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

     Theodore Roosevelt was a passenger on the Narcissus on August 18, 1914, as he campaigned for the Progressive Party candidates between Lewiston, Maine and Portland, Maine. As the volunteer project manager overseeing the restoration of the National Register of Historic Places member, Narcissus, at Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine, I have done a fair amount of research on Theodore Roosevelt and his connections to Maine throughout his life. This blog post was originally released in 2015 by me and after a few updates and conversations with some folks, it seemed timely to release the updated version. Enjoy :)

     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 Theodore Roosevelt'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 on 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 its international flavor.  The TRIH comes to an end, 4,060 miles from the Longfellow statue 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 and found a couple of maps that refer to the TRIH and 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.

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

St-79 Standing Stone Narrows on Roosevelt Highway and
Sullivan Trail -Towanda, PA - PWM

Deer Trail - 18 miles west of Wellsboro, PA on
Roosevelt Highway

This is a 1927 map - the legend shows the 
Theodore Roosevelt International Highway as #30

30 is not the route seems that there
was no specific route number assigned to the had the name and used the various
existing route numbers in each state.

#30 starts in Portland and heads to Niagra Falls

#30 weaves up into Ontario, then into Michigan
then back up into Ontario where it then
enters Minnesota and heads west.

And #30 continues west to Portland Oregon.

     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

The legend has 39 listed as the
Theodore Roosevelt International Highway -
Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon

Follow 39 from Portland, Maine
heading to Niagra Falls, NY - PWM

Follow 39 into Ontario

Follow 39 back into the U.S.A. - PWM

39 travels north through Michigan and back into Ontario.

39 then runs west and enters Minnesota at Duluth.

39 runs west through Minnesota and into North Dakota.

As 39 continues west through ND, it is north of TR's ranch
 and now Theodore Roosevelt National Park near
Medora, ND

39 continues west through Montana and into Idaho.

Follow 39 to Portland, Oregon. The end of the
Theodore Roosevelt International Highway - 4,060 miles
from Portland, Maine

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

Restoration work continues on the Narcissus. The Narcissus is more than 100 years old now and has so many incredible stories to share. The restoration is but one.

     The Narcissus is featured in the national Gold Award-winning novel, Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride. The "Elegant Ride" is the Narcissus. Theodore Roosevelt was a passenger on the Narcissus on August 18, 1914, between Lewiston and Portland, Maine, during campaigning for the Progressive Party candidates. June 2020

Independent book publisher, Phil Morse, holding
the Gold Book Award Winner plaque for
 the Middle Reader category for The Eric
Hoffer Book Award. Congratulations to
award-winning Maine author,
Jean M. Flahive

     The paperback edition of Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride can be purchased online through the Seashore Trolley Museum's store website. Books purchased through the Museum's website directly benefit the Museum and the Narcissus project. Amazon book purchases also benefit the Museum and the Narcissus.

Click Here to go to the Museum Store webpage to order online

Click Here to go to the Amazon page to order the book online

Click Here to go to the ebook page

Books are available at these local bookstores in Maine:
The Book Review, Falmouth
The Bookworm, Gorham
Letterpress Books, Portland
Nonesuch Books and More, South Portland
Sherman's Maine Coast Book Shops - All locations

Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride
by Jean M. Flahive
Illustrations by Amy J. Gagnon

     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.
A resource for teachers 
Maine Historical Society has created companion lesson plans inspired by Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride - These State-standard-based lesson plans for classroom use in grades 6, 7, and 8 are now completed. They will be uploaded to the Maine Memory Network and will be included with the other statewide lesson plans K-12. Once a link is available, it will be posted here. The lesson plans will also be uploaded and available through the Seashore Trolley Museum's website later in July 2020. Go to the Teacher Resource Page in the pulldown for more details.

The ebook is available through Amazon Kindle Click HERE

The audiobook is now available Click HERE to go to the Audible page.

2-minute, 30-second, Retail Audio Sample of the Audiobook 

Award-winning author, Jean M. Flahive


Click Here to read the post - Coveted Blueink Starred Review  - Notable Book - January 20, 2020

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

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

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.

     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)
Thank You!

MUST-READ! - Click Here 

   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. 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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