Item 148339 - Moving Chapman Bank millions, Portland, 1925

Item 148339 - Moving Chapman Bank millions, Portland, 1925
Contributed by Maine Historical Society/MaineToday Media
Item 148339
Moving Chapman Bank millions, Portland, 1925
4393px x 3398px - 14.6"w x 11.3"h @ 300dpi  |  Need a larger size?
*Credit line must read: Collections of Maine Historical Society/MaineToday Media
Image Info

On February 9, 1925, Chapman Bank relocated millions in cash, gold, and securities from the Oxford Building at 185 Middle Street, Portland, to their recently erected Monument Square building at 477 Congress Street.

The Portland Evening Express published this photograph on February 10 with the headline "Millions, Closely Guarded, Carted Through Streets As Bank Transfers Funds to New Quarters." Under the image, the caption reads, "Bluecoats, with revolvers drawn, served as the Sunday morning escort to the transfer of millions of dollars to the new Chapman Bank. Officers in the group are (left to right)- Stephen E. Dorsey, Thomas P. Foley, Clarence L. Curtis, and John D. Brown."

The vault transfer, known only to the highest-level bank officials, the police chief, and the press, was executed secretly. Bank officials and moving contractors loaded heavily protected 400 lb chests with gold and securities. Chief of Police Elmer H. Waterhouse, Lieutenant William E. White, and eight policemen guarded the move, guns drawn and highly visible from start to finish. Many other contracted armed guards helped protect the bounty as well.

The trek up the middle street to Monument Square, which occurred at 9 AM, allegedly took just five minutes. Armed guards followed the treasure truck in two cars while plainclothes officers waited in a vehicle capable of reaching 100 miles per hour, ready for a potential chase. The spectacle drew a large crowd in Monument Square.

Show Details