Rosen||Barry (1959) and Nancy (1963)||23 Forest Park||1956 - 1967||Shirley Rosen|
|?||?||Rudek||Sandra and Cindy||Matt Goldfarb|
|William J||Saxe||28 Forest Park||1945 c||Portland City Director 1945|
|Edith||Herbie||Schwartz||39 Forest Park||1958 c||Shirley Rosen / Portland City Directory 1958|
|Boris||Shainman||35 Forest Park||1945 c||Portland City Director 1945|
|Herman||Shapiro||1 Forest Park||1945 c||Portland City Director 1945|
|Ethel||Shur||6 Forest Park||1958 c||Portland City Directory 1958|
|Charlotte||Hy||Silver||Victory Village||Shirley Rosen|
|Lolly||Howard L||Silverman||18 Forest Park||1958 c||Shirley Rosen / Portland City Directory 1958|
|Morris||Silverman||22 Forest Park||1945 c||Portland City Director 1945|
|Frances||Sammy||Simonds||Phil & …||Shirley Rosen|
|Mel M||Stein||9 Forest Park||1945 c||Portland City Director 1945|
|Sadie||George||Tabor||29 Forest Park||1944 - 1951||Muriel Shapiro Cohen|
|Annamarie||Joe||Taylor||Gary & Connie||Karen Kornetsky Levine|
|Louis||Taylor||7 Forest Park||1958 c||Portland City Directory 1958|
|Frances (Mrs)||Troubh||35 Forest Park||1958 c||Portland City Directory 1958|
|Sadie||Aaron||Troubh||11 Forest Park||1945c||Portland City Director 1945|
|Henry||Troubh||11 Forest Park||1958 c||Portland City Director 1958|
|Jewel||Jack||Vinick||Nina||270 Brighton Ave, Portland||Nina vinick / Karen Kornetsky Levine|
|Sally||Harry||Vinick||Nancy & Barry||43 Forest Park||1945 c - 1958 c||Richard Petter Fisher / Portland City Director 1945 and Portland City Directory 1958|
|Frances Tabor||Ward Marcus||Don Ward||29 Forest Park||1944 - 1951||William St||Don Ward / Muriel Shapiro Cohen|
|Joanne||Kenneth||Waxman||15 Forest Ave||1958 c||Shirley Rosen / Portland City Directory 1958|
|Edith||Mickey||Weisenthal||Dartmouth St ?||Karen Kornetsky Levine|
|Robert H||Weisman||15 Forest Ave||1958 c||Portland City Directory 1958|
|Charlotte||Sidney||Wernick||Deerfield Rd||Pat Reef|
|George||Wolf||35 Forest Park||1958 c||Portland City Directory 1958|
Methodological note :
This data was collected by informal calls to an ever widening circle of former Forest Park residents. These call were supplemented by a review of the 1945 and 1958 Portland City Directory for Forest Park.
If you have additional information or recollection to share, please send them to Shirley via dmj@Mindspring.com
Last Updated : March 16, 2012