Saturday, January 7, 2017

Narcissus Restoration Project Outreach-Research 2016

Theodore Roosevelt's home, Sagamore Hill, in Oyster Bay, NY. This image
was taken at dusk during the Theodore Roosevelt Association annual meeting
gathering 10.29.2016. PWM

     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 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. 

     This post shares some behind the scenes activities during 2016, that involve the volunteer project manager for the Narcissus, Phil Morse :) Responsibilities for a volunteer project manager may include; photography; people, artifacts, restoration progress, research materials and places, outreach activities; organizing fundraising activities, communicating with donors, completing grant applications, research, hands-on restoration work, communications with restoration shop staff and volunteers, social media offerings, advertising and marketing the project, etc. As the PM for the Narcissus project, I may be expanding the role of what might be considered the more traditional responsibilities of a PM? I encourage readers' feedback. or through the blog comments.

There are 12 of these large, ornate, arched leaded stained glass "eyebrow"
windows. In addition, there are two smaller ones that belong in the passenger
compartment and twenty-six that belong in the clerestory. All were restored
at Sundancer Stained Glass in Saco, ME and needed a safe place to be stored
and also have easy access to, as they would be needed in 2016. They are all
stored at the project manager's home :) PWM

     As the project manager, I look to use artifacts in creating traveling exhibits that help promote the Narcissus project and educate communities on their local railway history.

Original newspaper page announcing the end of the the
Portland-Lewiston Interurban. This paper is in the
archives of Seashore Trolley Museum and is part of
the outreach exhibit displayed at community events.

Thornton Academy (Saco, Maine) Residential Life International students
volunteer to staff the Narcissus project exhibit at the 112th annual reunion
gathering of members of the John Libby Family Association in Sept. 2016.
W. S. Libbey, the builder of the Portland-Lewiston Interurban, is a
descendant of John Libby. The Narcissus is a "Libb(e)y family artifact. PWM

Thornton Academy (Saco, Maine) Residential Life International students
volunteer to staff the Narcissus project exhibit during the very successful,
Transit Days, event at Seashore Trolley Museum in Oct. 2016. PWM

Thornton Academy (Saco, Maine) Residential Life International students
volunteer to staff the Narcissus project exhibit during Members' Day at
Seashore Trolley Museum - Sept. 2016. PWM

Outreach announcement on the door to the Gray Public Library in Gray,
Maine, Oct. 2016. PWM

Setting up one of the two Narcissus project displays prior to
the Gray Public Library presentation, Oct. 2016.PWM

The second Narcissus project exhibit at the Gray Public Library prior to the
community presentation, Oct. 2016. PWM

     Theodore Roosevelt loved Maine. He visited Maine a number of times throughout his life. First, when he was thirteen (Moosehead Lake Region - 1872), followed by three hunting trips to Island Falls (1878-1879), a trip to Mount Desert with his fiancee' in the summer of 1880, when President in the summer of 1902, for political campaigning in 1912, 1914 (passenger on the Narcissus), 1916 (passenger on one of the PLI interurbans), and early 1918, with his final visit in August 1918 to Dark Harbor on Islesboro, to grieve the death of his youngest son, Quentin.

     The Narcissus project embraces Theodore Roosevelt and his connections to Maine. Promoting Theodore Roosevelt's connections to and love for Maine will enhance the public awareness of the Narcissus at Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine.

     So, as the Narcissus project manager, I attend various meetings that have a connection to Theodore Roosevelt in Maine. Two or three times a year, the Maine Woods Forever organization offers a public Roundtable forum to discuss conservation of Maine's woodlands. Maine Woods Forever presents an annual Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Award to youths or youth organizations who demonstrate a commitment to Maine's forests and woodlands.

Massabesic Middle School's 7th Grade Aroostook Team
accepts the Teddy Roosevelt Maine Conservation Award
(front: 7th-grade team members Andrew Lawpaugh, Brenna
Ramsdell; back: John Rust of Maine Woods Forever. 7th
grade science teacher Patrick Parent)
Image courtesy of MWF

     I first met Bart DeWolf at Maine Woods Forever Roundtable meeting held at Unity College in Unity, Maine. When Bart met me and learned of my interest in Theodore Roosevelt, Bart spoke to me of his interest in researching the trail that TR took during his 1879 trip to ascend Mount Katahdin. The trail most likely was through a portion of the land that was being considered for designation as a new National Monument.

A lengthy newspaper story about climbing Mount Katahdin in 1920. Percival
Baxter was among the climbers. He would soon become Governor of Maine
and lead the campaign to acquire the lands that we now know as
Baxter State Park. Newspaper copies, courtesy of microfilm at the Lewiston
Public Library. PWM
A map that shows Baxter State Park and the lands then
owned by Elliotsville Plantation, Inc., that would become
August 2016.

The University of Maine in Orono, ME was the site for a public hearing
in May 2016.  National Park Service superintendent. Jon Jarvis (Left)
was hosted by Maine U.S. Senator, Angus King (right) to field
questions on the proposed National Monument in Maine. After the
public hearing, I had the pleasure of meeting Superintendent Jarvis
and Lucas St. Clair. Lucas is the President of Elliotsville  Plantation,
Inc. PWM

Lucas St. Clair addresses the audience attending a public meeting at Unity
College in Unity, Maine. Lucas'  presentation was as a guest of Maine
Woods Forever Roundtable in Sept. 2016. One winter, Lucas and his wife
rented the Sewall House in Island Falls, Maine. The Sewall House is where
Theodore Roosevelt lived during his three visits to Island Falls from
1878-1879. PWM

     I enjoy doing research. Generally, topics for research include Theodore Roosevelt and his connections to Maine, the Portland-Lewiston Interurban (PLI) and the communities it served, W. S. Libbey and PLI employees, Electric Railway service in Maine, the Narcissus after its PLI operating days and the Vallee summer camp years, and products and materials associated with the restoration of the Narcissus. I'll occasionally look online for postcards or other ephemera that may help tell/enhance a particular story within a blog post.

During one of my trips to Unity, ME to attend a Maine Woods Forever
Roundtable, I stopped and took this picture of The Gerald in Fairfield, Maine.
Amos F. Gerald is known as the "King" of Maine's electric railways. He was
the leader in the state when it came to establishing electric railway systems
throughout the State of Maine. He loved castles and he often built a
castle-like hotel in a community served by one of the railways he established.
The Gerald is an example of one of those cases. PWM

The Gerald in Fairfield, ME back in the day.
PWM postcard

Two visits to the Gray Historical Society has uncovered a treasure trove of
PLI artifacts and ephemera. This photo will be very helpful as we plan
to #14, Narcissus. Image courtesy Gray Historical Society

This image from the Gray Historical Society shows a number of PLI artifacts,
in particular, items from #10 Arbutus. Image courtesy of
Gray Historical Society

This is the full image of Theodore Roosevelt aboard the Narcissus in Gray,
Maine, August 18, 1914. This was a great find! Image courtesy
Gray Historical Society

Among the PLI artifacts at the Gray Historical Society is this original
destination sign from #10, Arbutus. It was a gift from Gertrude Libbey
Anthony, daughter of W. S. Libbey, builder of the PLI. We will be able to
measure the individual pieces that make up the complete unit and then
reproduce two units for use on the Narcissus. PWM

List of PLI items from the Arbutus, gifted to the Gray Historical Society
by Gertrude Libbey Anthony. All will be very helpful in identifying details
for restoration work of Narcissus. PWM

My first visit to the Androscoggin Historical Society in Auburn, ME,
uncovered a number of newspaper clippings on the PLI and the
Narcissus in particular. Also, a file with Libbey family member photos.
This image has W. S. Libbey with son, W. S. Libbey, Jr.

This image of W.S. Libbey, Jr. is also from the Libbey file
at Androscoggin Historical Society. W. S. Libbey, Jr. served
in WWI and WWII. Two of his complete uniforms were
gifted to the Androscoggin Historical Society. W. S. Libbey,
Jr's great, great granddaughter, Sophia Beck, visited the
 in August 2015.

The Seashore Trolley Museum Library has a number of O. R. Cummings files held at the York County Community College Library in Wells, Maine. I paid the college library a visit to look through the original Portland-Lewiston Interurban Employees Scrapbook

Cover page of the PLI Employees Scrapbook
STM Library - OR Cummings

The PLI Employee Scrapbook includes information on the four annual
reunions in Gray, ME (1938-1941) STM Library - OR Cummings

     A previously unknown photograph of Theodore Roosevelt with Maine politicians was sent to me from North Dakota Communications, Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library in Dickinson, North Dakota.
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,
Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library
Dickinson, ND

Portland Evening Express newspaper clipping from TR's
March 23, 1912, visit Portland, ME. Frederick Hale
(seen in the above image) was TR's host and transported TR to
various venues during the day and evening. 

     On Friday, September 16, 2016, I headed north to attend the Maine Woods Forever Roundtable meeting at Unity College (Unity, ME), to hear Lucas St. Clair address attendees and the general public on the journey of Elliotsville Plantation, Inc's gift of 87,500 acres of land holdings east of Baxter State Park, to the National Park Service to start what has become Maine's new Katahdin Woods and Water National Monument. Theodore Roosevelt hiked through this land in August 1879 as he made his way to climb Mount Katahdin.

     I left a little early to first visit Good Will-Hinkley (Hinkley, ME) to explore their trail system to specifically take pictures of the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial. The specific stone that has a bronze plaque was dedicated in September 1921. The stone is from TR's home, Sagamore Hill, in Oyster Bay, NY. Mrs. Roosevelt gave permission for the stone to be removed and used for this purpose.

Theodore Roosevelt Memorial along the trail at Good Will-Hinkley
(Unity, ME) PWM

Plaque of Theodore Roosevelt Memorial at Good Will-Hinkley
(Unity, ME) PWM

     Later in October 2016, I traveled down to Oyster Bay, NY to attend the 97th annual meeting of the Theodore Roosevelt Association. I first wanted to visit the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial in Oyster Bay. There is a granite stone there from Maine and I wanted photos and to see what else I might learn about it.
Entrance to the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial in Oyster Bay, NY PWM

The memorial is a collection of stones from many of the places around the
country and the world, that are associated with Theodore Roosevelt and his
amazing life. PWM

The granite stone from Maine PWM

The plaque with a description of the stone's significance to the
specific area TR visited. For me, this plaque created more questions
than answers. It was my understanding that the stone came from
the Moosehead Lake area. TR's very first visit to Maine was to
Moosehead Lake in August of 1872, when he was 13 years old.
The plaque states that TR visited Island Falls in 1872. Well, actually,
TR did not visit Island Falls, Maine until 1878 when he was
attending Harvard University. Sooo, there is something amiss here?

Entrance to Sagamore Hill National Historic Site, Oyster Bay, NY. PWM

Tweed Roosevelt at the Saturday symposium welcomes the attendees to
the 97th annual meeting of the Theodore Roosevelt Association (TRA).
Tweed is one of TR's great-grandsons. PWM

Theodore Roosevelt's beloved home, Sagamore Hill PWM

Generally, photographs of the interior of Sagamore Hill is not permitted by
the National Park Service. For this special occasion of the 97th annual
meeting of the TRA in conjunction with the 100th Birthday celebration
of the National Park Service, members of the TRA were permitted
to take photographs of the interior of Sagamore Hill :) PWM

TR's great hall at Sagamore Hill PWM

One of the many, many bedrooms. PWM

Ornate gifts to TR were omnipresent. PWM

Staff sewing room. PWM

Sunset from the porch at Sagamore Hill. PWM

The tent for the TRA celebration with windmill and visitors in view. PWM

TRA celebration tent with Sagamore Hill in the background right PWM

     Throughout the year, I collect/purchase items that I can then raffle, sell, use in an auction, to raise money for the Narcissus Project. I often have the opportunity to meet authors at these TRA gatherings. They are very kind to work with me as I purchase their books and arrange for them to sign each. Here are some examples.

One of the symposium speakers was Bill
Bleyer. Bill is the author of the 2016 publication,

Another symposium author presenting was
Geoffrey Cowan. His 2016 book,

     On Sunday morning following the TRA annual meeting in Oyster Bay, NY, I drove to Tenafly, New Jersey to visit and take photos of the Theodore Roosevelt Monument there. The sculptor of the memorial, Tryqve Hammer, is the grandfather of Seashore Trolley Museum member, Karen Perry. Her grandfather attended the dedication ceremony on July 15, 1928. The monument did undergo some renovation several years ago.

Display marker that describes the Theodore Roosevelt Monument in
Tenafly, NJ PWM

TR Monument in Tenafly, NY looking easterly. PWM
TR Monument in Tenafly, NY looking westerly. PWM

One of the many books purchased in 2016 that
were used as a resource for research. PWM

Another great resource book for research PWM

I first met Michael Canfield at Sagamore Hill in
2014. He and I were in the same tour group. His
November 2015 book was the basis for his
presentation at the 2016 Narcissus benefit event
weekend, Teddy Roosevelt Days, at Seashore
Trolley Museum, August 5-7. PWM

     Seashore Trolley Museum is the host for the Narcissus project benefit event weekend, Teddy Roosevelt Days. In 2016 it opened on Friday mid-afternoon with a special opening event that required purchasing tickets in advance. Saturday and Sunday activities and fundraising to benefit the Narcissus were open to the public. As the Narcissus project manager, this three-day event takes a lot of time, year-round, to plan. As a side note, all the financial resources to underwrite the costs of this event and other fundraising expenses are raised separately. No restoration funds are used.

Here Michael Canfield is addressing guests during his presentation on Friday
night of the Teddy Roosevelt Days event to benefit the Narcissus in 2016.
Image courtesy of Patricia Pierce Erikson

Poster promoting the Narcissus benefit event

The Friday mid-afternoon till early evening event includes a trolley ride to
Morrison Hill. Morrison Hill is an original Portland-Lewiston Interurban Way
Station (1915). TR would have passed this station during his interurban
ride on August 31, 1916, Image courtesy Patricia Pierce Erikson

The Friday guests walk from Morrison Hill Way Station up to the path to the
Town House Restoration Shop for a tour of the Narcissus. Here on the left,
in the Narcissus, is lead restoration technician, Donald Curry. That is me
standing on the floor waving my arms and legs, directing guests attention
to various details on the Narcissus :)  Image courtesy of Ernie Eaton

Guests throughout the weekend were given the opportunity for a walking tour
through the Narcissus. Image courtesy of Patricia Pierce Erikson

A photo "opp" was set up on the right side, inside the smoking compartment.
Most the restored original mahogany was put in place in the #1 vestibule
(seen here) and around the passenger windows, temporarily for the
weekend. The restored passenger windows and the large stained
glass "eyebrow" over the pair of passenger windows were also in place.
Image courtesy of Patricia Pierce Erikson

Daniel and Rose Vallee in the smoking compartment photo "ops" during
the Friday event to benefit the Narcissus. Dan lived in the Narcissus. It
was his family's summer camp for 35 years. He and his family lived in
the Narcissus year-round for two years. He also was a guest speaker at
the Friday event. Image courtesy of Patricia Pierce Erikson

The Teddy Roosevelt Days event in 2016 also had three original Theodore
Roosevelt artifacts on display for the weekend. The Presque Isle Historical
Society made the trek south and proudly displayed the items and discussed
the stories behind them with guests and visitors over the weekend. PWM

The original mirror from Theodore Roosevelt's Elkhorn Ranch was one of
the three original Theodore Roosevelt artifacts on display from
the Presque Isle Historical Society during the weekend
of the Teddy Roosevelt Days event. Adorned with buffalo horns, this mirror
has the reflection of the three men that used the mirror nearly every day in the
mid-1880s in the ranch house in what is now North Dakota. Left to Right:
Theodore Roosevelt, Wilmot Dow, and William Sewall. The image of the
three men is from February 1879 in the Island Falls, ME area. The image is
from TRC .520.12.015 in the Houghton Library at Harvard University.
The image happened to be on exhibit in such a position as to reflect
perfectly the three men. PWM

The Teddy Roosevelt Days benefit weekend had many items available
through an auction or purchase. The proceeds would benefit the Narcissus
project. PWM

There is a series of wooden barreled pens available. The one in this image is
white pine. Wood barrels include original Mahogany from the clerestory sash
that could not be restored. Original Pine and Ash. And vintage poplar that
was used to replace original wood. PWM

Daniel Vallee was very kind to give his permission to being
interviewed. The short video of what life was like living in the
Narcissus, as he was growing up, was a blog post in the summer of
2016. Patricia Pierce Erikson conducted the interview and edited

Coffee from the Sagamore Hill Gift shop :) PWM

Suffice to say that Theodore Roosevelt drank a lot of coffee.
One of the presenters at the symposium at the TRA annual meeting
is a well-known doctor that specializes in asthma. His presentation
was on the research he led that meticulously looked into TR's life
and his struggles with asthma. One nugget I held on to from that
presentation was that as a young child having an asthma attack, a
fairly common practice was to have the child drink deep, heavy,
black coffee. As it turns out, drinking the coffee, TR did have
some relief from his challenge to breath. Science now tells us
that there is an in coffee, even though a very small amount,
that does indeed relax the breathing airways oh so slightly.
TR's sense of some relief from asthma attacks from drinking
coffee may be what led him to drink so very much coffee
as an adult?  PWM

Massive coffee cup from the Sagamore Hill gift shop PWM

     The project manager (PM) is always looking for ways to "spread the word" about the project. Fundraising is always on the PM's mind. There are display areas along the public walkway in the Town House Restoration Shop. Visitors can see work being done on the Narcissus (seen on the left of the image below) and ask questions of the staff or volunteers. The PM's business cards are there for visitors to pick up. The cards have the Narcissus Blog address. Visitors can then learn more about the project from the blog posts. On January 1, 2017, the Narcissus project blog surpassed 50,000 total page views!!

Display along the visitor walkway overlooking the Narcissus in the Town
House Restoration Shop at Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, ME

The Fall 2016 issue of Classic Trains magazine displayed this
ad on page 13 enticing readers to check out the blog.
Donations were solicited specifically to underwrite the cost
of the ad and did not reduce restorations funds. PWM

The October 2016 issue of Trains Magazine
displayed this ad on page 19 enticing readers
to check out the blog. Donations were solicited
specifically to underwrite the cost 
of the
ad and did not reduce restorations funds. 

     Toward the end of the calendar year, the PM mails out a year-end summary to donors and interested individuals, of what took place with the Narcissus project. There might even be a mention about considering making a year-end donation to the project :)

Front page of year-end Narcissus project summary PWM

Back page of year-end summary of the Narcissus project PWM

     Throughout the year, there are opportunities to complete and submit grant applications that, if funded, would certainly benefit the Narcissus project. Some applications were successful. Some were not this year, but perhaps the donor will consider funding the request next year if substantial progress is made with the work on the Narcissus? One must just keep asking :) The largest grant approved in 2016 was by the 20th Century Electric Railway Foundation. The Narcissus project will be the beneficiary of a matching grant challenge of $40,000 that started on March 1, 2016. Once an initial $40,000 of new donations is received, the foundation will send a donation of an additional $40,000 to match the initial $40,000! We are closing in on raising the initial $40,000. Please help by making a donation today :)

Cover of the 2016 application to the Maine Department of
Transportation, requesting a combination of Federal and State
funds for use restoring the interior of the Narcissus. 

     Interesting items that are related to the Narcissus in one way or another are presented to me each year. 2016 was no different.

A beautiful model of the Narcissus was presented to me, as the PM, as a gift.
This model was made by Lester H. Stephenson, Jr., a long-time member at
Seashore Trolley Museum. The gift of the model was made by Donald
Stephenson, Lester's son, following the passing of his father in 2016. The
model will be displayed during events to draw attention to the Narcissus
project. PWM

Glen Snow, a long-time member of Seashore Trolley Museum, emailed me
to say he saw this Narcissus letterpress print block on eBay. I contacted the
seller and we came to an agreement on a very reasonable price. Shipping
costs! Thank you, Dean! The seller was able to tell me that the print block
was purchased at an estate sale of a member of Seashore Trolley Museum.
It was member Richard Brilliante' who had passed away. PWM

     My research into Theodore Roosevelt and his connections to Maine is something that keeps on keeping on. My personal nature is to ask why? I ask myself this seemingly all the time, about many things I may come in contact with. Perhaps something I read, something I observe, something I hear, piques my interest and I'm immediately asking myself, why this and why that? Sometimes it is just a passing fancy, sometimes it triggers a need within me for a more robust inquiry. TR and his connections to Maine triggered my inquisitive nature, leading me to want to dig deeper and find out more about him and his travels throughout Maine.

     In 2015, I visited TR's Bible Point and The Sewall House in Island Falls (ME), Dark Harbor on Islesboro (ME), Longfellow Square on Congress Street in Portland (ME) where the 4,060 mile-long Theodore Roosevelt International Highway begins, and Sagamore Hill in Oyster Bay, NY. I learned of the TR artifacts at the Presque Isle Historical Society. And conducted a lot of research that inspired me to dig a little deeper. Research in 2016 led me to start to "connect-the-dots" or "footprints" that TR has made throughout Maine. I would like to create a Theodore Roosevelt Maine Heritage Trail, perhaps a map that shares some deeper insights into his Maine travels.

     My TR research started in 2010 but has been more focused in the past three or four years. Heather Cole is the curator of the Theodore Roosevelt Collection (TRC) at the Houghton Library at Harvard University. Heather has been very helpful, and patient with this novice researcher, during this timeframe. Thank you, Heather :) The TRC has supplied a number of images that have been utilized in exhibits promoting the Narcissus project and TR's relationship to Maine. TR's childhood and his early adult life diary entries have been valuable resources in the research.

An electronic copy of TR's diary page from August
1873. TR writes of his first experience in Maine
as he visits the Moosehead Lake region.
Courtesy of Houghton Library, Harvard University.

The Exchange Hotel in Dexter, ME. TR stayed
here two nights during his visit to Moosehead
Lake in 1873. PWM postcard

The Kineo House - Moosehead Lake in 1873 when TR visited.
PWM postcard

This blogger's crude map of Maine with
TR destinations noted :)

     Of course, as the Narcissus project manager, there is the need to know as much about the actual artifact that is being restored. More that 100 years separate the timeline when the Narcissus was built in Laconia, NH in 1912 and its restoration work in 2016 at Seashore Trolley Museum's Town House Restoration Shop in Kennebunkport. Early in 2016, Daniel Vallee mailed the originals photos to me of the Narcissus from his family photo album. Dan was very generous in giving us permission to copy and use the images to fill in the Narcissus timeline and to promote the project.

J. Henry Vallee with the snow-covered Narcissus in the background
in Sabattus, ME - winter 1968-69. Image courtesy Daniel Vallee

J. Henry Vallee (left) and his son Daniel Vallee inside the Narcissus.
The kitchen in the background was an addition that extended from
the left side near the #1 end of the Narcissus. Image courtesy of Daniel

Narcissus loaded, replacement camp on the right, and about to leave
Sabattus, ME for Seashore Trolley Museum in October 1969. Image
courtesy of Daniel Vallee

     Documenting the actual restoration is an important task and takes a number of folks throughout a year to take the time to capture moments for the Narcissus file.

Early in 2016, lead restoration technician, Donald Curry, measuring and
numbering the poplar roof strips on the #2 end of the Narcissus. Inside the
Narcissus, not easily seen, is volunteer Lary Shaffer assisting :) PWM

shop at his home setting up the "jig" to
cut the "fingers" to join replacement
vintage poplar ends to the original exterior
arches that hold the large stained glass
"eyebrow" sash and windows. PWM

Lead shot removed from the vintage poplar that came from
a "bank barn" in Akron, PA The vintage poplar were large
beams and posts that were removed from an 1800s
barn that was razed. These side stories are all part of
the Narcissus story now :) PWM

attaching mahogany molding to newly restored original passenger
windows for the Narcissus. PWM

Even the project manager dirties his hands from time to time working
on Narcissus components. PWM

Moxie is "Distinctively Different" and is the official soft drink of the State
of Maine :) PWM

Test fitting the mahogany sash with leaded stained glass windows, in their
freshly cleaned and sanded clerestory openings on the right side. PWM

Helping with the Narcissus too. Student volunteers from
Thornton Academy's (Saco, ME) Residential Life program
contribute valuable hours to many tasks at Seashore Trolley
Museum during a school year. PWM

Replacement roof rib has been steamed and now held in place with a
specific arch to fit in place. This rib may stay in the clamped position for
several weeks to retain the "memory" of the shape. PWM

Volunteer Dick Avy admires the
craftsmanship of the original 40' copper
flashing that came from the clerestory
windows on the right side. PWM

     Seashore Trolley Museum's collection has many pieces of its extensive collection that also connect to TR in one way or another, directly or indirectly. TR's life timeline has a number of connections to the Museum's collection.

This plaque is displayed at Seashore Trolley Museum.
It is the original plaque that commemorates the opening of the
subway and tunnel route to Cambridge, MA.
The date of the commemoration is March 23, 1912.
Theodore Roosevelt was visiting Portland, Maine on that
date :) PWM

     What's coming in 2017? Major restoration work that includes outer sill work. Also, a new fundraising opportunity :) Well known New England artist, Wade Zahares, has been commissioned to create an original painting that will depict the Narcissus in a classic image with a colorful and whimsical flavor that only Wade's creative prowess could evoke.

Wade Zahares' studio. PWM

     Well, now you have a sense for what this particular project manager dabbles in throughout the course of a year of working on the Narcissus project. I'd enjoy hearing from you. Express your thoughts, ideas, suggestions, words of encouragement, as we continue to move the project forward. or through the blog comments option.

Narcissus project manager Phil Morse (left)
with lead restoration technician, Donald Curry at
the #1 end of the Narcissus. Image courtesy
of Mark Forman

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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