Sunday, August 16, 2015

Theodore Roosevelt Artifacts in Maine

Mirror from Theodore Roosevelt's Elkhorn Ranch in North
Dakota. Wilmot S. Dow's grandson, John Dow, donated this
TR artifact along with two other precious, personal TR items to
the Presque Isle Historical Society. John Dow's father, Wilmot E.
Dow, was a "Badlands Baby".  Wilmot E. Dow's father, Wilmot S.
Dow, and William Wingate Sewall were Maine guides
that became lifelong friends of Theodore Roosevelt.
Image courtesy of the Presque Isle Historical Society

     The media coverage in advance of the Teddy Roosevelt Days, a fundraising event to benefit the Narcissus project at Seashore Trolley Museum, was exemplary. One of the many wonderful outcomes from that media exposure was an email from Kimberly R. Smith, Secretary/Treasurer, Special Programs and Events Coordinator at the Presque Isle Historical Society. Kimberly expressed the Historical Society's interest in exploring opportunities to collaborate with the Seashore Trolley Museum in future Theodore Roosevelt events. The Historical Society is holding, in public trust, three Theodore Roosevelt artifacts.

Colt, long-barreled, 40 caliber revolver, used by Theodore Roosevelt.
Wilmot S. Dow's grandson, John Dow, donated this TR artifact
along with two other precious, personal TR items to the
Presque Isle Historical Society. John Dow's father, Wilmot E. Dow,
was a "Badlands Baby".  Wilmot E. Dow's father, Wilmot S. Dow,
and William Wingate Sewall were Maine guides
that became lifelong friends of Theodore Roosevelt.
Image courtesy of the Presque Isle Historical Society

Large, leather moose call used by Theodore Roosevelt. Wilmot S. Dow's
grandson, John Dow, donated this TR artifact along with two other precious,
personal TR items to the Presque Isle Historical Society. John Dow's father,
Wilmot E. Dow was a "Badlands Baby".  Wilmot E. Dow's father,
Wilmot S. Dow and William Wingate Sewall were Maine guides
that became lifelong friends of Theodore Roosevelt.
Image courtesy of the Presque Isle Historical Society

     Theodore Roosevelt made a number of visits to Maine. Yes, there were times, when he was older, that those visits would have been made as necessitated by his politics. However, the majority of his visits were for personal gain. I speak of personal gain in the sense of his own personal health and well being. We know Maine to be, "Vacationland", "The Way Life Should Be". Maine has long been known as a place to "re-create", to renew one's self, to contemplate one's purpose or direction. Whether being near the ebb and flow of the mesmerizing coastline or taking in its breathtaking vistas along so many beautiful rivers and mountains, this great state of Maine has drawn many a soul in seeking fresh air and perhaps inner guidance to a fresh start.

     It is well documented that as a youngster, TR's general health and physical strength was not good. His father, at the advice of trusted medical advisors, would send young TR out of Manhattan to the country for fresh air and exercise. This was the purpose of young TR's early visits to Maine. The summer of 1872, TR attended a summer camp at Moosehead Lake. While on the stagecoach ride, during the final leg of the trip to the camp, he was bullied by a couple of boys that would be attending the camp. From that experience, TR pledged to himself that he would work to improve his physical strength and abilities so that he could protect himself in the future. He worked very hard, over the ensuing years, to keep the pledge he made to himself, and he did improve his health and physical strength.

     TR was an undergraduate student at Harvard University in 1878 when he visited Island Falls, Maine in Aroostook County. TR was still grieving the death of his father when he first was with Maine guides William Sewall and Sewall's nephew, Wilmot S. Dow that late summer of 1878. TR would return in February 1879 and once more in August of 1879. TR recalls these visits to Maine in a letter he wrote on March 20, 1918, titled, "My Debt To Maine" by Col. Theodore Roosevelt - And the opening paragraph states, "I owe a personal debt to Maine because of my association with certain staunch friends in Aroostook County; an association that helped and benefitted me throughout my life in more ways than one." This note was written by TR four months before he and his family would travel to Dark Harbor, Maine, from the home in Sagamore Hill, to grieve the death of youngest son Quentin.

These comments have been culled from three books:
Maine My State, 1919, Written by Maine Writers Research Club
Becoming Teddy Roosevelt: How a Maine Guide Inspired America's 26th President, 2010, by Andrew Vietze
Quentin & Flora: A Roosevelt and a Vanderbilt in Love during the Great War, 2014, by Chip Bishop


Dow Genealogy courtesy of Presque Isle Historical Society:

The two Maine Guides that worked with Roosevelt and became lifelong friends were William Sewall and his nephew Wilmot Dow.

William Wingate Sewall had a sister, Pauline
Pauline Wentworth Sewall married Oliver Smith Dow on April 18, 1853
    - had five children, including Wilmot S. Dow (he was Sewall's nephew)

Wilmot S. Dow and his wife Lizzie
    - Wilmot E. Dow, b. 08/12/1886 (Badland Baby)
    - married Katherine Stevens in Presque Isle
    - owned a drug store in Presque Isle
    - had three daughters and two sons, Wilmot S. Dow and John A. Dow, b. 1917

It was John Dow, who lived and worked in Presque Isle and served a chair of the Chamber (of Commerce), who left the Historical Society the three artifacts.

Click on: "Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride," to learn about the young reader historical fiction chapter book due for release this fall. Proceeds will benefit the Narcissus Project :)

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.

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 80th Birthday year in 2019! 
Special Events are scheduled  - Public operations start on May 4, 2019. 
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

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 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 :)

Thank You for our Current Funding Partners
20th Century Electric Railway Foundation - 2018 - Major Gift, 2017/2014 Matching Grants
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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