Thursday, January 5, 2017

A Previously Unknown Image of Theodore Roosevelt in Maine - Resolved :)

Theodore Roosevelt with Maine politicians - When, Where, & Why?
Left to Right: Bert (Albert) M. Fernald (Governor of Maine 1909-1911,
Maine U.S. Senator 1916-1926), Frederick Hale (Maine U.S. Senator
1917-1941, Hale served as U S Senate Chairman of the Naval Committee),
Theodore Roosevelt, Charles B. Clarke (Mayor of Portland, ME 1918-1921),
Carl E. Milliken (Governor of Maine 1916-1921.
Many things are unknown concerning this image: What was the date that
this photo was taken? What was the event that brought these gentlemen
together to stage this photo? What was the location where this photo was
taken? Any details that a reader may have to help answer these questions
would be welcomed. Image courtesy of North Dakota Communications,
Dickinson, ND

Dickinson State University in North Dakota is the home of the Theodore Roosevelt Center. The collection is immense and online access to digital archives is expanding nearly every day. Sharon Kilzer is the project manager for the TRC. Early in December 2016, Sharon sent me an email and connected me to Shanna Shervheim. Shanna is the North Dakota Communications Manager for the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library Foundation in Dickinson, ND. A gentleman from Switzerland posted an image of TR (see above image) to the TR Presidential Library Facebook page and asked for help identifying the people with TR in the photo...and for any other details concerning the image. Shanna and Sharon found info on the individuals, but no info on the circumstances (place, date, etc.) for which these gentlemen were staging this photo. Knowing me and that I had been doing research on TR and his connections in Maine, I was asked by Sharon and Shanna if I could help answer these questions?

I have copies of a few newspaper clipping of info concerning TR visits to Maine during his 1902, 1912, 1914, and 1916 visits to Maine. My research has been narrowed to the communities he visited and transportation he used. I haven't focused any of my research on the political aspects of his visits. So, my personal archives were helpful in clarifying some connections between TR and Mr. Hale, but not in answering any of the questions pertaining specifically to the image in question.

I was interested in helping Shanna, so, I visited and did research at the Brown Library at the Maine Historical Society on Congress Street in Portland, ME. With the help of one of the research librarians and Curator of Library Collections, Nicholas Noyes, I was able to see many documents and newspaper clippings concerning the gentlemen in the image. We could not find any specific clues that related directly to the image. One idea that was suggested, was looking into any archives that may be available through the Republican Party. I thoroughly enjoyed my four hours at Brown Library :)

Next, I sent an email to Wells State Representative, Robert Foley, with a request for help with the image, via any Republican Party or State archives. Bob is a family friend and has served Wells, with distinction, in the State House of Representatives. Bob was happy to forward the request to the State Historian. Here is the response from Earle Shettleworth, State Historian via Representative Foley:

Please see the info below that we were able to get from the state's Historian. I hope it is helpful.
My Best,



From: Shettleworth, Earle
Sent: Wednesday, December 14, 2016, 10:24 AM
To: Knorr, David
Cc: Foley, Robert, Mohney, Kirk
Subject: RE: Theodore Roosevelt Photo

Dear David,

   Kirk Mohney has asked me to respond to your inquiry about the Theodore Roosevelt photograph.
   First, please let me say that I have never seen this photograph, and it is a wonderful image for the history of Maine politics.
   I would interpret the picture to have been taken sometime between 1916 and 1919, the year of Roosevelt's death. I would suggest the political campaign of 1916, because Senators Fernald, Hale, and Governor Milliken were running for office that year. Hale and Milliken were not on a statewide ballot prior to 1916. Philip Morse's research indicates that Theodore Roosevelt was in Portland and Lewiston on August 31, 1916, a likely date for the photograph, considering that Maine's elections at the time were held in September. Checking the Portland and Lewiston newspapers for late August-early September 1916 may shed more light on the meeting of these five political figures. A case could also be made that the photograph was taken in 1918, because of the presence of Charles B. Clarke, who was mayor of Portland at the time, but this is less likely. Theodore Roosevelt did spend some time in Maine during the summer of 1918, but the purpose was personal. After the death of his son Quentin on July 14, 1918, in World War I, Roosevelt and his wife Edith sought privacy with relatives at the summer resort of Dark Harbor on Islesboro. At the end of their stay, the former president agreed to give a speech to the public on the island. I am not aware that he made any other appearances in Maine that year.
   Please let me know if I can be of further assistance in this manner.
   Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr.
   Maine State Historian


Mr. Shettleworth mentions that the photo could have been taken in 1918 due to the presence of Portland Mayor Charles B. Clarke. My research has Theodore Roosevelt making a trip to Portland for political reasons on March 28, 1918. Maybe this is the date the photo was taken? I will continue my research and focus in on the March 28, 1918, visit. I'll update via a blog post. In the meantime, I am asking all of the readers if you have any info on this image, please help me out with the details and send me a message through the blog or directly to me via my email:

Thank you to all that have helped out so far :)

UPDATE: January 6, 2017 -

Today I traveled to the Portland Public Library to use the microfilm available at the Portland Room.
I zeroed in on Theodore Roosevelt's visit to Portland (ME) on Thursday, March 28, 1918. With assistance from a staff member, Tom, the first reel loaded into the reader was from the Argus. Sure enough, TR came to Portland on the 28th to attend and give a speech at the Republican State Convention. The center for the activities was the Falmouth Hotel in Portland. The picture in question (above) was not printed in the paper that day.

The second reel loaded into the reader was the Portland Express-Advertiser. One of the articles (see below) clearly states that all five gentlemen in the photo above dined together. The photo above was not in the paper. So, I'm feeling quite confident that the photo above was taken in Portland, ME at the Falmouth Hotel on March 28, 1918 :)

Falmouth Hotel in Portland was located at 212 Middle Street
and hosted many large functions. 
PWM postcard

All five gentlemen in the photograph are listed above as having lunch
together at the Falmouth Hotel on March 28, 1918.

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.
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   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.
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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

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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:
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In the memo please write: Narcissus Fund 816-A
Mail to: Seashore Trolley Museum
              P. O. Box A
              Kennebunkport, ME 04046

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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.

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Questions? ***** Please contact Narcissus project manager:
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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.

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