Saturday, April 23, 2016

Narcissus Restoration Update - Exterior Poplar Frames - Part 1 - 4-22-2016

The license plate on an interior wall in Seashore Trolley Museum
member/volunteer Lary Shaffer's Scarborough Marsh Fine Furniture
woodworking shop.  PWM

     Lary's father was an admirer of Franklin D. Roosevelt and had this license plate on his auto. As luck would have it, recently, Harvard University commissioned Lary to replicate, in detail, several significant pieces of furniture as part of the restoration of FDR's dormitory room at Harvard. Lary is currently restoring/rebuilding exterior poplar window frames for the 1912 Portland-Lewiston, No. 14, Narcissus. Theodore Roosevelt was a passenger on the Narcissus on August 18, 1914. Lary's grandfather was a conductor on the maiden trip between Portland and Boston of the Flying Yankee on April 1, 1935. See more on Lary's and his Railway & Railroad family heritage below. 

Click Here - Link to FDR's Dorm Room Renovation work by Lary
Click Here - FDR Foundation & Adams House at Harvard

     Each of the past two days I had the pleasure of spending some time with Lary Shaffer in his Scarborough Marsh Fine Furniture woodworking shop in Scarborough, Maine. Lary allowed me to take pictures and video of him as he was working on rebuilding, and in some cases restoring, the exterior poplar frames from the Narcissus. The exterior poplar frames hold the ornate leaded stained glass windows and their mahogany sash/frames. Videos below. 

Closeup of the first and second eyebrows. Notice the leaded stained glass sash
being held in place by the arched exterior frames. STM

Lary Shaffer, working to remove the 100+-year-old iron screw
from up inside the exterior frame that holds the large eyebrow sash and stained
glass windows. PWM

     Several video clips were recorded over the two days. Each takes the viewer through the various steps Lary has developed and is implementing in his efforts to rebuild/restore/recreate the various segments that make up these poplar frames. These clips are not shown here necessarily in the order they were taken. So, you may hear a reference here and there to points made earlier, when actually, you may not have seen the referenced footage yet :) There will be more than one blog post to share all the work being done by Lary on the Narcissus exteriors poplar frames.

This first clip (below) will give you some background on the
first steps of dealing with the original exterior poplar frame
segments. PWM

A few of the "tails" that Lary refers to in the above video. The tails are
the extensions that run from the top of the exterior poplar frames and
are horizontal with the body of the Narcissus. They each are removed
in the initial dismantling of the frame segments. The tails in this image
are in great shape and will need very little attention as they are
prepared to be reconnected to the restored/repaired frames segments.

A poplar frame segment after having it's "tail" removed. PWM

The same poplar frame segment as above. You can see the tiny triangular
piece of vertical sheathing in what was the corner where the tail extended
away from the top of the frame segment. Lary mentions in the video
above and shows where this tiny triangular piece is tucked in tightly in
the corner. PWM

This second clip (below) is of Lary's mid-to-late 1800's lathe
and his use of it for turning wooden "plugs" for the exterior
poplar frames. PWM

     Finding wood materials for the restoration that is as close to those used originally is very important. The Museum is very fortunate to have found a local supplier in southern Maine that has had great success supplying the Museum with period wood for previous restorations like the 1906 electric locomotive, Atlantic Shore Line No. 100. John Rousseau of Rousseau Reclaimed Lumber (formerly Barnstormers) has been able to supply the Town House Restoration Shop with some wonderful vintage Poplar for use by Lary to repair/rebuild the exterior Poplar frames of the Narcissus.

This third clip (below) is of Lary giving some background on
how he became a volunteer working with Seashore Trolley
Museum and the Narcissus.

Click Here - to see Part 2 of exterior poplar framework
Click Here - to see Part 3 of exterior poplar framework
Click Here - to see Part 4 of exterior poplar framework
Click Here - to see the story of finding the reclaimed lumber for use in Narcissus restoration

Seashore Trolley Museum Member-Volunteer Lary Shaffer

 Seashore Trolley Museum member/volunteer Lary Shaffer, in an earlier
career in a BBC publicity-shot at the camera with Niko Tinbergen,
who directed some of the programs. The monster lens was a
Nikkor 800mm that was very useful in getting close-ups of shy
animals. Image from LS

Railway and Railroad Roots in Lary's Family

Ernest Moody was Lary's Grandfather and worked for the B & M Railroad
for 55 years. Image from LS

     Lary speaking of his grandfather: "Grandpa's 55 years at the B & M did not seem amazing when I was growing up but I certainly appreciate it now. He worked for two years on the Boston Elevated before he went to the Boston & Maine and that is my tiny streetcar bloodstream. He had sufficient seniority at the B & M so that he was the conductor on the first Portland to Boston run of the stainless steel diesel-electric Flying Yankee on 1 April 1935. Here he is (above) and also his log book for that day. It shows how stoic he was that it simply recorded as "6000 Motor". I think I would have had to put an exclamation mark or something after that entry. The Yankee must have looked like something from the futuristic space travel among all the steam engines. He notes "5-speed restrictions" in the log. Without those, the Yankee made the trip an hour faster than the current Downeaster. However, the Yankee was nonstop, so I guess that was cheating."

Lary's Woodworking Shop

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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