Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Longfellow Square is Where the Theodore Roosevelt International Highway Begins

This postcard states State St. from Longfellow Sq., Portland, Me.
This is the starting point of the 4,060 miles of the
Theodore Roosevelt International Highway.
Collection of PWM
The Seashore Trolley Museum's Theodore Roosevelt event on July 31 through August 2, 2015, is named, Teddy Roosevelt Days: Celebrating the Naturalist and the Narcissus. The weekend event honors TR's passion for observing and understanding nature, his vigor for an active outdoor life, his commitment to conservation, and his connections to Maine, including the Museum's 1912, Portland Lewiston Interurban, No. 14, Narcissus.

Here is a post about one of TR's connections to Maine.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow may best be known as an iconic American figure in literature. He is honored in numerous ways throughout his hometown, Portland, Maine. I was surprised to learn that he has a Maine connection to Theodore Roosevelt, through more than just their shared passion for literature.  For me, these unexpected findings are like walking into a "surprise!!", moment. Being caught totally off guard. In a good way. And feeling that instant rush of exhilaration. It's pretty special, for me.

In a previous Trolley-related research project I had come across Seashore Trolley Museum artifacts that have a connection to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882). The connection is through his nephew, Alexander Wadsworth Longfellow, Jr. (1854-1934). Alexander was the architect for the original way stations of the Boston Elevated Railway. Seashore Trolley Museum has one of those buildings on campus and a switching station that was constructed during the same time, 1901. Northhampton Street Station and Tower C switching station. 

Now Henry Wadsworth Longfellow connects us to Theodore Roosevelt. The bronze statue of Longfellow seated in the heart of Longfellow Square was dedicated in September 1888. Originally, State Street passed the statue on both sides. That no longer is the case. State Street, heading northwest from the square is where the Theodore Roosevelt International Highway (TRIH) began its long and winding trek through the northern border of the United States and even into Ontario, Canada for a stint. That Canadian segment gives the highway it's international flavor.  The TRIH comes to an end, 4, 060 miles from the Longfellow stature in Portland, Maine, at a statue of Theodore Roosevelt at Park Avenue in Portland, Oregon.  The route takes one along the northern border between the U.S. and Canada.

Growing up and living in southern Maine, I had not heard of the TRIH. However, over the years, when driving westerly on Route 302 from Portland to say, Windham, I would see various addresses with Roosevelt Trail as the destination. So, I wondered what connection there might be between TR and that road in Maine. In my research, I have acquired a few vintage postcards that refer to the TRIH. also found a link to the 1921 map of the TRIH in the State of Montana.

Roosevelt Trail thru Fryeburg, Me.
No description on the back.
Postmark is not legible
Collection of PWM
..on the Theodore Roosevelt Highway
between North Conway and Bartlett.
Feb. 1936 - Collection of PWM

Roosevelt Trail on Armenia Mountain,
Troy, Pa. - Col. of  PWM
Long's Pond and Roosevelt Trail
Troy, Pa - Col. of PWM

Souvenir Folder of the
Roosevelt Highway and Sullivan Trail
Route - July 1953 - Col. of  PWM
Foldout page from the souvenir folder
July 1953 Vol. of PWM

Deer Trail - 18 miles west of
Wellsboro, PA on
Roosevelt Highway
St-79 Standing Stone Narrows on
Roosevelt Highway and
Sullivan Trail -Towanda, Pa. - PWM

1926 Road Map, U.S.A. - This map was used by my great, great, grandfather,
great, great, grandmother, great-grandfather, grandfather, and his younger brother, when the family drove their auto from Kennebunk, Maine
to Los Angeles, CA in 1926. The promotional materials around the border
 are wonderful to read. The key to the map shows the
Theodore Roosevelt International Highway as #39
(this does not represent any route number) I do
not know if the vehicle pictured is the one used
in 1926 - PWM

Frank O. Morse, Jr., Harry Lovett, Allen B. Morse (14),
Harry G. Morse (12), Frank O. Morse, Sr.,
Elizabeth J.Wells Morse c 1919 - PWM

Follow 39 into Ontario and out to
Michigan and back into Ontario
Follow 39 from Portland, Maine through
Niagra Falls, NY - PWM

Follow 39 back into the U.S.A. - PWM
Follow 39  as it runs north of TR's
western home near Medora, ND-PWM

Follow 39 to Portland, Oregon. The end of the
Theodore Roosevelt International Highway - PWM

I enjoyed reading about the TRIH in the book, Moose Crossing, by Max J. Skidmore.
Hamilton Books, 2007.

Exciting Matching Grant Challenge Started March 1, 2016

Mark your calendars (purchase your Friday-opening tickets in advance) and plan to attend the 2017 Teddy Roosevelt Days Event July 21-23, 2017

A Benefit Event For the Narcissus Project!

Click Here: First Post on 2017 Teddy Roosevelt Days - W. S. Libbey's 1908 Stanley Steamer
Click Here: Second Post on 2017 Teddy Roosevelt Days - Suzanne Buzby Hersey - "My Maine"
Click Here: Third Post on 2017 Teddy Roosevelt Days - Wade Zahares - Artist

More details on the celebration will be announced soon.
The Friday activity requires a ticket to be purchased in
advance. There is limited seating for the Friday gala
opening activity. Saturday and Sunday are
general admission public offerings at

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 Narcissus. 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 blog posts appeal to folks with an interest in Theodore Roosevelt's connection to Maine, to folks generally interested in regional/local history, as well as those folks within the greater railway family. Hopefully, these posts will endear many of the readers to help support the Narcissus financially, as it undergoes a complete restoration over the next few years at Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine. 

We Did It!! 

$40,000 Raised!

Your Donations to the Narcissus Combined to Achieve the Goal Set Nineteen Months Ago. Raise $40,000 for the Narcissus to Meet the Challenge of the Matching Grant from the 

This brings the Combined Total Amount of Donations to the
Narcissus, based on the 20th Century Electric Railway Foundation's matching grants to $100,000!  

The $40,000 donation will be the 2nd donation to the Narcissus from the 20th Century Electric Railway Foundation as a result of successfully raising funds for a matching grant. A previous $10,000 matching grant challenge was achieved in 2014.

Donations made to the Narcissus Fund 816-A, for the remainder of 2017 and until further notice,
 will be used for work and materials needed to restore the interior of the Narcissus.

See below for Donation options -

It starts with YOU
Your Donation Matters
Make a Donation TODAY....

Please Help the Narcissus
Donations are now being raised to restore the interior of the Narcissus.

Donation Options to Help Restore the Narcissus:

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 - 2017/2014 Matching Grant Challenges
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 2017/2016/2015
The W. S. Libbey Family - Awalt, Conley, Graf, Holman, Libbey, McAvoy, McLaughlin, Meldrum, O'Halloran, Salto, - 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
* IBM - Matching Employee/Retiree Donations
* Fidelity Charitable Grant - Matching Employee Donations
* Richard E. Erwin Grant - 2017/2016
Seal Cove Auto Museum

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 Historic Treasure at
Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine.
PWM photo

Please Consider Making a Donation to the Narcissus Restoration Project. We are currently raising funds to restore the interior 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 - 100-Plus

Link to Libby/Libbey Family connections

Click Here - Portland Public Library Presentation - History of the Portland-Lewiston Interurban
Click Here - W. S. Libbey - The Man and His Mill
Click Here - W. S. Libbey - His 1908 Stanley Steamer K 30-hp Semi-Racer
Click Here - W. Scott Libbey's 1908 Stanley Steamer History to be Featured - July 21, 2017
Click Here - Scrapbook Celebrates the People of the Portland-Lewiston Interurban
Click Here - May 18, 1914, Newspaper Story on the Passing of PLI Builder, W. Scott Libbey
Click Here - 102nd Anniversary of the Opening of the Portland-Lewiston Interurban
Click Here - 83rd anniversary of the Closing of the Portland-Lewiston Interurban
Click Here - Sophia, W. S. Libbey Descendant Visits the Narcissus
Click Here - Libby/Libbey Family Connection to Narcissus becomes Personal
Click Here - Ode To the Grand Old Interurban
Click Here - The Portland-Lewiston Interurban "Bouquet" is Ordered (1912)

Links to Narcissus Restoration Work:
Click Here - Ornate Leaded Stained Glass Work
Click Here - Narcissus Enters Town House Restoration Shop
Click Here - Sorting and Cleaning Materials on Interior of the Narcissus
Click Here - September 7, 2015, Restoration Report
Click Here - December 7, 2015, Restoration Report
Click Here - December 14, 2015, Restoration Report
Click Here - Beautiful Brass of the Narcissus
Click Here - December 28, 2015 Restoration Update
Click Here - January 4, 2016, Restoration Update
Click Here - Vallee Family Photos of Narcissus 1960s
Click Here - February 11, 2016, Restoration Update
Click Here - A Wooden Interurban - Restoration Info
Click Here - NRHS 2016 Heritage Grant Award to Narcissus
Click Here - Announcement of 2016 Teddy Roosevelt Days Fundraising Event for the Narcissus
Click Here - Series of Restoration Posts related to work on exterior poplar frames
Click Here - Vintage Poplar used in Narcissus restoration
Click Here - Mahogany Sash passenger windows being restored
Click Here - "A President Has Ridden in My House!" - Video of Dan Vallee
Click Here - Teddy Roosevelt Days 2016 - Weekend Event Benefits the Narcissus
Click Here - August 2016 Restoration Update
Click Here - Mid-September Restoration Update
Click Here - Theodore Roosevelt & the Narcissus: Connecting Maine Communities
Click Here - How to Make New Seats for the Narcissus?
Click Here - 2016 Summary of Research and Outreach
Click Here - 2016 Restoration Summary

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
National Historic Treasure at
Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine.

No comments:

Post a Comment