Friday, September 30, 2016

Scrapbook Celebrates the People of the Portland-Lewiston Interurban

Cover-page of the large scrapbook created by Charles D. Heseltine, using photos,
newspaper clippings, original ephemera from the Portland-Lewiston Interurban (PLI);
including poetry, personal cards, notes, and notations from employees and theirs families.
My understanding is that Heseltine passed the scrapbook on to O. R. Cummings, who in
turn, passed it on to the New England Electric Railway Historical Society's (NEERHS)
LibrarySeashore Trolley Museum is owned and operated by the NEERHS in
Kennebunkport, ME.

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.  Click here to make an online donation or 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 :)


The scrapbook has several pages dedicated to reunions of the former PLI
employees, and their families. There are four reunions specifically
catalogued on several pages; June 29, 1938, June 29, 1939, June 30, 1940,
and June 28, 1941. All four of the reunions were held in Gray, ME.
The 1938 and 1941 reunions were held at the Newbegin Hall. The
1939 and the 1940 reunions were held at the Pennell Institute Gymnasium.
It is noted in newspaper articles of the times, that combined, the total of
former PLI employees and their family members that attended each of the
reunions in 1939 and 1940, well exceeded 100 in attendance.
The image above is from the final annual reunion, 1941. 


This scrapbook is made up of
mementos from these employees, or their
family members. Each item was hand-
delivered, usually when attending a
reunion. Each came with an emotional
"piece" of that employee, or that
employee's relationship with other PLI
employees. This scrapbook holds some
precious moments for these folks.
We are so very fortunate.

If you recognize a person, home or other structure in any of these
images and have additional information on the person or a current image of a home/structure that can be used to show the approximate area in recent years, please consider sending me an email with the information or "new" image and a caption/explanation: p.morse31@gmail.com

W. S. Libbey was beloved by his family. He was a well respected
businessman, not only in the the greater Auburn-Lewiston area,
but around the state and throughout New England.
For more on the life of W. S. Libbey: 
Click Here
For more on the community reaction to his life: Click Here


LeRoy Libby - I learned in 2015 that W. S. Libbey
is a descendant of John Libby. John Libby arrived
in the Blackpoint area of Scarborough, Maine in
the very early 1630s. I also learned that
W. S. Libbey and I have a common ancestor.
We are both descended from the second
child, of the eleventh child, born to John Libby.
So, now, every time I see a "Libby", I
wonder if we are related? I'll need to
research LeRoy (above) :)
To see more on my connections to
W.S. Libbey: Click Here


First page of images taken during the construction of line

For more information leading up to the opening of the
Portland, Gray, & Lewiston Railroad and circumstances that
lead to it becoming the PLI: Click Here


Mrs. Harold S. Libbey shared a number of photos of the construction of what
would become, the Portland-Lewiston Interurban. Helen V. Channell, married
W. S. Libbey's son, Harold Shaw Libbey in 1907. During the construction,
Mr. & Mrs. Libbey would camp out along the right-of-way. Harold would
send his father letters with updates of the progress of the line.



Webster's had a siding (a short section of a second track that could be
accessed 
from the mainline) and was about fifteen miles from the Lewiston
Terminal. If you recognize a person, home or other structure in any of these
images and have additional information on the person or a current
image of a home/structure that can be used to show the approximate area
in recent years, please consider sending me an email with the information
or "new" image and a caption/explanation: p.morse31@gmail.com


I wonder if that is Mrs. Harold S. Libbey sitting on the edge of the
cut on the upper right? If you recognize a person, home or
other structure in any of these images and have additional
information on the person or a current image of a home/structure
that can be used to show the approximate area in recent years,
please consider sending me an email with the information or
"new" image and a caption/explanation: p.morse31@gmail.com


This original reinforced concrete bridge was replaced by a steel girder span
in late 1927, early 1928.


Our hope is to have each of the photos in the scrapbook scanned digitally,
and where needed, restored. Contact Narcissus project manager,
Phil Morse, if you would like to learn more on the scanning/restoration of
these precious images. p.morse31@gmail.com


Harry W. Ferguson in the above image, went on to become the Line Foreman.
See the 1932 list of employees in one of the above images.


If you recognize a person, home or other structure in any of these images
and have additional information on the person or a current image of a
home/structure that can be used to show the approximate area in
recent years, please consider sending me an email with the information
or "new" image and a caption/explanation: p.morse31@gmail.com


If you recognize a person, home or other structure in any of these images
and have additional information on the person or a current image of a
home/structure that can be used to show the approximate area in recent
years, please consider sending me an email with the information
or "new" image and a caption/explanation: p.morse31@gmail.com



If you recognize a person, home or other structure in any of these
images and have additional information on the person or a current
image  of a home/structure that can be used to show the approximate
area in recent years, please consider sending me an email with
the information or "new" image and a caption/explanation:
p.morse31@gmail.com


For more details on the opening of the line: Click Here



Theodore Roosevelt was a passenger on the Narcissus on August 18, 1914.
 He also rode on one of the PLI interurbans during his August 31, 1916
visit. During both trips, he stopped in Gray and spoke to the assembled
townspeople from the car. We have not been able to identify specifically,
which one of the six interurbans he rode on during his 1916 visit.
If you have any information that can help us to identify which of the
interurbans he rode in 1916, please contact the Narcissus project
manager, Phil Morse: p.morse31@gmail.com
Theodore Roosevelt loved Maine and traveled to Maine on several
occasions starting when he was thirteen years old in 1872.
For more information on TR's trips to Maine:
Click Here



The average newspaper reader at the time, probably would not
have clipped this article out and saved it :)


How many personal photos do you have at home, that have no names
identifying any of the people in the photos. Time passes and in later years,
it becomes very challenging to identify time, place, and individuals.
Thankfully, many of the folks in the images in the scrapbook are noted.
Not all though. Some names have question marks and some images
have no names at all. 



Anyone recognize any of these fellas :) If so, send me an email with the image
and a caption/explanation to: 
p.morse31@gmail.com


Morrison's Hill had a milk platform, gravel pit, and spur for work trains only.
Morrison Hill was about 12 miles north of Portland Street terminal in
Portland. Seashore Trolley Museum has restored the original
1915 Morrison Hill Way Station from the PLI and has it on display.








There are a number of  images in the scrapbook of damage caused by
washouts. Nos. 3 and 2 bridges were two separate bridges but were
connected with each other.









Sadler's had a siding (a short section of a second track that could be accessed
from the mainline) and was about two and half miles from the Lewiston
Terminal. 
If you recognize a person, home or other structure in any of these
images and have additional information on the person or a current image of
a home/structure that can be used to show the approximate area in recent
years, please consider sending me an email with the information or
"new" image and a caption/explanation: p.morse31@gmail.com



Like washouts, there are a number of images of PLI employees,
and probably contracted help, digging out after large snowstorms.
The "Exciter" is the employee newsletter of the Central Maine
Power Company (CMP). The PLI became part of the CMP family
in 1920. 


The "Silo" was also known as Blake's. It was about a mile south from Sadler's
Siding and just north of the Milk platform and cattle run at Merrow's.
When first built, there were 50 cattle passes along the line, each was
reinforced concrete with an 8-foot clearance.
For more on the early details of the line: Click Here

The interurbans were large cars and took up a lot of space on the streets in
Portland and Lewiston. Each were 46 feet long and weighed in at about 36
tons. Passenger service ended on the 28th with Arbutus heading to Lewiston
from Portland at 11:05 p.m. and Gladiolus leaving from Lewiston for
Portland. They both arrived in Gray and then off to their respective
destinations with Arbutus arriving at 12:27 a.m. June 29 and Gladiolus
arriving in Portland at 12:30 a.m. Here is a little known Theodore
Roosevelt-Portland, Maine related fact: The Theodore Roosevelt
International Highway is 4,060 miles long and goes from Portland,
Maine to Portland, Oregon. For More on the TRIH: Click Here


1920 was the year Maine celebrated its centennial birthday. The large crowds
mentioned above were traveling to and from visiting the
Centennial Exposition at Deering Oaks in Portland. 1920 was also the
high water mark for number of total passengers carried in a single year.
519,488. Over the years of passenger service, the line carried more than
7.3 million passengers.



Freight and Express service generated significant revenues for the PLI
for several years. From 10% of total gross revenues to nearly 19% as
passenger revenues were dropping off in the mid 20s.


With about 35 miles of track and overhead wire, there was always
maintenance going on throughout the line.



Pages of pictures of the substations in West Falmouth, Gray, and Danville.
If you recognize a person, home or other structure in any of these
images and have additional information on the person or a current
image  of a home/structure that can be used to show the approximate
area in recent years, please consider sending me an email with
the information or "new" image and a caption/explanation:
p.morse31@gmail.com







Pictures of the Section Crew members.


Milage and Fare Tables. O.R. Cummings used many of these original documents as
resources for his first two books on the PLI.
May 1956 - Portland-Lewiston Interurban,  NRHS, Connecticut Valley Chapter Pub.
September 1967 - Maine's Fast Electric Railroad - Portland-Lewiston Interurban
through New England Electric Railway Historical Society.
O. R. Cummings passed away early in 2013. He left a significant portion of his
railway-related collection to the Library at the New England Electric Railway
Historical Society. Included in that collection is his, approximately, 50-page
manuscript for what would be volume three, in the series of books on the
Portland-Lewiston Interurban. If you have an interest in learning more about
the process of publishing this manuscript, please contact the Narcissus project
manager, Phil Morse: p.morse31@gmail.com


Telephone Directory. Even includes retired and laid-off employees.


The last car page. Followed by a 1933 page.

The Arbutus is pictured above: The Last "Interurban"



Mrs. Gertrude Libbey Anthony purchased the Arbutus, complete, as a fully
operating interurban, and had it relocated on a sets of tracks at her home in
Saco, Maine. The "body" of the Narcissus travelled to Sabattus, Maine,
near the Sabattus Pond/Lake and became the summer camp for the
Vallee family for nearly 35 years. The body of the Narcissus would
become the property of  Seashore Trolley Museum in 1969.
To read more on "Camp" Narcissus: Click Here
To watch a short video interview of Daniel Vallee taking about
living in the Narcissus: Click Here


Newspaper article in Lewiston Magazine section
August 19, 1939.


Another image of the complete Arbutus in Saco, Maine in 1940.
In1945/6, the Arbutus would be scrapped. Some of the beautiful
interior Santo Domingo mahogany with inlay would go to the
St. Francis College chapel in Biddeford Pool, Maine. Some of the clerestory
ornate leaded stained glass windows, in their mahogany sash,
would end up in the Shoreline Trolley Museum in Connecticut. These
clerestory windows and sash would be donated to Seashore Trolley Museum
in 2002.

The first of four "annual" reunions took place five years after the PLI service came
to an end, June 29, 1928. Held at the Newbegin Hall in Gray, Maine. A baked
bean supper was served by the Gray Grange, with entertainment and dance
following.


The second and third reunions were held at the Pennell Institute Gymnasium
in Gray, Maine


The reunion pages include many cards, letter, and photos explaining
happy times and tough times since the years of working together on the PLI.
This card explains how the "29" crash  impacted one of the reunion members.


Reunion Invitation


There are many cards, obituaries, letters, and poems that
pay homage to those former PLI employees and or family members
that had passed away.


This poem by former PLI patron, Margaret Turner, was first read at
the 1939 reunion. It is a touching tribute to the PLI and the community that
was served so well for 20 years by the dedicated employees.
To see and hear the poem put to music: Click Here



Mark your calendars (purchase your Friday-opening tickets in advance) and plan to attend the 2017 Teddy Roosevelt Days Event July 21-23, 2017

A Benefit Event For the Narcissus Project!

Click Here: First Post on 2017 Teddy Roosevelt Days - W. S. Libbey's 1908 Stanley Steamer
Click Here: Second Post on 2017 Teddy Roosevelt Days - Suzanne Buzby Hersey - "My Maine"
Click Here: Third Post on 2017 Teddy Roosevelt Days - Wade Zahares - Artist


More details on the celebration will be announced soon.
The Friday activity requires a ticket to be purchased in
advance. There is limited seating for the Friday gala
opening activity. Saturday and Sunday are
general admission public offerings at


The Narcissus Project Blog was created in April 2015 for the purpose of reaching out to a large number of folks through the power of social media to introduce them to the Narcissus. The Narcissus is a luxury, high-speed, wooden electric interurban. The Narcissus was built in 1912 in Laconia, NH and operated on the Portland-Lewiston Interurban, in Maine, between Portland and Lewiston, from 1914 into 1933. Theodore Roosevelt was a passenger on the Narcissus on August 18, 1914. The blog posts appeal to folks with an interest in Theodore Roosevelt's connection to Maine, to folks generally interested in regional/local history, as well as those folks within the greater railway family. Hopefully, these posts will endear many of the readers to help support the Narcissus financially, as it undergoes a complete restoration over the next few years at Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine. 




We Did It!! 

$40,000 Raised!

Your Donations to the Narcissus Combined to Achieve the Goal Set Nineteen Months Ago. Raise $40,000 for the Narcissus to Meet the Challenge of the Matching Grant from the 

This brings the Combined Total Amount of Donations to the
Narcissus, based on the 20th Century Electric Railway Foundation's matching grants to $100,000!  

The $40,000 donation will be the 2nd donation to the Narcissus from the 20th Century Electric Railway Foundation as a result of successfully raising funds for a matching grant. A previous $10,000 matching grant challenge was achieved in 2014.

Donations made to the Narcissus Fund 816-A, for the remainder of 2017 and until further notice,
 will be used for work and materials needed to restore the interior of the Narcissus.

See below for Donation options -

It starts with YOU....
Your Donation Matters....
Make a Donation TODAY....

Please Help the Narcissus
Donations are now being raised to restore the interior of the Narcissus.

Donation Options to Help Restore the Narcissus:


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 to our Current Funding Partners
20th Century Electric Railway Foundation - 2017/2014 Matching Grant Challenges
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 2017/2016/2015
The W. S. Libbey Family - Awalt, Conley, Graf, Holman, Libbey, McAvoy, McLaughlin, Meldrum, O'Halloran, Salto, - 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
* IBM - Matching Employee/Retiree Donations
* Fidelity Charitable Grant - Matching Employee Donations
* Richard E. Erwin Grant - 2017/2016
Seal Cove Auto Museum


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 Historic Treasure at
Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine.
PWM photo


Please Consider Making a Donation to the Narcissus Restoration Project. We are currently raising funds to restore the interior 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 - 100-Plus


Link to Libb(e)y Family connections


Click Here - Portland Public Library Presentation - History of the Portland-Lewiston Interurban
Click Here - W. S. Libbey - The Man and His Mill
Click Here - W. S. Libbey - His 1908 Stanley Steamer K 30-hp Semi-Racer
Click Here - W. Scott Libbey's 1908 Stanley Steamer History to be Featured - July 21, 2017
Click Here - Scrapbook Celebrates the People of the Portland-Lewiston Interurban
Click Here - May 18, 1914, Newspaper Story on the Passing of PLI Builder, W. Scott Libbey
Click Here - 102nd Anniversary of the Opening of the Portland-Lewiston Interurban
Click Here - 83rd anniversary of the Closing of the Portland-Lewiston Interurban
Click Here - Sophia, W. S. Libbey Descendant Visits the Narcissus
Click Here - Libb(e)y Family Connection to Narcissus becomes Personal
Click Here - Ode To the Grand Old Interurban
Click Here - The Portland-Lewiston Interurban "Bouquet" is Ordered (1912)

Links to Narcissus Restoration Work:
Click Here - Ornate Leaded Stained Glass Work
Click Here - Narcissus Enters Town House Restoration Shop
Click Here - Sorting and Cleaning Materials on Interior of the Narcissus
Click Here - September 7, 2015, Restoration Report
Click Here - December 7, 2015, Restoration Report
Click Here - December 14, 2015, Restoration Report
Click Here - Beautiful Brass of the Narcissus
Click Here - December 28, 2015 Restoration Update
Click Here - January 4, 2016, Restoration Update
Click Here - Vallee Family Photos of Narcissus 1960s
Click Here - February 11, 2016, Restoration Update
Click Here - A Wooden Interurban - Restoration Info
Click Here - NRHS 2016 Heritage Grant Award to Narcissus
Click Here - Announcement of 2016 Teddy Roosevelt Days Fundraising Event for the Narcissus
Click Here - Series of Restoration Posts related to work on exterior poplar frames
Click Here - Vintage Poplar used in Narcissus restoration
Click Here - Mahogany Sash passenger windows being restored
Click Here - "A President Has Ridden in My House!" - Video of Dan Vallee
Click Here - Teddy Roosevelt Days 2016 - Weekend Event Benefits the Narcissus
Click Here - August 2016 Restoration Update
Click Here - Mid-September Restoration Update
Click Here - Theodore Roosevelt & the Narcissus: Connecting Maine Communities
Click Here - How to Make New Seats for the Narcissus?
Click Here - 2016 Summary of Research and Outreach
Click Here - 2016 Restoration Summary


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
National Historic Treasure at
Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine.


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