Portland Museum was originally established in 1978 at the old Roosevelt Elementary School by seven teachers. Once Roosevelt closed in 1980, the museum moved to the Brown School, formerly known as Ahren’s Trade School, located on 546 S. First St. In 1983, the organization once again relocated to its current facility known as Beech Grove, formerly recognized as the Portland Bridge Baptist Mission Building, owned by Crescent Hill Baptist Church.
Beech Grove is an Italianate residence built in 1852 by Andrew Graham. William Skene, a Scottish immigrant who acquired his fortune through the oil business, took ownership of the historic Kentucky home in 1864. A few years after this acquisition, Skene was forced out of business by the Standard Oil Company and converted his oil factory into a fertilizer plant. The Skene family resided at Beech Grove for 80 years and remain as the property’s longest-standing tenants.
Today, Portland Museum covers over 200 years of the Portland neighborhood’s rich history through its permanent exhibit and rotating art galleries.