Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Welcome to the Narcissus 1912 Project

No. 14 Narcissus c 1914 - Oscar S Adkins left and
John I Cluff, motorman with the Narcissus at Gray

    The Narcissus Project Blog was created in April 2015 for the purpose of reaching out to a large number of folks through the power of social media to introduce them to the National Register of Historic Places member, Narcissus. As we entered 2020, the blog surpassed 250,000 total page views!

     The Narcissus is a luxury, high-speed, wooden electric interurban. The Narcissus was built in 1912 in Laconia, NH and operated on the Portland-Lewiston Interurban, in Maine, between Portland and Lewiston, from 1914 to 1933. Theodore Roosevelt was a passenger on the Narcissus on August 18, 1914.  The Narcissus Project blog posts include updates on the restoration of the Narcissus, which is currently taking place at Seashore Trolley Museum's Donald G. Curry Town House Restoration Shop in Kennebunkport, Maine. Posts also include topics; on the connections that Theodore Roosevelt has here in Maine, the PLI and its connections to the communities it served (Portland, FalmouthCumberland, Gray, New Gloucester, Auburn, and Lewiston), the builder of the PLI; W. S. Libbeyother electric railway systems in Mainepeople of Maine that had an impact on electric railway development here in Maine, and the Seashore Trolley Museum.

Theodore Roosevelt leaning out of the train doorway of the
Portland-Lewiston Interurban No. 14, Narcissus, as he
addresses the gathered townsfolk in Gray, Maine on August
18, 1914. Roosevelt had experienced something special
as he and the Narcissus were approaching the Gray station
moments earlier. Image courtesy Gray Historical Society

Today, this vintage electric rail car is at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine.

Explore the historic Narcissus by clicking on the interactive spots here.

To read about Theodore Roosevelt visiting Maine throughout his life: Click Here

The 2015 publication of, The Illustrated Atlas
of Maine's Street & Electric Railways
1863-1946, was published by the Library
at Seashore Trolley Museum, Kennebunkport.
Copies are available for purchase from the

Seashore Trolley Museum, - Museum of Mass Transit, is celebrating its 81st Birthday year in 2020! 
Special Events are scheduled  - Public operations start on May 2, 2020. 
Click Here for the 2019 Events & Special Activities for the 80th Anniversary Season, with hot links

Click Here for 2019 Special Events 

Click Here for 80th Anniversary Year - Seashore Trolley Museum 1939-2019 post
Click Here for the post - 80th Anniversary Year -A Look Back at the 50s - Seashore Trolley Mus.
Click Here for the post - 80th Anniversary Year - A Look Back at the 60s  - Seashore Trolley Mus.
Click Here for the post - 80th Anniversary Year -A Look Back at the '70s - Seashore Trolley Mus.
Click Here for The Birth of Seashore Trolley Museum Blog Post
Click Here for STM's Ten National Register of Historic Places Electric Railway Vehicles post
Click Here for 1901 Tower C Boston Elevated Railway to STM in 1975
Click Here for No. 38 - 1906 Manchester & Nashua Street Railway - Acquired March 21, 1940
Click Here for No. 60 - 1895 Manchester Street Railway - Acquired April 11, 1941
Click Here for No. 4387 - 1918 Eastern Mass. Street Railway - Acquired August 29, 1946
Click Here for No. 100 - 1906 Atlantic Shore Line Railway - Acquired 1949
Click Here for No. 108 - 1904 Portsmouth, Dover & York Street Railway - Acquired 1949
Click Here for No. 14 Narcissus 1912 Portland-Lewiston Interurban - Acquired 1969

Check out the new book that features the Narcissus!
Look below to read the many great reviews!

Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride

Three 5-Star Reviews from Readers' Favorite posted on January 6, 2020
Click Here to read the post

Books are available at these local bookstores in Maine:
The Book Review, Falmouth
Letterpress Books, Portland
Nonesuch Books and More, South Portland
Nubble Books, Biddeford
Seashore Trolley Museum, Kennebunkport
Sherman's Maine Coast Book Shops - All locations

     Millie Thayer is a headstrong farmer's daughter who chases her dreams in a way you would expect a little girl nicknamed "Spitfire would-running full tilt and with her eyes on the stars. Dreaming of leaving the farm life, working in the city, and fighting for women's right to vote, Millie imagines flying away on a magic carpet. One day, that flying carpet shows up in the form of an electric trolley that cuts across her farm. A fortune-teller predicts that Millie's path will cross that of someone famous. Suddenly, she finds herself caught up in events that shake the nation, Maine, and her family. Despairing that her dreams may be shattered, Millie learns, in an unexpected way, that dreams can be shared.

Click Here to go to the Museum store's online order page for the book. Sales benefit the Museum and the Narcissus.

Click Here for the post on the ebook release video with a guided tour of the Narcissus

Book, ebook, and (soon) audiobook available through Amazon.

Click Here to read January 24, 2020 - Four-Star Clarion Review

Click Here to read January 20, 2020 - Coveted Starred Blueink Review

Click Here to read January 19, 2020 - Theodore Roosevelt Center Blog Post Review

Click Here to read the December 25, 2019 4-Stars out of 4-Stars Review through OnlineBookClub

     In June of 2018, I was very happy to release a blog post announcing that award-winning Maine author, Jean M. Flahive, had agreed to write a young reader historical fiction chapter book that would benefit the Narcissus Project. In October of 2019, I was happy to report, that the book, Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride, had been printed and was available to purchase! Below are some blurbs/reviews from a few individuals who read the manuscript after being professionally edited by Maine Authors Publishing in Thomaston, Maine. 

Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride
by Jean M. Flahive
Cover Art and Sketches by Amy J. Gagnon
US $14.95 paperback
ISBN: 978-0-578-54473-1
Library of Congress Control Number: 2019909872

“Like she's done in her previous books, Jean Flahive expertly rolls back the years, bringing us back to the arrival of interurban rail in small-town Maine. These "electric traveling machines" change young Millie's life forever, opening up new worlds of possibility. She visits the city, rides with suffragettes, and even meets Theodore Roosevelt. An eye-opening and entertaining ride - you won't want the train to stop! Highly recommended.”

"Along with being a beautiful story, Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride contain many of the core elements that Roosevelt himself held dear. Understanding history, appreciating nature. Telling a good story. Loving children. At the same time profoundly personal and expansively historical, this book is ultimately about finding new life in things with deep underlying value."
Michael R. Canfield has published two books on observation and note-taking. Author of Theodore Roosevelt in the Field, and editor of Field Notes on Science and Nature

"An absolutely deeelightful story bringing to life a young farm girl's growing up in Theodore Roosevelt's time, meeting him and his mentor Bill Sewall, and experiencing World War I's effect on urban Maine and the devastation of the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic. The portrayal of hard work, honesty and community self-support is a model for all to follow. Having recently visited the "Narcissus" restoration, the colorful romanticizing of Maine's interurban trolley really resonated with me."

"As the great grand-daughter and current holder of the legacy of the Sewall House, the history of TR's friendship with William Sewall held within its walls, the chapters that include the story of their friendship beautifully woven into the touching story of the girl with the flowers, reflecting their friendship and my great grandfather's temperament as well."
Donna Davidge; great-granddaughter of William W. Sewall - Sewall House, Island Falls, Maine

"Flahive paints a vibrant picture of rural life in the early 1900s. The tremendous life shifts that occurred through the arrival of the trolley, the challenges of learning current news, the Great War and its impact on families and lives at home, women's suffrage and difficult life choices are woven into a moving, believable and engrossing tale that puts the reader squarely in the lives of its characters."
Marie Betts Bartlett, author of The Little Yellow Trolley Car

"Growing up on a Maine farm, you might think young Millie would have a quiet, sheltered life, but Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride reveals how the installation of an electric rail line created life-changing encounters and brought historic events right to the family's door."
Patricia Erikson, Peaks Island Press

"I liked this book. For me, it was one of those books that stays with you, nudging thoughts of historical values contained within the storyline that takes place in the early 1900s along with deftly woven articulate text that pertains to scientific concepts such as electricity, interurban trolleys, political turbulence, women's suffrage, and WWI. Author, Jean Flahive is masterful at pulling the reader into her story during this notable time period. Her realism wraps itself around the life of a young spontaneous Maine farm girl who dreams big! This believable tale kept me reading well into the night and then sharing much of the historical and scientific frameworks with my husband; a sixth-grade science teacher. Our lively discussions prompted him to place this book on his classroom reading list."
Lyn Smith, Reading Specialist, Pre-K-2, Kennebunk Elementary School, Kennebunk, Maine

"Jean M. Flahive skillfully describes the arrival of the interurban trolleys in Maine and how they changed both the landscape and lives of Mainers forever. Her captivating characters meet at crossroads of progress and politics, taking the reader on a journey of anticipation, wonder, and the reality of a changing world."
Marie Dostie, Consulting Teacher, Gifted Education, Auburn Middle School, Auburn, Maine

"This novel is truly rich in history...the dialogue flows and seems natural to that time."
Lisa LaBrecque, Sixth-grade reading teacher at Thornton Academy Middle School, Saco, Maine

"Flahive's book explores a lesser-known episode from the later life of Theodore Roosevelt; she imbues the story, told from a perspective of a young girl growing up at the turn of the century, with humor and heart."
Heather G. Cole, Curator, Literary & Popular Culture Collections at John Hay Library, Brown University

"Jean M. Flahive brings to life early twentieth-century rural Maine through the eyes of young spitfire Millie Thayer. With the arrival of the Narcissus electric trolley and a mysterious prediction by a fortune-teller, Millie's small-town world is suddenly filled with exciting possibilities, from encounters with former president Theodore Roosevelt, to chance meetings with suffragettes. Flahive weaves in historical context about not just local Maine history, but also topics like women's suffrage, changing party politics, World War I, and the Spanish Flu. Theodore Roosevelt lovers, train enthusiasts, students, and educators alike will enjoy this well-researched and entertaining book."
Karen Sieber, Humanities Specialist for the McGillicuddy Humanities Center at the University of Maine and serves remotely as the Outreach Coordinator for the Theodore Roosevelt Center at Dickinson State University

Click Here to go to the Museum store's online order page for the book.  

MUST-READ! - Click Here
Here is an example of how donations to the Narcissus Project now will help with the interpretation portion of the project. The interpretation programming will include exhibits, displays, education programming. During 2019, through generous donations to the Narcissus Project, we were able to conserve, replicate, and have high resolutions digital image files made of the original, 1910, 25.5-foot long, surveyor map of the elevation and grade of the 30-mile private right-of-way of the Portland, Gray, and Lewiston Railroad (Portland-Lewiston Interurban)
MUST-READ! - Click Here  (In case you hadn't "clicked" and read it above :)

Please Consider a Donation to the Narcissus Project
to help us tell the incredible story of the Narcissus through the interpretation portion of the Narcissus Project.
Thank You

   Inside the Donald G. Curry Town House Restoration Shop, the Narcissus is in the midst of major work as we strive to complete its restoration. With our estimate to have the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Narcissus in the fall of 2021, we are now planning the interpretation portion of the Narcissus Project. Donations to the Narcissus Project may be used in the future to help tell the incredible 100-plus-year-old story of the Narcissus. Your donation to the Narcissus is helping to make the dream of the project's success, a reality.

See below for Donation options -
It starts with YOU
Your Donation Matters
Make a Donation TODAY

Please Help the Narcissus. 
Donation Options to Help the Narcissus Project:

The New England Electric Railway Historical Society (NEERHS)
is the 501c3 organization that owns and operates the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, ME and the National Streetcar
The NEERHS is registered with the IRS (EIN# 01-0244457) and was incorporated in Maine in 1941.

Check or Money Order ***** should be made payable to:
New England Electric Railway Historical Society (NEERHS)
In the memo please write: Narcissus Fund 816-A
Mail to: Seashore Trolley Museum
              P. O. Box A
              Kennebunkport, ME 04046

Credit Card ***** donations can be a one-time donation or you
may choose to have a specific amount charged to your card
automatically on a monthly basis. Please contact the Museum bookkeeper, Connie, via email at or by phone, 207-967-2712 ext. 5.

Online Donations - may be made by using a Credit Card: 
Click Here to make an online donation through the Museum's website - When at the Donation page: Fill in donor info, etc., when at "To which fund are you donating? Scroll down to "Other" and type in: 816-A Narcissus, then continue on filling in the required information.

Click Here for PayPal - to make an online donation: you can use email: and in the message box write:
For Narcissus fund 816-A

Donation of Securities ***** We also accept donations of
securities. You can contact the Museum bookkeeper, Connie, via email at or by phone, 207-967-2712 ext. 5,
for brokerage account information for accepting donated securities.

BONUS ***** If you work for a company/corporation that will
"match" an employee's donation to an approved 501c3 non-profit
educational organization, please be sure to complete the necessary paperwork with your employer so that your donation is matched :)

Questions? ***** Please contact Narcissus project manager:
Phil Morse, or call 207-985-9723 - cell.

Thank You :)

Thank You for our Current Funding Partners
20th Century Electric Railway Foundation - 2018 - Major Gift, 2017/2014 Matching Grants
Renaissance Charitable Foundation (LPCT) by Fiduciary Trust Charitable Giving Fund
Mass Bay RRE - 2018 Railroad Preservation Grant 
Thornton Academy (Saco, ME) - Staff & Alumni - Matching Grant Challenge 2014
New England Electric Railway Historical Society (Kennebunkport, ME) - Member Donations
Amherst Railway Society - 2015 Heritage Grant
National Railway Historical Society - 2016 & 2015 Heritage Preservation Grants
Enterprise Holding Foundation - 2015 Community Grant
Theodore Roosevelt Association - Member Donations
John Libby Family Association and Member Donations
* The Conley Family - In Memory of Scott Libbey 2018/2017/2016/2015
* The W. S. Libbey Family - Awalt, Conley, Graf, Holman, Libbey, McAvoy, McLaughlin, Meldrum, O'Halloran, Salto, - 2018/2017
* The Hughes Family 2017/2016/2010
New Gloucester Historical Society and Member Donations
Gray Historical Society and Member Donations
Gray Public Library Association - Pat Barter Speaker Series
* LogMein - Matching Employee Donation
* IBM - Matching Employee/Retiree Donations
* Fidelity Charitable Grant - Matching Employee Donations
* Richard E. Erwin Grant - 2017/2016

The Narcissus, with interior back-lit, stained glass windows are majestic.
Make a donation today to help restore the interior of this Maine gem.
Help Theodore Roosevelt's Maine Ride get back on track! Once restored,
you will be able to ride in luxury on this National Register Treasure at
Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine.
PWM photo

Please Consider Making a Donation to the project of the National Register of Historic Places member, Narcissus. We are currently raising funds to tell the incredible story of this Maine gem.

Various News stories during the summer of 2015 about the
Narcissus and its connection to Theodore Roosevelt. TR
was a passenger on the Narcissus on August 18, 1914.

Click Here to See the list of All Previous Blog Posts - Index

The Narcissus - July 31, 2015. Make a donation today.
Help Theodore Roosevelt's Maine Ride get back on track!
Once restored, you will be able to ride in luxury on this
Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine.

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