Born a slave, Moses Samuel Green came to Maine, made his fortune and is still remembered today.

PORTLAND, Maine — Moses Samuel Green was born a slave in Maryland in 1853. He died a free man in Maine, 89 years later. When they laid him to rest in 1942, Green was one of the wealthiest African Americans in town. By day, he ran a shoeshine stand at Union Station — but he made his fortune in his off hours, away from the trains.

In the process, Green helped countless people find homes in a city where racism sometimes made it difficult for African-Americans to find a place to live. His generosity and leadership made him a respected elder in his community.

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Today, the grand old train station is long gone, but Green’s name is still remembered. It graces a historic — and thriving — building on Munjoy Hill.

Take a walk into history as the BDN teams up with Greater Portland Landmarks in telling Green’s stunning story. It’s one of many included in the nonprofit’s series of online, virtual walking tours throughout the city.

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Founded in response to the urban renewal craze of the 1960s, the nonprofit works to protect historic places through preservation and adaptive reuse. It also promotes creative, new architecture for historic neighborhoods.

Troy R. Bennett

Troy R. Bennett is a Buxton native and longtime Portland resident whose photojournalism has appeared in media outlets all over the world.