Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Patron Pines for the PLI - A Poem - 1939 Portland Lewiston Interurban

To the Grand Old Interurban
The shining rails are silent,
The sandy roadbed lays
A grim and lone reminder
Of the good old days.
The days when the Interurban
on schedule every time,
Came humming down the railway
Of the Portland-Lewiston Line.
When the sun is slowly sinking
At the close of a busy day,
In fancy, I hear her whistle
In the distance far away.
Even the trees and bushes
That beside the old track grew
Are whispering and sighing
They're lonely for her too.
Tho she's gone forever, her memory
Time never can erase
And the buses that replaced her
Can never take her place.
She served us every hour
Like a true and faithful friend
Wherever we wished to go
On her, we could depend.
There's a haunting sort of silence
Along that deserted line.
That went, a regretful sacrifice
To the progress of "Time."
She's gone but not forgotten
We're proud of the record fine
Of the grand old Interurban
And the Portland-Lewiston Line.        

Written by Mrs. Margaret Turner and read at the former PLI employees' second reunion held on June 29, 1939 (excerpt from the 1967 book by O. R. Cummings, Maine's Fastest Electric Railroad: Portland Lewiston Interurban, Bulletin No. 3, New England Electric Railway Historical Society).

This poem was put to music by Troy Bennett - Click Here to go to the music vid

Maine's finest and fastest electric railway, the Portland-Lewiston Interurban (PLI), commenced operation on Thursday, July 2, 1914, its 34.6 miles of track extending almost north from a connection at Monument Square in Portland, Maine, to a connection at Union Station in Lewiston, Maine. Operations concluded on June 28, 1933, after carrying nearly 7 million, 302 thousand passengers.

Collection of O.R. Cummings

The lone surviving representative of the PLI interurbans, No. 14, Narcissus, was acquired in 1969 by Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine. Anticipating the acquisition, beginning in 1965, and over the ensuing years, components and other pertinent materials to the restoration of the historic PLI icon have been obtained. Some preliminary restoration work and planning has taken place. The Museum is now prepared to have the Narcissus enter the Museum's restoration shop to implement the plan of work to restore this historic treasure to operating condition for a public demonstration on the Museum's heritage railway. The Narcissus has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places since 1980 (#1980111480000262), along with nine other Maine railway vehicles.

Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States, was a passenger on the Narcissus on August 18, 1914.

There is a weekend fundraising event scheduled for July 31 through August 2, 2015, at Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine. Titled, Theodore Roosevelt: Naturalist, Nature, 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.

As someone who enjoys finding coincidences of dates that happen to connect historical events in some way or another, here is a couple concerning this post. The poem featured in this post was read publicly at a PLI employees' reunion on June 29, 1939. Three days later, on July 2, 1939, the fourth and final majestic carving at Mount Rushmore, that of Theodore Roosevelt, was dedicated. During that same week, perhaps on either or both of those two days, the young gentlemen that would become known as the "founding fathers" of Seashore Trolley Museum, were pooling their very limited financial resources together and seeking contributions from a few friends to make a deposit of $108 (the total price was $150), on July 5, 1939 (the $42 balance was paid several days later), for the purchase of 1900, open car from the Biddeford and Saco Railroad, No. 31. The very first trolley car preserved, anywhere in the world, by private citizens to start what would become a trolley museum.

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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