Portland was called the "Gem City of the Gulf" and was described as being the most attractive and pleasant spot in Texas. Situated on a beautiful 30 to 40 foot high bluff, it overlooked 150 square miles of dancing waves and fronted the deepest water in Corpus Christi Bay. As a summer and winter resort, Portland was described as being particularly fortunate with her mild climate and prevailing bay breezes.

Portland offered a great attraction to sportsmen. Ducks and other game were abundant, while the bays abounded with reddish, tarpon and other varieties of fish. More fish and oysters were taken from these waters than from any point on the Gulf Coast. Here also was the home of the swan, crane, heron, and other water fowl.

The New England Land & New England R. E. Company purchased 1,280 acres of land east and northeast of the original 640 acres. Most of the stockholders of these companies resided in Portland, Maine, thus the town was named in honor of their hometown.