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 This third book, yet unpublished, clearly digs much deeper into the relationships between railroads and the electric railways.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.










A Benefit Event For the Narcissus Project!

2017 Teddy Roosevelt Days at Seashore Trolley Museum

Click Here: For Full Schedule of All Activities  July 21-23 and online ticket sales to the Friday Opening Gala 

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. 


More than Halfway There!!!
 ...to our $40,000 Matching Grant
Challenge Goal! - Please Help us reach the Goal by making a Donation Today to the
Narcissus Project Fund!


Thank You to our Current Funding Partners
* 20th Century Electric Railway Foundation - 2014/2016 Matching Grant Challenges
Thornton Academy (Saco, ME) - Staff & Alumni - Matching Grant Challenge
* 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 2015/2016
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


The Narcissus, with interior back-lit, stained glass windows are majestic.
Make a donation today, and it will be matched, dollar-for-dollar!
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 - See Options Below

$40,000 Matching Grant Challenge
to Benefit the
Narcissus Project!!


The 20th Century Electric Railway Foundation
has made a most generous challenge to raise funds
to benefit the Narcissus Project.

20th Century Electric Railway Foundation
will match, dollar-for-dollar, donations
made to the Narcissus Project Fund 816-A, to a 
maximum of $40,000!!!

With the combination of new donations and the
matching donations, a total of $80,000
will be raised for restoration work on the
Narcissus!

See below for Donation options -

It starts with YOU....
Make a Donation TODAY....
Your Donation will Be MATCHED
Dollar-for-Dollar....

Please Help the Narcissus

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.
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


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 :)

Narcissus - July 31, 2015. Make a donation today, and it will be matched,
dollar-for-dollar! 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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