Monday, September 14, 2015

The Birth of Seashore Trolley Museum - An Interview with the Founder

The Birth of Seashore Trolley Museum - An Interview with the Founder
Theodore Santarelli de Brasch

Interview conducted by Edward Dooks
October 10, 1987

“This is the way we started, with one car, with no great thought that we were going to have more cars or that we would develop into a museum of this size."
 Ted Santarelli, October 10, 1987

This is an interview with Theodore F. Santarelli de Brasch, which was recorded on video tape on October 10, 1987.  The interview is on VHS videocassette and was digitized recently.

I had not met Ted Santarelli before October 10, 1987.  I was at the museum with the camera equipment recording stock scenes in the Restoration Barn when I was introduced to him.  I mentioned to Ted that I would like to put him on videotape explaining the origins of the museum.  We talked about doing it sometime in the future, but later that day, agreed to do it that afternoon.

Looking for an appropriate place to do it, we had gone over to Highwood Barn with the idea of using car #38 as a background.  We were sitting on the steps of car #31, hoping to move #38 out into the sunlight. We were talking about the beginnings of the museum and how the story of the origin of the museum now varied with the teller.  He was disturbed by some of the stories, but understood that this misinformation was the result of the true facts never being documented.  He regretted the fact that documentation was not done but with all else that had to be accomplished over the years, documentation of how thing were done was an impossible task.

As we spoke, the point was duly emphasized when one of our guides was explaining to visitors how a group from Connecticut had purchased #38 and how the museum negotiated with them to bring it to Seashore.  Ted, with an irritation in his voice, whispered to me that he wished our members could get the story correct.

October 10th was Members Day, and our getting #38 out was going to take too long, so the interview was taped outside the south side of the Restoration Barn with car #4387 in the background.  During the interview, Ted explained how the museum came to own car #38.

Edward Dooks, March 8, 1988
Text edited September 14, 2015

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