Thursday, April 28, 2016

Narcissus Restoration Update - Part 3 - Exterior Poplar Frames 4-22-2016

A complete "half" of one newly built exterior poplar arched frame
for the 1912 Portland-Lewiston Interurban, Narcissus, sits on top of a
few frame segments. The segments will be assembled following the addition of
"fingers", gluing, and planing. Each complete "half" arched frame will then have
turns on three specially-made "jigs" and will make several passes along shaper
where special blades that will then shape the arched frame with contours and
grooves to match the graceful lines of the original poplar arched frames of the

     This Narcissus Blog post is the third in a series that relates to the exemplary woodwork being done with the exterior poplar arched frames by Seashore Trolley Museum member/volunteer, Lary Shaffer. The exterior poplar arched frames hold the mahogany sash/frames that contain the ornate leaded stained glass windows that are above each pair of passenger windows, with the exception of, on the No. 2 end, where there is a single-sash window (The No. 2 end of the Narcissus is affectionately referred to as the "Teddy End". For it is from the open train-door on the No. 2 end, from whence Theodore Roosevelt waved to the assembled crowd of residents of Gray, Maine on August 18, 1914).
Lary is working on the poplar arch frames in his Scarborough Marsh Fine Furniture woodworking shop.

Click Here to view the first post in this series and to see Lary's bio.
                            Click Here to view the second post in this series.

     There are thirteen passenger windows along each side of the Narcissus. Twelve "double-sash" or pairs of windows and one single sash/window. There is an arched wooden frame on the exterior of the Narcissus over each single or each pair of windows. Each of the poplar arched frames is made up of a combination of left and right "half", and a "tail that extends from the top of the frame and runs parallel with the body of the car. These are an extremely complicated design. In addition, the original design had each half of the arches made from one solid piece of poplar board. This use of one single board would prove to be a design flaw that resulted in the tips of the ends of each arched half failing.
The flaw in the design relates to the grain of the poplar wood from a single board. The direction of the grain of the poplar in the final two or three inches at the tips of each arched frame is structurally the "weak link", and virtually every end had broken away from every single poplar arched frame section. Good fortune had two broken end pieces nailed into place. Having these allowed Lary to have one complete set of the two halves intact....although in pieces. with these intact arches, he could then create a wooden pattern to use as he developed the plan to repair the ends of fifty "halves" of arched frames and to rebuild four halves completely. 

The large leaded stained glass "eyebrows" in their mahogany sash over each
pair of passenger windows (double sash) being held by the exterior
arched poplar frames with the "tails" extending left and right from
the top of each arch. STM image edited by PWM
An original arched frame half in need of repair. PWM

The "jig" designed by Lary Shaffer to align each arched half
so that each will be cut on the same line in the arch for a
consistently sized end replacement repair piece made from
vintage poplar. PWM

Lary Shaffer using the shaper table to cut "fingers" into the end of one of the
new vintage poplar arched frame segments that will be used to replace
missing frames of the Narcissus. PWM
Lary Shaffer holding the jig he made to hold an arched frame half segment
to have its "fingers" cut by the knives on the shaper table. Lary had to make
several different jigs to be used on the shaper table for the various segments
made to repair and or build the complicated design of exterior arched frame
of the Narcissus. PWM

Three, of the fifty arched frames with the vintage poplar wood in place. Each
of these arches will have turns on three specially-made shapers prior to
several passes 
along special router blades that will then shape the new
arched frame ends with contours and grooves to match the graceful 
lines of the original poplar arched frames of the Narcissus. PWM

An Original poplar arched frame from Narcissus in a vise waiting for the glued "fingers" that now
connect the original poplar to the new vintage poplar end. PWM

The first video (below) has Lary explaining creating and using a couple of the shapers. And the use of the router table with different blades.

     The second video (below) has Lary assessing the block of vintage poplar for where to make the cut for the new section of the frame, then squaring it up.

The third video (below) has Lary explaining the assembly of the segments.

The fourth video (below) has Lary gluing the fingered segments together, then planing a completed "new" half arches frame.

Click Here - to see Part 1 of the exterior poplar framework
Click Here - to see Part 2 of the exterior poplar framework
Click Here - to see Part 4 of the exterior poplar framework

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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