Thursday, March 17, 2016

Ninety Communities in Maine had Electric Railway Service!

Porcelain advertising piece from a ticket booth of the Portland-Lewiston
Interurban. Electric railways advertising quite often promoted the
"clean and comfortable ride". This image is an original porcelain
advertising piece from the O. R. Cummings collection at

     I'm deep in researching materials involving electric streetcars, trolleys, and interurbans in Maine. The information will be used in part for a large grant application to help with the restoration of the 1912 Narcissus that operated on the Portland-Lewiston Interurban from 1914 till 1933. I'm feeling compelled to dig deep for the broader impact of electric railways' influences on Maine's economic growth and its implications on Maine's societal development. This blog post is the second that shares some of the early findings. The first post is titled, 57 Million Passengers Carried on Electric Railways in Maine in 1915!! The third post will speak more to the railways' recreation and commercial destinations and the handful of parlor cars in Maine.

     Please consider making a donation to the Narcissus Project. Funds are still needed to complete the restoration of the National Register of Historic Places member, Narcissus.  Scroll to the end of this post to find all donation options, including an online donation link. All donations are currently matched, dollar-for-dollar, as part of a $40,000 matching grant challenge, thanks to the generous offer from 20th Century Electric Railway Foundation! 
Thank You :)


     The vast majority of the materials I will share have come from a number of books released by Seashore Trolley Museum's long-time historian, O. R. Cummings. Also books by Charles D. Heseltine.

     In total, more than 90 cities, towns, and villages in Maine had electric railways servicing their communities. The total trackage of the electric railways in Maine extended nearly 520 miles. To put that in perspective, the length of trackage is about the same distance that one would travel by automobile today when taking U.S. Route One from Kittery, all the way to Fort Kent....527 miles.

Many of the Maine communities served by electric railways were in rural
areas. Dirt roads were the norm outside of the downtown areas of the cities.
Cities like Bangor, Lewiston, and Portland were "hubs" for the railways that
connected people and products to the outer communities. Above, Aroostook
Valley Railroad No. 70. AVR 70 is a combine car, which carries passengers
and light freight/express. AVR 70 is one of thirteen Maine electric railway
vehicles at Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, ME.
Image from postcard PWM

     Here is a list of communities throughout Maine served by electric railways during the era:
Alfred, Arundel, Auburn, Augusta, Bangor, Bath, Benton, Biddeford, Brewer, Brunswick, Calais, Camden, Cape Elizabeth, Cape Porpoise, Caribou, Charleston, Chelsea, Corinth, Crouseville, Cumberland, East Vassalboro, Eliot, Fairfield, Falmouth, Farmingdale, Freeport, Gardiner, Glenburn, Gorham, Gray, Greene, Hampden, Hallowell, Kenduskeag, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Kittery, Lewiston, Lisbon Falls, Litchfield, Lyman, Madison, Manchester, Mechanic Falls, Minot, New Gloucester, New Sweden, North Vassalboro, Norway, Oakland, Ogunquit, Old Orchard Beach, Old Town, Orono, Owl's Head, Portland, Presque Isle, Rockland, Rockport, Sabattus, Saco, Sanford, Scarborough, Shawmut, Skowhegan, South Berwick, South Monmouth, South Paris, South Portland, South Thomaston, South Windham, Springvale, St. George, Thomaston, Topsham, Turner, Van Buren, Veazie, Wales, Warren, Washburn, Waterville, Webster, Wells, West Gardiner, Westbrook, West Kennebunk, Winslow, Winterport, Winthrop, Woodland, Yarmouth, York, and York Beach. Notes: Calais, ME to St. Stephen, New Brunswick, Canada - South Berwick, ME to Dover, New Hampshire - Kittery, ME to Portsmouth, New Hampshire via ASL ferry, Fryeburg Horse Railroad - Never Electrified

A typical image of service once outside of the downtown area. 
From postcard PWM

Dirt roads were the norm and difficult for wagons and horses and the early
automobiles to navigate in muddy conditions as well as in the snow during
the winter months. The electric railways were the most dependable form
of transportation. Image of River Road in Arundel, Maine approaching
Merrill's Farm on the far left. Image from the collection of
Seashore Trolley Museum

Electric Railways of Maine - 1915
Click Here for the post: "Electric Railway King" of the Pine Tree State - Amos Fitz Gerald


Androscoggin Electric Company (Portland-Lewiston Interurban) - 29.80 Miles
(Portland, Falmouth, Cumberland, Gray, New Gloucester, Auburn, and Lewiston)

(Presque Isle, Van Buren, Washburn, New Sweden, Caribou, and Woodland)

Atlantic Shore Railway - 90.40 Miles
Biddeford, Kennebunkport (Arundel), Kennebunk, West Kennebunk, (Lyman), Cape Porpoise, Alfred, Sanford, Springvale, Wells, Ogunquit, York, York Beach, Kittery, Eliot, South Berwick, ME and Dover, NH)

Bangor Railway and Electric Company - 57.10 Miles
Bangor, Brewer, Old Town, Orono, Hampden, Charleston, Winterport, Kenduskeag, Glenburn, and Corinth.

Benton and Fairfield

Biddeford and Saco Railroad - 7.61 Miles
Biddeford, Saco, and Old Orchard Beach

Calais Street Railway - 7.00 Miles
Calais, ME and St. Stephen, N.B. Canada

Cumberland County Power and Light Company (Portland Railroad) - 82.88 Miles
Portland, South Portland, Scarborough, Old Orchard Beach, Saco, Westbrook, Gorham, South Windham, Cape Elizabeth, Falmouth, Cumberland, and Yarmouth

Fairfield Village to Shawmut

Fryeburg Horse Railroad (Abandoned 1914) - 3.00 Miles (Never Electrified)
Fryeburg Village to Chautauqua Grounds

Lewiston, Augusta, and Waterville Street Railway - 152.90 Miles
Lewiston, Auburn, Augusta, Waterville, Bath, Brunswick, Freeport, Yarmouth, Topsham, Lisbon, Minot, Mechanic Falls, Turner, Greene, Sabattus, Webster, Litchfield, Wales, South Monmouth, Gardiner, West Gardiner, Farmingdale, Hallowell, Manchester, Winthrop, Chelsea (Togus), Vassalboro, East and West Vassalboro, and Winslow

Norway, Paris,  and South Paris

Rockland, St. George, Thomaston, South Thomaston (Crescent Beach-Owls'Head)

Rockland, Rockport, Camden, Thomaston, and Warren

Skowhegan and Norridgewock Railway (Abd. 1904) - 5.75 Miles
Skowhegan and Norridgewock

Somerset Traction Company - 12.20 Miles
Skowhegan and Madison

Waterville, Fairfield, and Oakland Railway - 10.24 Miles
Waterville, Fairfield, and Oakland

Total Street Railway Mileage - 1915 - 518.63
Total Passengers Carried - 1915 - 57,422,739
Total Operating Revenue - 1915 - $3,066,924 (equivalent to about $70 million today)

Togus waiting station at Togus, Maine - Postcard from PWM

Click on the railways that have a hot link below for more on that particular line
Railways that operated in Maine during the Trolley Era
Atlantic Shore Line Railway (ASL)
Atlantic Shore Railway (ASL)
Auburn & Turner Railroad (LA&W)
Auburn, Mechanic Falls & Norway Street Railway
Augusta, Winthrop, & Gardiner Street Railway
Bangor & Northern Railway (BSR)
Bangor, Hampden, & Winterport Railway (BSR)
Bangor, Orono, & Old Town Railway (BSR)
Bangor Railway and Electric Company (BSR)
Bangor Street Railway (BSR)
Bath Street Railway 
Biddeford & Saco Railroad
Brunswick & Topsham Electric Railroad
Dover & Eliot Street Railway (ASL)
Fairfield & Oakland Street Railway (WF&O)
Fryeburg Horse Railroad - Never Electrified
Kittery & Eliot Street Railway (ASL)
Kittery & York Street Railway (ASL)
Lewiston, Brunswick, and Bath Street Railway (A&K)
Lewiston & Brunswick Electric Railway (A&K)
Mousam River Railroad (ASL)
Penobscot Central Railway
Portland & Yarmouth Electric Railway (PRR)
Portsmouth, Dover, & York Street Railway (ASL)
Portsmouth, Kittery, & York Street Railway (ASL)
Sanford & Cape Porpoise Railway (ASL)
York Utilities Company (ASL)

One of the interurbans of the Portland-Lewiston Interurban westbound on
the S-curve at Morrison Hill in Cumberland, Maine.
Image from Seashore Trolley Museum collection of O. R. Cummings

These were proposed-but-never-built trolley lines in Maine.
  • Auburn, Durham & Yarmouth Street Railway - 1907
  • Augusta, Oakland & Waterville Street Railway - 1906
  • Augusta & Togus Electric Railroad Company - 1900
  • Belfast Street Railway -1891
  • Biddeford Pool Electric Railroad -1902
  • Cherryfield and Milbridge Electric Railway - 1895
  • Eastern Traction Company - 1903
  • Kineo Street Railway - 1902
  • Lewiston, Winthrop & Augusta Street Railway - 1901
  • Lincoln County Street Railway - 1902
  • Lisbon, Durham & Freeport Street Railway - 1907
  • Maine and New Hampshire Railway - 1902
  • Mount Desert Transit Company - 1906
  • Oxford Central Electric Railroad - 1897
  • Peaks Island Electric Railway - 1900
  • Peaks Island Railroad - 1890
  • Portland & Brunswick Extension Railway - 1907(?)
  • Portland and Northern Railroad Company - 1907
  • Rumford Falls and Bethel Street Railway - 1907
  • Saco River Electric Railroad - 1897
  • York County Central Electric Railroad - 1900
  • York County Electric Railroad - 1899
  • York and Oxford Railway - 1907
  • Zig-Zag Railroad (Peaks Island) - 1891
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.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

57 Million Passengers Carried on Electric Railways in Maine in 1915!!

Fair Week Passenger Travel - Three Duplex convertibles and a 14-bench open
on Main Street, Waterville, are jammed with passengers for the fairgrounds,
typical of the pre-automobile travel to special events. From: Waterville,
Fairfield, & Oakland Railway Company by O. R. Cummings, book dated
January 1, 1965.

57,422,739 total passengers carried on the 520 miles of electric railway tracks in Maine in 1915!
Revenues generated from passenger, freight, and express services in 1915 totaled more than $3,000,000. That is equivalent to $70 million today.

Public Transportation was incredibly important in Maine's economic and social development late in the 19th century and early in the 20th century.

The passenger counts below seem crazy to us today. Seriously.....Crazy!

This map is of the Bangor-Old Town Division From:
Bangor Street Railway by Charles D. Heseltine -
 book dated January-December 1974.


     Bangor, with a total population of about 20,000, was the first in the state of Maine to have electric railway service. The first trial trip took place in the very early hours of April 29, 1889. Two closed cars provided the first public passenger trips on May 21, 1889. On this original 3-mile section of track, from May 21, 1889, through September 30, 1889, four closed cars and four open cars carried 215,547 passengersDuring a single day of the State Fair in September that fall, 8,200 passengers were transported on these trolley cars! 

What was the total population in Maine in 1915? The 1910 census says 742,371. The 1920 census says 797,423. So, 1915 was somewhere in between. 

     I'm deep in researching materials involving electric streetcars, trolleys, and interurbans in Maine. The information will be used in part for a large grant application to help with the restoration of the 1912 Narcissus that operated on the Portland-Lewiston Interurban from 1914 till 1933. I'm feeling compelled to dig deep for the broader impact of electric railways' influences on Maine's economic growth and its implications on Maine's societal development. This blog post shares some of the early findings. It may take more than one blog post to disseminate the info :)

     The vast majority of the materials I will share have come from a number of books released by Seashore Trolley Museum's long-time historian, O. R. Cummings. Also books by Charles D. Heseltine and Clark T. Irwin, Jr. 

     Please consider making a donation to the Narcissus Project. Funds are still needed to complete the restoration of the National Register of Historic Places member, Narcissus.  Scroll to the end of this post to find all donation options. All donations are currently matched, dollar-for-dollar, as part of a $40,000 matching grant challenge, thanks to the generous offer from 20th Century Electric Railway Foundation!  Thank You :)

This map is the Bangor-Charleston Division. In total, Bangor expanded
service over the years to have about 57 miles of service trackage. Passengers
carried in 1915: 6,571,038. In 1921 - 7,835,046. From: Bangor Street Railway
by Charles D. Heseltine - book dated January -December 1974

     As O. R. says in his intro in his September 1, 1955, book, Toonervilles of Maine: The Pine Tree State. "Maine is well known among New England's electric railway enthusiasts for its four major traction systems - the Atlantic Shore Line Railway, the Portland Railroad, the Lewiston, Augusta and Waterville Street Railway and the Bangor Railway and Electric Company - and for its famous Portland-Lewiston Interurban as well! - but not so well known is the fact that the Pine Tree State had a number of small trolley lines, none over 15 miles in length, which were either contiguous to the larger systems or operated by themselves."

Rockport & Camden Railway -PWM postcard

     In the late 1880s/90s, when the fledgling electric companies in Maine were starting up, residential homes were not their market of choice. Initially, the usual market sequence was; contracts to provide electricity to a town/city for electric lights on the main street(s), then electric railway companies (for
obvious reasons :), then industrial factories, and then later the residential market. A serious pursuit of the residential market didn't start until about 1910, after the cost of electricity, had dropped to 2.5 cents per kilowatt-hour. Text from: The Light from the River: Central Maine Power's First Century of
Service by Clark T. Irwin, Jr. dated 1999. 

In 1910, only one in ten American homes had electricity. 
Farms' access to electricity took even longer - in the mid-1930s, 8,400 (17%) of Maine's 53,000 farms had electricity. 
The National average was 6%. From: The Light From the River by C.T. Irwin, Jr

     It was expensive to acquire the land, build the power plants and dams, place poles and string wire for the new electric companies. Having long-term contracts and receiving funding advancements were important to the fledgling electric companies. When a new street railway signed a 30-year contract with a funding advance to the Massalonskee Electric Company, a power plant was completed in 1907 and began generating the power for the Waterville, Augusta, and Lewiston Railway in 1908. The railway provided $30,000 a year in electric revenue - nearly half of Massalonskee Electric Company's total revenues. Successes were leveraged and successes continued to mount. The electric company had 4,500 customers in 1909. In January 1910, the Massalonskee Electric Company changed its name to Central Maine Power. In 1919, CMP had 21,361 customers.

The Lewiston, Augusta and Waterville Street Railway had
153 miles of service trackage. The Portland Railroad had
more than 80 miles of service trackage. From: Lewiston,
Augusta, Waterville Street Railway by O. R.
Cummings dated September 1, 1963. 

     The Lewiston, Augusta and Waterville Street Railway's high point in passenger traffic was during the year ending December 31, 1917, when 15,499,524 riders traveled on the electric railway. 

     Where in the world did all these passengers come from? Or Where were they going? Simply stated, during those early years, the late 1880s/90s and early in the 20th century, the main mode of transportation was for folks to walk. Yes, a few folks had horses and carriages. But not most people. In Maine, roads were dirt in those days. Muddy in the spring and after it rained. The snow made travel challenging too. The trolleys were the most dependable means of year-round transportation for the public in the pre-automobile era. People tended to use the electric railways in Maine to go to work, to go to town to shop, to visit family, and to recreate. With most workers working a six-day week, the electric railway companies often extended tracks to a destination for recreation. A park perhaps. Some parks had amusement rides that operated on the railway electricity. Often, there was a "casino" at the destination. Casinos in those days were a place for music and dances, and a restaurant. The beaches of southern Maine and the eastern coastline were major destinations. Inland, parks near a lake or a larger pond where picnics and canoeing took place were attractive to the public and summer visitors to Maine. O. R. states; No self-respecting street railway company considered itself complete without a pleasure resort...

Lake Grove Park at Auburn Lake. PWM postcard

 Passengers dressed to the "nines" pose at a stop along an excursion on the
popular parlor car "Merrymeeting" of the Lewiston, Augusta & Waterville
Street Railway. O. R. Cummings collection from NEERHS Library

The Portland Railroad system in 1903 had more than 500 employees, owned 217 passenger cars, and carried 13 million passengers in the single year between July 1, 1903, through June 30, 1904. 

Each of these open trolley cars, "breezers", could carry 75 passengers.
PWM postcard

Each of these open trolley cars, "breezers", could carry 75 passengers. How
many trolleys are lined up here in total? Amazing. The casino mentioned is
located where the photographer taking this image would be standing. See the
postcard below. PWM postcard

The casino at Riverton Park in Portland, Maine. Riverton Park was located
a few miles outside the downtown area of Portland. PWM postcard

Monument Square in downtown Portland, Maine. PWM postcard

The "Camilla" of the Portland & Brunswick Street Railway at the front of the
Casco Castle Park at South Freeport during the winter on 1903-04. From:
the collection of Ronald Cummings in the book, Trolleys to Brunswick, Maine
1896-1937 by O. R. Cummings dated 1966.

The Berwick, Eliot & Dover Street Railway would become part of the 
more than 90 miles of service trackage. Including tracks from South Berwick,
Maine to Dover, New Hampshire and railway-owned ferry service from
Kittery, Maine to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. From: Atlantic Shore Trolleys
by O. R. Cummings dated January 1, 1966

     The Atlantic Shore Line Railway's high point in passenger service was the year July 1, 1907, through June 30, 1908, when 5,881,581 riders traveled basically from Kittery to the connection at the Biddeford and Saco Railroad. Passengers enjoyed access to the beaches along the York County coastline. The ASL made a connection with the nearly 8 miles, Biddeford & Saco Railroad. In the summer, ASL passengers would transfer onto the B&S for a trip to Old Orchard Beach.

The Biddeford & Saco trolleys stopped at the Railroad crossing. From there it
was a short walk to the Pier in Old Orchard Beach. PWM postcard

The Pier at Old Orchard Beach had a casino at the end of the pier. At one
point, the pier stretched out 1,800 feet into the Atlantic Ocean. Summer
visitors are drawn to the beach and the other attractions offered there,
attributed to the strong ridership numbers in 1921 when 1,871,154 riders
traveled on the Biddeford & Saco Railroad. PWM postcard

Portland-Lewiston Interurban included about 34 miles of service trackage. Map
from: Maine's Fastest Electric Railroad: Portland-Lewiston interurban by
O. R. Cummings dated 1956

     The seven high speed, luxury wooden interurbans, along with two additional traditional passenger cars, carried 7,302,000 passengers on the PLI line during the twenty years of operations between the major cities (1914-1933). The six original interurbans were named after flowers. The seventh interurban was built in 1920 and was named Maine.

     Restoration of the sole surviving PLI is underway. The Narcissus entered
Seashore Trolley Museum's Town House Restoration Shop on May 20, 2015. Complete restoration of the exterior of the Narcissus is phase one. 

Portland-Lewiston Interurban's, Narcissus, featured in Promo Material - PWM

     The four major electric railway systems above and the PLI may have been Maine's best known in New England, however, the other railway systems throughout Maine were well patronized during the early 20th century. The next Blog Post will delve into those smaller railways.

Click Here for the post: Ninety Communities in Maine had Electric Railway Service!
Click Here for the post: 57 Million Passengers Carried on Electric Railways in Maine in 1915!
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - History of the Portland Railroad 1860-1941
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - History of the Calais Street Railway 1894-1929
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - History of Aroostook Valley Railroad 1909-1946
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Fryeburg Horse Railroad 1887-1913
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - The Norway and Paris Street Railway 1894-1918
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Skowhegan & Norridgewock Railway 1894-1903
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Benton and Fairfield Railway 1898-1928
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - The Somerset Traction Company 1895-192
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - The Fairfield and Shawmut Railway 1903-1927
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Trolleys to Augusta, Maine 1889-1932

   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.