Sunday, April 2, 2017

May 1956 - Portland-Lewiston Interurban by O. R. Cummings - A History of the Finest Electric Interurban Railway to run in the state of Maine

       This post is of photos taken of each page (29 pages including the drawing of the Arbutus) from my personal copy of O. R. Cummings's original, May 1956 book, "Portland-Lewiston Interurban" - A History of the Finest Electric Interurban Railway to run in the state of Maine. It was originally published as Transportation Volume 10 by the Connecticut Valley Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, Inc. in conjunction with The Connecticut Electric Railway.

       Donald Curry, lead restoration technician, and Phil Morse, Narcissus project manager, will be conducting a presentation on the History of the Portland-Lewiston Interurban 1910-1933, at the Portland (Maine) Public Library, on April 19, 2017. Click Here for all the details on the presentation. The presentation will also be broadcast live via Facebook Live starting at noon on the 19th.

       This May 1956 book on the Portland-Lewiston Interurban is the first, of a trilogy, written by O. R. Cummings. The 1956 book seen here and the September 1967 book (92 pages) were obviously, both published (the 1967 book will be available in a Narcissus project blog post, following the Portland Public Library presentation on April 19).  Sadly, O. R. Cummings passed away in 2013. He left a significant portion of his electric railway collection to the Library of the New England Electric Railway Historical Society (NEERHS) in Kennebunkport, Maine.  The NEERHS is the 501c3 nonprofit organization that owns and operates, Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine and the National Streetcar Museum in Lowell, Massachusetts. One of the files that O. R. did leave with the NEERHS Library is that of a manuscript, with about fifty pages of text, that includes materials on the Portland-Lewiston Interurban. The manuscript is not officially titled, but Chapter One has these labels and starts off with; "MAINE'S FAST ELECTRIC RAILROAD - 1905-1933
RAILROADS AND RAILWAYS - Rail travel between Portland and the Twin Cities became possible as early as December 4, 1848 when the Atlantic & St. Lawrence Railroad, organized in 1845 to build from the Forest City through Maine and northern New Hampshire and Vermont to the Canadian border, commenced operation between Portland and Danville Junction on the outskirts of Auburn, 27 1/2 miles." This third book, yet unpublished, clearly digs much deeper into the relationships between railroads and the electric railways. What would be nice is if we could publish and then release this third book at about the same time the Narcissus is released as a fully restored and operating interurban of the PLI :)

       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. 

This drawing is a folded page within the binding that unfolds to show
the Arbutus. Some of the clerestory stained glass windows and mahogany
sash were made available for use in the Narcissus restoration.
Click Here: to see the post on the leaded stained glass used in the
Narcissus restoration.

This stretch of New Gloucester-Danville road parallels the PLI and is
where many a race between autos and interurbans took place.
Click Here: Clyde Walker Pierce audio vid of racing the interurbans in the early 30s.

The image at the top of the page talks about the Railroad Commissioners doing the
initial inspection run in 1914. Click Here - to read the post that has the detailed
newspaper story of that inspection trip.

On this page is a section titled "Important Events" - The opening paragraph speaks to
August 18, 1914, the day that Theodore Roosevelt, after a hunting trip up in Maine,
was a passenger on one of the interurbans, believed to have been the Arbutus.
In O. R's, September 1967 book, Maine's Fast Electric Interurban -
Portland-Lewiston Interurban, an updated story on page 37, with a
photo of a postcard on page 38, includes text that states TR actually was a
passenger on the Narcissus on August 18, 1914.
This writer did additional research in 2010 and found two newspaper articles
about TR's visit to Maine in 1914. A local story mentions that TR specifically
boarded the Narcissus for his trip to Portland. It also mentions the Gray stop.
The New York Times story mentions that TR took the train from Boston
to Lewiston that day. There was no mention of a hunting trip in Maine
prior to TR taking the Narcissus from Lewiston to Portland. So, I'm not
sure where the hunting trip part of the initial story came from? Click Here to
read the post about TR's visits to Maine and see the two newspaper accounts from
his August 18, 1914, visit.

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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