History: James McGlinchy

James and Patrick McGlinchy advertisement, 1871
Advertisement for James and Patrick McGlinchy’s Casco Brewery depots in Portland, Daily Eastern Argus, 1871

James McGlinchy sold Casco Brewery  beer, along with other imported ales and liquors, at his shop and saloon at 89 Commercial Street (121-123 Commercial under contemporary numbering).

James was quite successful as a brewer, saloon-keeper, wholesale liquor dealer, and landlord. He possessed $10,000 in real estate and a $5,000 personal estate in 1860; ten years later, those valuations had risen to $60,000 and $40,000, respectively. McGlinchy built an “elegant private residence” at the corner of Danforth and Tate Streets in 1863. He was also on the city council, representing for Ward Four.

McGlinchy’s store was raided by police in May 1866, June 1873, and March 1874. So, too, in July 1872, though that story ended differently than most typical seizures. The deputy sheriff had apprehended thirty-five barrels of McGlinchy’s liquor, taking it to the basement of City Hall. McGlinchy showed up with a “large number of men” and “three teams,” snatched back the barrels, took them to Atlantic Wharf, and put them on the steamer Montreal, set for Boston.

McGlinchy closed up shop on Commercial Street on May 24, 1875; he had been operating at that address for over twenty-five years. In 1880, the “well known wholesale liquor dealer” was found dead at his Danforth Street residence, according to the Portland Daily Press—reportedly of apoplexy from putting his feet in a basin of cold water to wash. He was 57. He had endured a difficult stretch. His wife had died four years before, and he had lost two daughters, aged 24 and 18, in the year before his death. At his death, his estate was worth $200,000.



Will Anderson, The Great State of Maine Beer Book (Portland: Anderson & Sons’ Publishing Co., 1996), 25-8.

Daily Eastern Argus, 24 Aug 1863

Daily Eastern Argus, 12 May 1866

Portland City Directory, 1871, 1873, 1875, 1877, and 1879

Portland Daily Press, 29 Jul 1872

Portland Daily Press, 2 Jun 1873

Portland Daily Press, 5 Mar 1874

Portland Daily Press, 25 May 1875

Portland Daily Press, 30 Jun 1876

Portland Daily Press, 30 Jun 1877

Portland Daily Press, 18 Jun 1880

Portland Daily Press, 23 Jul 1880

U.S. Census, 1860 and 1870