Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Forty-Eight years Ago Today - Halloween, 1969 - The Narcissus Arrived at Seashore Trolley Museum

The Narcissus as she looked when secured to the "Highway
Monster" upon arrival at Seashore Trolley Museum on
Halloween, 1969. Image by Norman Down

     Forty-Eight years ago today, the Narcissus arrived at its new home in Kennebunkport, Maine.
The sole surviving high-speed wooden interurban from the legendary Portland-Lewiston Interurban system that operated between two major population centers in Maine, the Narcissus is currently under restoration in Seashore Trolley Museum's Donald G. Curry Town House Restoration shop. The Narcissus had the honor to have Theodore Roosevelt as a passenger on August 18, 1914. The Narcissus Project blog is dedicated to disseminating information to the public through social media sources to raise awareness about the Narcissus restoration, its life story, and the connections to the communities it served from 1914 into 1933.

Below is the write up from the 1969 Annual Report of how the Narcissus was able to be acquired.


1969 Annual Report (page 6) New England Electric Railway Historical Society/Seashore Trolley Museum

     Interest in this car body, which has finally arrived at Seashore, is as old as the Society itself. Starting in 1937 there were annual trips run on the Androscoggin and Kennebec Railway system operating out of Lewiston on the 19th of April. One of the highlights of the Sabattus line was the once-a-year inspection of the beautifully preserved body of Laconia number 14, that has been better known by its name the Narcissus. It was during such a trip on April 19th, 1939, that three of Seashore's Pioneers were making the first plans to acquire a Biddeford and Saco open car in June or July, whenever the buses would arrive to take over New England's last regular open trolley operation.

     Later on, when two of these Founders were getting initiated into the Street Railway business the hard way, in the backyard of the Saco car barn, getting the first car of the first Trolley Museum rigged to make it over the road journey to a small piece of land in Kennebunkport; there was little need to recall the Narcissus slumbering away in Sabattus, because only 8 miles away at Bay View, reposed the sister car, number 10, the Arbutus. Far more famous for running the first and last trip over the Portland-Lewiston Interurban and appropriately preserved in fully operating condition on a section of real rails and ties from the line, on the property of Mrs. Gertrude Libbey Anthony, daughter of the famed interurban builder, W. Scott Libby, there was every reason to hope that if the fledgling Society became successful, this handsome and complete Interurban might be donated to this new Seashore Electric Railway. But, this was not to be the case, as the car was broken up during World War II at a time when many of our members were overseas.

A more famous sister to the Narcissus, the
Arbutus is seen here on display at Gertrude
Libbey Anthony's home in Bay View, Saco,
Maine. Image from O. R. Cummings 1967
book, "Maine's Fast Electric Railroad."

     Over the years rumors continued to persist that the Narcissus was still remarkably well-preserved and the Society by now was sufficiently well equipped with transportation equipment, and willing to gamble on acquiring a car body of merit that might be re-equipped at a later date. Accordingly, contact was made with the owner, Mr. J. Henri Vallee of Lewiston.  By then, general manager of the Museum, Dwight B. Minnick, and a verbal agreement made that the car could be acquired by the Society in exchange for equivalent housing if so done before Mr. Vallee's retirement.

J. Henri Vallee in Sabattus, Maine. The 
Narcissus in the background. The roof frames for
the new "replacement" house can be seen in the
background to the right. Image courtesy of
Daniel A. Vallee.

     Mr. Vallee, it appeared, had been a passenger on the Interurban on both first and last days of operation and had a sentimental attachment to it and the excellent state of preservation of the car bore testimony to this.

     Various portable houses were looked into but fell short of expectations. It was concluded that a simply framed house would have to be built. On at least three separate occasions in the intervening years, Museum personnel attempted valiantly to enlist the local interest and get some sort of a project going so that title could be obtained to the Narcissus. For a multiplicity of reasons these endeavors failed. One ray of hope came, however, in 1965 when through the intercession of Governor Reed of the State of Maine, a pair of suitable Baldwin motor trucks were made available by the Canadian National, from their Oshawa Railway subdivision.

     More enthusiasm for the project began to be generated by our growing Portland group, many of whom had worked their way up in our summer shop force and could visualize the results that could be obtained with the Narcissus if once gotten to the Museum's own shop. In 1967 Museum member, William Dox of Portland was asked by Trustees of Seashore to contact Mr. Vallee and see if the offer was still open. Once confirmed, Society historian and trustee O. R. Cummings,  in the process of rewriting his history of the PLI, decided to turn over a fund that he had built up for another,but less pressing project, to the Narcissus fund and to make available all over-cost of the proceeds from the publication and sale of "Maine's Fast Electric Railway". This generous offer of O. R. Cummings gave the project the impetus that was needed for, not only was time running out on the offer but, the deterioration was setting in on the car. The trustees appointed a committee composed of Cummings, Donald Curry, John Coughlin, William Dox, Jr.,  and John H. Fancy until he became too occupied in other areas.

O. R. Cummings book that he signed
over the royalties to the 
Narcissus fund. PWM

     Basic work accomplished by the committee was the building up of a fund to pay for the labor involved and locating a builder who would undertake to complete the exterior of the building within these limits. And then through interest generated in the project, to secure donations of the actual building materials needed. A necessary adjunct was, of course, selection of basic house design in order that a bill of materials could be drawn up. A USDA extension service dwelling was selected as a prototype. Also, a legal agreement had to be drawn up for signature by both parties which enabled the Museum to erect a dwelling structure on Mr. Vallee's premises as well as assure the donation of the car body to the Museum when the new structure had been closed in and become weather-tight.

     As soon as the PLI history was published, every effort was made to concentrate its sale promotion and distribution in the areas formerly served by the Interurban. Newspapers in the Portland and Lewiston areas were cooperative in relating all newsworthy developments in the campaign. By the fall of 1968 sufficient funds were on hand to get the project underway. As soon as commitments of donations for 80% of the materials required for the building had been received as a result of some 40 solicitations, a search was instituted for a builder willing to undertake the erection of a building satisfactory to Mr. Vallee's needs and within the means of the special fund.

     Due to extremely bad weather setting in by late October (1968), the first builder found himself bowing out because of other commitments but recommended Mr. Joseph R. Blais of the Lewiston area, as one of the few other builders able to construct such a dwelling within the limitations set forth. Museum forces then came up and working in two of the nastiest weekends on record, in the alternating pouring rain and heavy snow moved the body of the "Narcissus" off of its footings onto temporary blocking and separated and removed other appendages as necessary. But, despite their valiant efforts to get the operation back on schedule,  even worse weather followed. The project had to be called off until late May of 1969. From this point on, all progressed smoothly, the builder following the letter of the authorization to within a margin of some $24.

Seashore Trolley Museum volunteers arranging
to move the Narcissus onto the "Highway
Monster." Image courtesy of
Daniel A. Vallee.

     On July 30th, 1969, Mr. Vallee signed and delivered the transfer of title to the Narcissus to the committee members closing what was probably the longest, most arduous, and expensive acquisition project ever undertaken by the Society.


The Narcissus loaded on the "Highway
Monster" connected to Seashore Trolley
Museum's "Mack", with J. Henri Vallee's
new home in the background.
Image courtesy of Daniel A. Vallee

     The story doesn't end here, however, as in the course of acquisition of the building materials, commitments were made to try to give the donors a certain amount of advertising publicity in return for their donations, some of which ran to well over $300 in value. This was to be done by a fixing a side banner on each side of the car, under the windows, indicating names of donors of materials. For this and various other reasons, a small deficit was incurred in the project, which has since been met by donations from members of the committee and members of the Libbey family who have shown a great deal of interest in the project.

     Preparations for the trip were being made, but because of the general activity of the summer at the Museum and non-availability of transport equipment, the Narcissus sat at its prior location, waiting for the next step. Finally, in early October, a large crew of 12 members of the Society, in a solid weekends work, moved the body aboard the "Highway Monster", which had been skillfully maneuvered into position alongside the body a month before. Meanwhile Mrs. Eleanor Libbey Awalt of Auburn, who had consented to and started work with  the acquisition committee a year before in the raising of funds, provision of publicity in the Lewiston, Auburn, and New Gloucester areas, acted as clearinghouse for that purpose, alerted news media and historical groups along the route on the impending move.

     A certain amount of showmanship and Ingenuity came into play to make the "Narcissus" look the part a little more. The weather letter boards were covered over with masonite strips painted in Pullman Green and authentically lettered, Portland-Lewiston Interurban,  and corrugated aluminum was fitted on lower sections missing matchboard, and also hastily painted Pullman Green. The illusion was quite good and the excellent conditions of the stained glass windows did much to help this.

The Portland-Lewiston Interurban masonite strips from 1969
are still in place on the Narcissus on October 23, 2017, as
restoration work continues on the exterior. PWM

     The long-awaited move took place on Halloween of 1969. Despite delays with last-minute requirements for a house moving permit, excellent planning and skillful maneuvering of the Mack and Highway Monster aided by an alert escort party, made it possible not only to retrace as closely as possible the interurbans old route through Lewiston-Auburn, New Gloucester, Gray, and West Cumberland, but, even to its street run in Portland via Forest Avenue, Congress Street, and Monument Square. Finally, after its 35-year lonely vigil at Sabattus, The "Narcissus" joined its new family at the Trolley Museum. A costly acquisition indeed, but, the car is basically sound, most of the needed equipment now on hand, and its restoration is scheduled to get underway this summer with an enthusiastic crew.

Banner remnants from 1969 road trip of the Narcissus
traveling from Sabattus Pond to Seashore Trolley Museum
the Narcissus shortly after it entered the Donald G. Curry
Town House Restoration Shop. PWM

     The Narcissus has been at the Museum for Forty-Eight years and it now has its turn to be restored to full operating status. It is currently in the Donald G. Curry Town House Restoration Shop at Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine. Work is underway on phase one, to restore the exterior of the Narcissus. Adequate funds have been raised to finish the exterior. The fundraising for the Narcissus now focuses on the work and materials necessary to complete the restoration of the ornate interior. please continue reading below for some of the next steps and follow the Narcissus project blog to keep up to date with the progress and ways you can help. Thank You

     Thank you to everyone that has helped the Narcissus to this point. We still need to continue to collectively spread the word about the project. I encourage you to invite others to join the effort to bring this beauty back into being the majestic, elegant, operating representative of Maine's premier electric interurban railway.

     One way to explain what the Narcissus project is about is by sharing the posts from the Narcissus project blog: www.narcissus1912.blogspot.com

Lot's of folks find the posts very interesting.

The blog is a great way to spread the news of the Narcissus.

Let's keep it going :)

Planning for gifts?

Boxes of ten greeting cards, with envelopes, are now available to purchase. 100% of the proceeds from these sales will benefit Maine Collection.

Greeting Cards of Narcissus in "Fast Friends" by
Maine artist, Wade Zahares.

Wording on back of "Fast Friends"

Greeting Cards of Morrison Hill Station of
"Waiting for the Narcissus" by
Maine artist, Wade Zahares.

Greeting Cards:
Box of Ten (10) with envelopes - 4"x 6" - blank inside - $20
(Free shipping via USPS)

Free Shipping on all orders placed with me before November 30, 2017

To order Greeting Cards - email p.morse31@gmail.com

All proceeds from the sale of these items will be added to the Maine Collection fund No. 935, to help with efforts to preserve Maine railway vehicles and Maine buses in the collection that operated in Maine.

Free Shipping on all orders placed with me p.morse31@gmail.com

What's next for the Narcissus? 2017/2018

Restoration work will continue on the exterior of the Narcissus. 

All roof ribs were removed, repaired, primed, and replaced.
Ten needed to be replaced. The left side has had its end boards
secured to the roof rib tenons. The right side end boards are
nearly all in place.  Image 10-23-17 PWM

Donald Curry working on securing the right
side end boards to the roof rib tenons.
10-23-17 PWM

Major side sill and bolster work is in the early stage.
The bolster will be removed, assessed, repaired, pieces
replaced as necessary, primed, painted, and then reinstalled.
Side sills and the attached steel channel will be removed,
assessed, repaired and replaced as necessary. 10-23-17 PWM

Morrison Hill Station

In recent weeks, the petite 1915 Portland-Lewiston Interurban waiting station, originally located in West Cumberland (ME) has had; window and door sills replaced and painted. Window trim boards replaced and painted, metal roof edges repaired and painted, the west-facing roof panels sanded and painted, exterior walls (yellow) north, south, and west repainted, the tiny wooden electrical box that feeds the 600 volts (DC) lights of the building fully rebuilt, primed and painted, and many interior upgrades. All these improvements (and a few more to follow) are in preparation for the building to be the home of an exhibit next season about the Portland-Lewiston Interurban.

This picture was taken on October 23, 2017. 1915
Morrison Hill station looking great with fresh upgrades and
paint. PWM

Inside Morrison Hill station. New floating oak flooring,
newly painted kickboards, trim and awaiting installation.
10-20-17 PWM

Interior of Narcissus

Patented interlocking rubber floor tiles in the smoking
compartment and down the center aisle of the passenger
compartment floor of the Narcissus. We will be seeking
contractors and prices on making new tiles, as well as
seeking solutions to properly repairing the tiles, if possible,
for reuse. 10-23-2017 PWM

Seats for the Narcissus. We will make all 20 walk-over,  mohair plush
upholstered seats from scratch. We have prices from two foundries
to cast all the various metal components. Funding the cost to
cast original patterns and then the various components is the
highest priority for fundraising now. Image of Interior of 1912,
Portland-Lewiston Interurban No. 16, Clematis. This
image has the viewer peering down the aisle towards the number

two end of the Clematis. Image from Seashore Trolley Museum 

One of the original passenger windows in its
mahogany sash has been restored along with seventeen
others. Six will have to be made from scratch.
We have many of the original brass components too.
PWM

One of the newly restored (5 of 8 completed so far)
mahogany sash windows that are contained in the two
bulkheads. Additional interior work will include rewiring
the Narcissus. When the body was the Vallee summer home,
120-volt household wiring was added and much of the original
wire was removed. October 2017 image PWM

The center ceiling panels have ornate
gold leaf fleur-de-lis. The interior walls are
all mahogany with an inlay of Ebony-Holly-
Ebony. The forty leaded stained glass
windows
above the passenger windows
are breathtaking. PWM
Museum of Mass Transit is celebrating its 81st Birthday year in 2020! 
Special Events are scheduled  - Public operations start on May 2, 2020. 
Click Here for the 2019 Events & Special Activities for the 80th Anniversary Season, with hot links

Click Here for 2019 Special Events 

Check out the new book that features the Narcissus!
Look below to read the many great reviews!

Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride

Three 5-Star Reviews from Readers' Favorite posted on January 6, 2020
Click Here to read the post

"An eye-opening and entertaining ride - you won't want the train to stop!
Highly recommended.
Andrew Vietze, award-winning author of Becoming Teddy Roosevelt.

Books are available at these local bookstores in Maine:
The Book Review, Falmouth
Letterpress Books, Portland
Nonesuch Books and More, South Portland
Nubble Books, Biddeford
Seashore Trolley Museum, Kennebunkport
Sherman's Maine Coast Book Shops - All locations

A resource for teachers. 
     We are working with the Maine Historical Society to create State-standard-based lesson plans for classroom use in grades 4, 5, 6, and 7. We hope to have the vocabulary for the various grades released soon and to unveil the full lesson plans early in 2020. In the meantime, the teacher resource post has a listing of online references for people, places, and events that are referred to throughout the book, Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride - written with a focus on using vocabulary words and sentence structure that might be useful in classroom studies for students and teachers in grades 4 to 7. Though, there are numerous words, sentences, topics, and references that students and teachers in a variety of grades, as well as readers of all ages, will find useful and of interest. 

Click Here for the announcement of the award-winning narrator for the audiobook :) 

     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.

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 Kindle page through Amazon

Click Here for the post on the ebook release video with a guided tour of the Narcissus

Book, ebook, and (soon) audiobook available through Amazon.

Click Here to read January 24, 2020 - Four-Star Clarion Review

Click Here to read January 20, 2020 - Coveted Starred Blueink 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

     In June of 2018, I was very happy to release a blog post announcing that award-winning Maine author, Jean M. Flahive, had agreed to write a young reader historical fiction chapter book that would benefit the Narcissus Project. In October of 2019, I was happy to report, that the book, Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride, had been printed and was available to purchase! Below are some blurbs/reviews from a few individuals who read the manuscript after being professionally edited by Maine Authors Publishing in Thomaston, Maine. 

MUST-READ! - Click Here
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)
MUST-READ! - Click Here  (In case you hadn't "clicked" and read it above :)

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.
Thank You

   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.

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 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 :)

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.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

$40,000 in Donations For the Narcissus! - Matching Grant to Follow from 20th Century Electric Railway Foundation

The 1912 Portland-Lewiston Interurban No. 14, Narcissus
in Seashore Trolley Museum's  Donald G Curry Town House
Restoration Shop in  Kennebunkport, Maine on
October 23, 2017. PWM

Very Exciting News to Announce!

     Donations, lots of donations, were rolling in during the past several weeks. Whether it was a single dollar, change from a pocket, a five, ten, or twenty dollar bill; checks for ten, twenty-five, a hundred and more, children and adults alike were excited and determined to help the Narcissus meet the goal.

The goal.

     The 20th Century Electric Railway Foundation in La Canada, CA first provided a matching grant opportunity to benefit the Narcissus in the fall of 2014. We had 90 days to raise the initial $10,000. Once raised, donations would be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to the full $10K. We were successful that fall in raising the full $10K in ninety days. The largest portion was donated by individuals that were either staff members or alum from my employer in Saco, Maine, Thornton Academy.

     In the months following the successful matching grant campaign, I would occasionally send project progress updates to the secretary of the 20th Century Electric Railway Foundation. Later in the autumn of 2015, the Foundation secretary called me to discuss the progress of the Narcissus Project. That conversation led to a discussion about other future plans pertaining to the Museum. Ultimately, from that conversation, two separate matching grant opportunities were offered to the Museum. Starting early in 2016, the $40,000 matching grant to benefit the Narcissus was kicked off, followed later by a $75,000 matching grant challenge to benefit Seashore Trolley Museum's Preserve & Protect capital campaign. The initial goal for both of these very generous and important fundraising opportunities for the Museum has now been met!

     Once our paperwork is prepared, sent to the Foundation and is verified, they will issue a check to the Museum for the Narcissus, most likely later in November (2017), and separate press releases acknowledging the successful completion of both campaigns will soon after be distributed by the Museum and by the Foundation.

     As the project manager for the Narcissus project, it is very exciting and humbling, to receive so many donations from so many different people, families, non-profit organizations, and grantors with the common goal of helping to raise the money necessary to continue the work to restore the only surviving Portland-Lewiston Interurban, the Narcissus.

     Thank you to everyone that has helped the Narcissus to this point. We still need to continue to collectively spread the word about the project. I encourage you to invite others to join the effort to bring this beauty back into being the majestic, elegant, operating representative of Maine's premier electric interurban railway.

    One way to explain what the Narcissus project is about is by sharing the posts from the Narcissus project blog: www.narcissus1912.blogspot.com

     Lots of folks find the posts very interesting.
In October (2017), the blog surpassed 100,000 total page views! On October 25th alone, there were just under 1,800 page views.

The blog is a great way to spread the news of the Narcissus.

Let's keep it going :)

Planning for end-of-year gifts?

Consider a colorful print of your fav, Narcissus?
Don't procrastinate. Many prints are in limited quantities and will sell out quickly.
First-Come-First-Serve. Don't miss out on your first choice!

Free Shipping on all orders placed with me before November 30, 2017

A signed print by Maine artist, Wade Zahares' fabulous artwork, "Fast Friends", featuring the Narcissus and a box of ten greeting cards are a perfect choice. 

Signed prints and boxes of ten greeting cards are now available to purchase. 100% of the proceeds from these sales will benefit the Narcissus project.

A print of "Fast Friends" by Maine artist, Wade Zahares. PWM


Signed Limited Edition Prints:
20" x 30" - numbered through 200 - $400 (free shipping/rolled in tube)
13" x 20" - numbered through 800 - $185 (free shipping/rolled in tube)

Signed Prints:
10" x 15" - not numbered - $125 (free shipping/rolled in tube)

Free Shipping on all orders placed with me before November 30, 2017

To order prints to be mailed - email p.morse31@gmail.com


Greeting card of "Fast Friends" by Maine artist, Wade Zahares.

Greeting Cards:
Box of Ten (10) with envelopes - 4"x 6" - blank inside - $20
(Free shipping via USPS)

Free Shipping on all orders placed with me before November 30, 2017

To order Greeting Cards - email p.morse31@gmail.com

All proceeds from the sale of these items will be added to the Narcissus fund 816-A, to help with the costs associated with restoring the interior of the Narcissus.


What's next for the Narcissus? 2017/2018

Restoration work will continue on the exterior of the Narcissus. 

The image above taken 10.23.17 PWM All roof ribs were removed, repaired,
primed and replaced. Ten needed to be replaced. The left side has had
its end boards secured to the roof rib tenons. The right side end boards are
nearly all in place.

Donald Curry working on securing the right end boards to 
he roof ribs tenons. 10.23.17 PWM

Major side sill and bolster work is in the early stage. The bolsters will be
removed, assessed, repaired, pieces replaced as necessary, primed, painted
and then reinstalled. Side sills and their attached channel steel lengths
will be removed, assessed, repaired and replaced as necessary.
10-23-2017 PWM

Morrison Hill Station

     In recent weeks, the petite 1915 Portland-Lewiston Interurban waiting station, originally located in West Cumberland (ME) has had; window and door sills replaced and painted. Window trim boards replaced and painted, metal roof edges repaired and painted, the west-facing roof panels sanded and painted, exterior walls (yellow) north, south, and west repainted, the tiny wooden electrical box that feeds the 600 volts (DC) lights of the building fully rebuilt, primed and painted, and many interior upgrades. All these improvements (and a few more to follow) are in preparation for the building to be the home of an exhibit next season about the Portland-Lewiston Interurban.

This picture was taken on October 23, 2017. 1915 PLI Morrison Hill Station
looking great with fresh upgrades and paint. PWM

Inside Morrison Hill Station. New floating oak flooring, newly painted
kickboards, and new kickboards and trim painted and awaiting
installation. 10.20.17 PWM

Interior of Narcissus

Patented interlocking rubber floor tiles in the smoking compartment
and down the center aisle of the passenger body floor of the Narcissus.
We will be seeking contractors and prices on making new tiles, as
well as seeking solutions to properly repairing the tiles for possible reuse.
10-23-2017 PWM

upholstered seats from scratch. We have prices from two foundries
to cast all the various metal components. Funding the cost to
cast original patterns and then the various components is the
highest priority for fundraising now. Image of Interior of 1912,
Portland-Lewiston Interurban No. 16, Clematis. This
image has the viewer peering down the aisle towards the number
two end of the Clematis. Image from Seashore Trolley Museum 

One of the newly restored (5 of 8 completed so far)
mahogany sash windows that are contained in the two
bulkheads. Additional interior work will include rewiring
the Narcissus. When the body was the Vallee summer home,
120-volt household wiring was added and much of the original
wire was removed. October 2017 image PWM

Museum of Mass Transit is celebrating its 81st Birthday year in 2020! 
Special Events are scheduled  - Public operations start on May 2, 2020. 
Click Here for the 2019 Events & Special Activities for the 80th Anniversary Season, with hot links

Click Here for 2019 Special Events 

Check out the new book that features the Narcissus!
Look below to read the many great reviews!

Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride

Three 5-Star Reviews from Readers' Favorite posted on January 6, 2020
Click Here to read the post

"An eye-opening and entertaining ride - you won't want the train to stop!
Highly recommended.
Andrew Vietze, award-winning author of Becoming Teddy Roosevelt.

Books are available at these local bookstores in Maine:
The Book Review, Falmouth
Letterpress Books, Portland
Nonesuch Books and More, South Portland
Nubble Books, Biddeford
Seashore Trolley Museum, Kennebunkport
Sherman's Maine Coast Book Shops - All locations

A resource for teachers. 
     We are working with the Maine Historical Society to create State-standard-based lesson plans for classroom use in grades 4, 5, 6, and 7. We hope to have the vocabulary for the various grades released soon and to unveil the full lesson plans early in 2020. In the meantime, the teacher resource post has a listing of online references for people, places, and events that are referred to throughout the book, Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride - written with a focus on using vocabulary words and sentence structure that might be useful in classroom studies for students and teachers in grades 4 to 7. Though, there are numerous words, sentences, topics, and references that students and teachers in a variety of grades, as well as readers of all ages, will find useful and of interest. 

Click Here for the announcement of the award-winning narrator for the audiobook :) 

     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.

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 Kindle page through Amazon

Click Here for the post on the ebook release video with a guided tour of the Narcissus

Book, ebook, and (soon) audiobook available through Amazon.

Click Here to read January 24, 2020 - Four-Star Clarion Review

Click Here to read January 20, 2020 - Coveted Starred Blueink 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

     In June of 2018, I was very happy to release a blog post announcing that award-winning Maine author, Jean M. Flahive, had agreed to write a young reader historical fiction chapter book that would benefit the Narcissus Project. In October of 2019, I was happy to report, that the book, Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride, had been printed and was available to purchase! Below are some blurbs/reviews from a few individuals who read the manuscript after being professionally edited by Maine Authors Publishing in Thomaston, Maine. 

MUST-READ! - Click Here
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)
MUST-READ! - Click Here  (In case you hadn't "clicked" and read it above :)

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.
Thank You

   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.

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 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 :)

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.