Home of Adeline Bond Rines, Mary Rines Thompson

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Home of Adeline Bond Rines, Mary Rines Thompson


767-769 Congress Street

The statuesque, brick mansard-style building known as the Rines Mansion was designed by architect Francis Fassett and built in 1887 for Joseph and Anna Rines, parents of Henry Rines, who was married to Adeline Bond Rines (see site S02, site S03, and site SA01) and the father of Mary Rines Thompson (site S03 and site SA01). Members of the Rines family controlled a business empire that included the Rines Bros. Co. department store (site C15), the Congress Square (site C22) and Eastland Park Hotels (site S02), as well as radio and television stations, which became the Maine Broadcasting System (site S03). Adeline and Henry made their home here and raised their children (and where Adeline gave birth to both in the home) in the same building where Henry grew up. Upon Henry’s sudden death in 1939, Adeline, the first Portland woman to receive a law degree and be admitted to the Cumberland County Bar Association (February, 1914), took over management of the family’s enterprises, which included three hotels and four radio stations.

Henry and Adeline’s children, William Rines and Mary Rines Thompson, were raised in the same building.

William ran the Maine Broadcasting System until his early death in 1970, at which time and at her mother’s urging, Mary took over its operation until her retirement in 1983. Her son, Frederic Thompson, then took the reins until 1998, when the family sold its television holdings to Gannett Co., Inc. Mary was long active in local philanthropy and was one of the founders of a Center for Voluntary Action chapter in Portland.

Dominic Marino’s Roma Cafe restaurant moved into the mansion in 1935, which remained a romantic fixture on Portland’s restaurant scene for over 50 years. The Bramhall Pub, housed in the building’s basement for over 50 years, was a popular hangout for hospital employees from nearby Maine Medical and Mercy Hospital. An entity of Roxanne Quimby’s, owner of Burt’s Bees, purchased the building in 2010 with a vew toward establishing artists’ residences and studios as well as a culinary arts school. Those plans never materialized, and the property has been up for sale since 2012.