Thursday, June 8, 2017

No. 235, No. 50, and No. 9 - Seashore Trolley Museum's Laconia Car Company-built Collection

The hands of Seashore Trolley Museum member-volunteers,
Ed Dooks and his granddaughter Chelsey Pino, carefully
peel away the paper from the newly applied Laconia Car
Company decal on the side sill of the Laconia Car
Company-built, and then newly restored, 1906
electric locomotive from the Atlantic Shore Line Railways,
No. 100. Image by PWM 6-30-2009

The Laconia Car Company was located in the center of
Laconia (NH). O
ver the years, it expanded and
took up 7 acres of land. There were woodworking
shops, foundries, set-up shops, storehouses and paint
shops. The extensive four-story brick building was
dedicated to the iron foundry, which was connected with
the car fabrication business.

Laconia Car Company was one of the important electric railway streetcar manufacturing companies at the turn of the 20th century. This builder was the only industry in the New Hampshire town of the same name. The community problems faced by the townspeople following the company's collapse in 1928 have been the subject of several important economic studies.(1) Seashore Trolley Museum has ten accessioned electric railway representatives from the Laconia Car Company among its collections. The Laconia collection at Seashore Trolley Museum is diverse. Starting with two early single-truck models from 1895, with monitor roofs and a seating capacity of 26 passengers, up to a 1918 semi-convertible, with a seating capacity of 44. The collection includes a 1904, double-truck, 15-bench, open car with a railroad roof, wooden interurbans, a postal service car and a wooden steeple cab locomotive.

Three of these Laconia vehicles in Seashore's collection are listed in the National Register of Historic Places; 1904 Portsmouth Dover & York Street Railway, No. 108, wooden Railway Post Office/Express, 1906 Atlantic Shore Line, No. 100, wooden Steeple Cab Locomotive, and 1912 Portland-Lewiston Interurban, No. 14 - Narcissus, wooden Interurban Coach.

(1) p. 6, 1954 "Historic Cars of the Seashore Electric Railway, 1st edition

Searching for details on the Laconia Car Company-built vehicles within the Museum's collection sometimes uncovers some interesting tidbits. The poem below is one:

Seashore Trolley Museum member 444, Anthony F. Tieuli had his poem published in the
July 1958, Volume 1, Number 3 issue of "The Trolley Museum Dispatch". The first year of
the Museum's newsletter was published monthly for its members. PWM

1895 - No. 235 - West End Street Railway of Boston
City & Suburban Streetcar - Single/Hand
Laconia  Car Company - Seats: 26 - L: 29' 8" - W: 7' 8" Ht: 11' 5" Wt: 19,077
Acquired in 1967


No. 235 as a rail grinder at Egleston Square, Boston, MA
5th Edition, 2nd printing of Historic Cars of Seashore Trolley Museum
pg. S-1 - Charles Duncan Photo


With open platforms originally, the vestibules were enclosed sometime between 1901 and 1905 in accordance with a 1900 act of the Massachusetts Legislature. This required all cars regularly operated in the state during the months of December, January, February, and March to have enclosed platform vestibules for the protection of motormen. The type of enclosure adopted by the West End was known as the "West End Front" and consisted of one small window on either side of the large center sash, fabricated with a "bay window" effect to allow for the swing of the hand brake handle. Folding doors replaced the swinging gates that were previously used. Converted to a rail maintenance car, first to a sand car, then to a rail grinder in 1935, it came to Seashore from George King, a private collector, in 1967. Cars like these inspired the late Fontaine Fox to create his famous "Toonerville Folks" comic strips and cartoons, which were widely published during the waning years of the trolley era. Historic Cars: The National Collection at the Seashore Trolley Museum by Ben Minnich

Operated in Dorchester, MA during its passenger-carrying days. No. 235 must be extensively restored.


1902 - No. 50 - Massachusetts Northeastern Street Railway
City & Suburban Streetcar - Double/
Laconia Car Company - Seats: 32 - L: 34' 4"    W:       Ht:          Wt: 
Acquired 1957




Operated by the Massachusetts Northeastern Street Railway and its predecessors from 1902 to 1927, and ran most of the time between Haverhill and Amesbury, Massachusetts, via Plaistow and Newton, New Hampshire. It has curved panel sides and drop sash windows, but has a railroad roof instead of a rectangular monitor roof. When built, it had both transverse and longitudinal seats as it was to be used largely in suburban service, where passengers rode longer distances than in the city, and where comfort was of more importance. The body of No. 50 was purchased and donated to Seashore by Historian O. R. Cummings and it must be extensively restored. Historic Cars: The National Collection at the Seashore Trolley Museum by Ben Minnich

No. 50 being lowered onto trucks and heading for a carbarn at
Seashore Trolley Museum after surviving 40 years of outdoor storage.
Photo James E. Tebbetts
Excerpt from the 1954 Annual Report of the New England Electric Railway Historical Society (Seashore Trolley Museum) states of No. 50; Massachusetts Northeastern Street Railway No. 50 acquired in the fall, is our first from this famous system. It is of an interesting early Laconia design, one of the first with a railroad roof.


1904 - No. 9 - Rhode Island Newport & Providence Railway
15 Bench Open Car - Double/
Laconia Car Company - Seats: 75 - L: 43' 0"   W: 8' 0"    Ht:       Wt:
Acquired in 1990


No. 9 when new. D. O'Hanley collection

Larger open bench cars quickly became popular, and 15 benches became almost the standard. The Brill Company had a patent on the one piece cast seat bench end. No. 9, built by Laconia in 1904 for Rhode Island's Newport & Providence Railway, uses a different bench end configuration to avoid paying the Brill loyalty.
It survived as part of a home in Newport until it was rescued by the Fall River and Old Colony Railroad Museum in Massachusetts, which subsequently gave the carbody to Seashore in 1990.
Historic Cars: The National Collection at the Seashore Trolley Museum by Ben Minnich

No. 9 will need extensive work to restore.



On West Main Street, Portsmouth, two boys pause to watch
the new trolley passing as the conductor has a word with
N & P Superintendent Jones.
D. O'Hanley collection
Click Here: Video of Theodore Santarelli de Brasch explaining the "Birth" of Seashore Trolley - 1939


Additional blog posts on Seashore Trolley Museum's Laconia Car Company-built Collection:
Click Here: No. 14 - 1912 Laconia Car Company-built Collection
Click Here: No. 38 - 1907 Laconia Car Company-built Collection
Click Here: No. 60 - 1895 Laconia Car Company-built Collection
Click Here: No. 100 - 1906 Laconia Car Company-built Collection
Click Here: No. 108 - 1904 Laconia Car Company-built Collection
Click Here: No. 235 & No. 50 - 1895 & 1902 - Laconia Car Company-built Collection
Click Here: No. 4175 - 1914 Laconia Car Company-built Collection
Click Here: No. 4387 - 1918 Laconia Car Company-built Collection
                            

                      
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:


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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