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 for ever, 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).

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.


Narcissus as a camp at Sabattus Pond. Maine June 1969
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 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 from 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 someway or another, here are 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 the 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.




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 into 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. 


More than Halfway There!!!
 ...to our $40,000 Matching Grant
Challenge Goal! - Please Help us reach the Goal by making a Donation Today to the
Narcissus Project Fund!


Thank You to our Current Funding Partners
* 20th Century Electric Railway Foundation - 2014/2016 Matching Grant Challenges
Thornton Academy (Saco, ME) - Staff & Alumni - Matching Grant Challenge
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 2015/2016
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


The Narcissus, with interior back-lit, stained glass windows are majestic.
Make a donation today, and it will be matched, dollar-for-dollar!
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 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 into 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. 


More than Halfway There!!!
 ...to our $40,000 Matching Grant
Challenge Goal! - Please Help us reach the Goal by making a Donation Today to the
Narcissus Project Fund!


Thank You to our Current Funding Partners
* 20th Century Electric Railway Foundation - 2014/2016 Matching Grant Challenges
Thornton Academy (Saco, ME) - Staff & Alumni - Matching Grant Challenge
* 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 2015/2016
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


The Narcissus, with interior back-lit, stained glass windows are majestic.
Make a donation today, and it will be matched, dollar-for-dollar!
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 - See Options Below

$40,000 Matching Grant Challenge
to Benefit the
Narcissus Project!!


The 20th Century Electric Railway Foundation
has made a most generous challenge to raise funds
to benefit the Narcissus Project.

20th Century Electric Railway Foundation
will match, dollar-for-dollar, donations
made to the Narcissus Project Fund 816-A, to a 
maximum of $40,000!!!

With the combination of new donations and the
matching donations, a total of $80,000
will be raised for restoration work on the
Narcissus!

See below for Donation options -

It starts with YOU....
Make a Donation TODAY....
Your Donation will Be MATCHED
Dollar-for-Dollar....

Please Help the Narcissus

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.
Link to Libb(e)y 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 - Libb(e)y 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


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 finance@NEERHS.org 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: finance@NEERHS.org 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 finance@NEERHS.org 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, pmorse31@gmail.com or call 207-985-9723 - cell.
Thank You :)

Narcissus - July 31, 2015. Make a donation today, and it will be matched,
dollar-for-dollar! 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.


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