Sunday, December 10, 2017

Narcissus Restoration Project - 2017 Outreach and Research Summary

Theodore Roosevelt with four prominent Maine Republicans.
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, Maine 1918-1921),
Carl E. Milliken (Governor of Maine 1916-1921).
Photo courtesy of the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library, Dickinson, ND

The Narcissus 1912 Project Blog will have its second full calendar year under its belt as 2017 comes to a close. Total page views are currently at 113,000 at the end of this first week of December (2017). The blog was created for the purpose of reaching out to a large number of folks through the power of social media to introduce them to the Narcissus Restoration Project. The Narcissus is a luxury, high-speed, wooden electric interurban that operated in Maine.

The Narcissus was built in 1912 in Laconia, NH and operated on the Portland-Lewiston Interurban (PLI) between the two cities from 1914 to 1933. Theodore Roosevelt was a passenger on the Narcissus from Lewiston to Portland on August 18, 1914. 

The blog posts include updates on the restoration of the National Register of Historic Places member, Narcissus, which is currently taking place at Seashore Trolley Museum's Donald G. Curry Town House Restoration Shop in Kennebunkport, Maine. Posts also include topics; on the connections that Theodore Roosevelt has here in Maine, the PLI and its connections to the communities it served (Portland, Falmouth, Cumberland, Gray, New Gloucester, Auburn, and Lewiston), the builder of the PLI, W. S. Libbeyother electric railway systems in Maine, and people of Maine that had an impact on the electric railway development here in Maine.

Hopefully, these posts will generate readers to become engaged in the Narcissus project and spread the word of the project and perhaps support the Narcissus financially, as the restoration continues over the next few years. Information on donation options; scroll down the page until you come to that section.

This post shares some of the behind-the-scenes activities during 2017, that involves the volunteer project manager for the Narcissus, Phil Morse.
Responsibilities for a volunteer project manager may include; photography; people, artifacts, restoration activities, 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.

Click Here to go the Narcissus Restoration Update - 2017 summary

I encourage readers' feedback via email - or through the blog comments.

2017 started off with a request for help from the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library.

The photo above was sent to me by the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library in Dickinson, ND. I was asked if I knew the date, locations, and the event of the meeting of the gentlemen posing in this photograph? They knew the names of the gentlemen and each of their political accomplishments, but nothing more.  Early in January 2017, I was able to report the successful findings.
Click Here for the full story.

I did research at the Maine Historical Society's Brown Library
in Portland and utilized the microfilm inventory in the 
Portland Room at the Portland Public Library. From previous
research, I had a list of dates that TR had visited Portland and in
reading through film strips, found the answers to the above photo.
March 28, 1918, at the Falmouth Hotel during the Republican
Party State Convention. 
Click Here for the full story

As the Narcissus project manager, I look to use artifacts to create exhibits and displays to help promote the Narcissus project and to help educate communities on their local electric railway history.

Narcissus artifacts on display at the January 2017 
Amherst Railway Society's Railroad Hobby Show. Held in the Eastern States Exposition Fairgrounds in East Springfield, MA., more than 22,000 railfans and the public have attended the Show each of the past five years.
Visitors to the Seashore Trolley Museum tables were able to see photos of the restoration progress, pick up handouts about the projects, and make donations.
Robert Perkins, III photos.

Early in February, the Narcissus had a featured story in a
local daily newspaper.
Click Here for the full story.

Promotion of events and scheduled speaking engagements featuring the Narcissus project took place throughout the year, generally starting months in advance of the scheduled date. The first announcement for the 2017 Teddy Roosevelt Days event to benefit the Narcissus was late in January, followed by several updates with details on participants and activities.

Annie Libbey (center) with daughter Alla (l) and son W. Scott
Libbey, Jr. (r) pictured in W. S. Libbey's very rare, 1908 Stanley
Steamer K 30-hp Semi-Racer.  Photo courtesy of Paul Libbey,
son of W. Scott Libbey, Jr. Libbey's  Semi-Racer is quite likely
the most valuable Stanley in the World!
Click Here for the full story

I purchased a 360-degree camera lens for my phone and started
experimenting with various railway subjects throughout 2017. Here is the
interior of the Narcissus. Blogger doesn't have software to recognize the
360-degree image. It is an interesting perspective this way.
PWM photo

This 360-degree photo was converted into an 8-second
video clip. Let's see how Blogger handles this :)
PWM photo

Promotion of the Portland-Lewiston Interurban presentation
at the Portland Public Library on April 19, featuring
the Narcissus started on February 15.
Click Here for the full story.

The Museum board of trustees appointed me as the Museum's liaison to the Theodore Roosevelt Association (TRA) in NY. Over the past three years, I've attended the TRA annual meetings, visited TR's home, Sagamore Hill in Oster Bay, NY three or four times, met and have become friends with a number of the TRA members and park rangers at Sagamore Hill. Those contacts include volunteers and staff of; Friends of Sagamore Hill, The Theodore Roosevelt Center at Dickinson State, the Theodore Roosevelt Collection at Harvard University's Houghton Library, and the Theodore Roosevelt Collection at Boston University's Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center.

In Maine, I regularly attend Round Table meetings presented by Maine Woods Forever (MWF) hosted at Unity College in Unity, Maine. In particular, I enjoy attending the spring Round Table when MWF present their Theodore Roosevelt Maine Conservation Awards.
Click Here for the full story.

Fiona Ammerman, a fourth grader from Katahdin Elementary School in
Stacyville, ME accepts the first 2017 Teddy Roosevelt Conservation Award
from John Rust (r) of Maine Woods Forever. Fiona was nominated for the
award by her school principal, Marie Robinson (l). PWM photo

Museum volunteers replace the platform at Morrison Hill Station. More
repairs and renovations would follow in 2017. The 1915 PLI waiting station
originally was located in West Cumberland, ME along the interurban line and
will house a Portland-Lewiston Interurban exhibit in 2018. PWM photo
Click Here for the full story

A blog post was released in April
with an index listing the first 100
Narcissus Blog posts. The index is
updated after each new blog post is
released. The index now includes
more than 130 posts.
Click Here for the full story.

The 2017 Teddy Roosevelt Days poster promoting
the three-day event was released early in May.
Click Here for the full story.

If we are scheduled to make a presentation or appearance in a community that has a connection to the Portland-Lewiston Interurban (PLI) or with Theodore Roosevelt, I try to make time to conduct some research in the area prior to or after the appearance. 

The former Portland-Lewiston Interurban carhouse in Portland is now
used for other purposes, but during its days being used by the PLI, the
building had entries and exits on Cumberland Avenue and Portland Street. 
PWM photo

Donald Curry pointing to a map of the Portland-Lewiston Interurban
and mentions the communities served by the interurban system from
1914-1933. This was noontime "bring-your-own-lunch" presentation
held at the Portland Public Library. It was very well attended (35 or so)
and was broadcast live on Facebook. PWM photo

Museum volunteer Glen Snow shared a link to  the Maine Historical Society's (MHS)
online collection of Portland-Lewiston Interurban materials. Some artifacts in the
collection were donated to the Society from Central Maine Power Company (CMP),
which owned the PLI (and the Narcissus) from 1920 until the end of service in 1933.
Included in the collection is a portable magneto field phone like the one in this image.
Each of the PLI rolling stock vehicles that used the approximately 32-mile
right-of-way, had one of these Western Electric 330-E phones to use to call the
PLI dispatcher in case of an emergency. We were able to purchase an original
Western Electric 330-E field phone through eBay, which is now displayed at
presentations and appearances. It will be installed in the Narcissus as one of the
final artifacts installed near the end of the restoration of the PLI gem.
PWM photo.
Click Here for the full story

Phil Morse (l) and Donald Curry in a selfie during Donald's restoration shop
retirement luncheon party in early May. Though Donald officially retired at
the end of April, a larger celebration commemorating Donald's 60-plus
years of employment at Seashore Trolley Museum would take place at
Members' Day early in September. PWM photo

W. S. Libbey was the well-respected businessman from Lewiston that built the Portland-Lewiston Interurban line. His personal and professional story is one to be admired. When it became known in the mid-to-late 1960s that the Narcissus would be acquired by Seashore Trolley Museum so that it could be restored to operating condition, a number of the descendants of W. S. Libbey became involved with the Museum to assist in making that dream come true. Alas, over the many years that restoration work on the Narcissus ebbed and flowed, the Libbey family contact with the Museum dwindled. Efforts to make contact in recent years came up empty, until one fateful day, Tuesday, August 4, 2015. Eight-year-old, Sophia Beck visited Seashore Trolley Museum with her father Roman, specifically to see her great, great, great grandfather's, Narcissus. Sophia's visit with her father opened to door of communication to Sophia's grandmother, Mary Libbey Conley. And over the past two-plus years, Mary has been so very helpful in reaching out to her extended family to make them aware of the Narcissus and the Museum's recent efforts in completing the restoration of the Libbey family artifact. Through Mary's efforts, many Libbey family members have had the opportunity to visit the Narcissus at the Museum and to become involved in the Museum's efforts to collect information on the PLI and the interurbans. A big thank you to Sophia and her father Roman for making the visit :)
Click Here for the full story

Phil Morse (center) explaining the various steps needed
to restore the ornate leaded stained glass and mahogany
sash of the clerestory windows from the sister
interurban of Narcissus, the Arbutus.
Mary Libbey Conley (l) from CA and her cousin
Helen Meldrum from MA visited the Narcissus in May.
Ernie Eaton photo
Click Here for the full story on restoring the stained glass.

In mid-June, along with volunteers John Mercurio and Peter Wilson greeted
 local guests that attended the #SirensSoiree benefit for the Arundel
Historical Society at the host, Bentley Warren's Auto Museum. 
PWM photo

Phil Morse (l) with Joe Banavige (r) at the
Museum. I am happy to have met Joe and
to now call him my friend. I am a proud supporter
of Joe's as he retraces "The Terrain
of Theodore Roosevelt"  campaign as he
raises money and awareness for the
Click Here for the full story

Donald Curry labeled  various restored pieces to display at the 470 Railroad
Club presentation in Portland, ME early in July.
PWM photo

Donald Curry and I were invited by the Laconia Historical Society &
Museum in Laconia, NH to lecture at the Gale
Memorial Library on Saturday, August 19 during the 125th
 celebration activities for the opening of the Laconia Railroad
Station.  Promoting the presentation start early in the summer.
Click Here for the full story

The 2017 Teddy Roosevelt Days three-day weekend event to benefit the Narcissus was great again this year. Click Here for the full story

The 2017 Teddy Roosevelt Days three-day event to benefit the Narcissus
 (July 21-23) banner is seen here at the Museum entrance featuring a
welcome to members of the John Libby Family AssociationW. S. Libbey
and I are both descended from the 11th son of John Libby.
John Libby settled in the Blackpoint area of Scarborough, Maine in
the 1630s. It is through my maternal grandmother's side of the family that
Libby genealogical roots are from. PWM photo
Click Here for the full story

The Teddy Roosevelt Days kicked off with Friday opening gala that included
tours of the Narcissus. Here, restoration shop foreman Randy Leclair (l)  talks
to the guests in the first tour group, which included (l-r) Elizabeth Maguire,
her nephew Donald Whitney, and his granddaughter, Aubie Dingwell. The PLI
was originally built (1910-1914) through her parents dairy farm in the Gray, ME
area. As a young girl, Elizabeth would use the interurbans, including the
Narcissus, to ride to school. Amber Tatnall photo.

The 2017 Teddy Roosevelt Days Friday gala opening was well attended by
descendants of W. S. & Annie Libbey, and family members. Here they are
gathered for a photo opportunity in front of the number one end of the
Narcissus.  PWM photo

Guests that attended the Friday opening gale of the 2017 Teddy Roosevelt
Days event gathered in the exhibit room at the visitors center at Seashore
Trolley Museum after returning from their tour of the Narcissus. Here

guests could make bids on silent auction items, purchase tickets for raffles

or the 50/50, purchase TR-related books or other items all 
for the benefit of the Narcissus, all while enjoying catered refreshments.
PWM photo

The 2017 Teddy Roosevelt Days Friday opening gala schedule included
a presentation by Roberto Rodriguez, Director of Curatorial Affairs for
the Seal Cove Auto Museum on Mount Desert Island, Maine. Roberto
spoke about the Stanley Brothers and their businesses, in particular,
their automobile business. W. S. Libbey, the builder of the
Portland-Lewiston Interurban purchased a 1908 Stanley Steamer
K 30-hp Semi-Racer. Libbey's original Stanley is in the collection
of the Seal Cove Auto Museum and is considered, quite likely the
most valuable Stanley in the World. PWM photo
Click Here for the full story

One of the highlights of the Friday gala opening was the unveiling of
Maine artist Wade Zahares' original work of art, "Fast Friends".  The
stunning work depicts W. S. and Annie Libbey in the Libbey's 1908
Stanley Semi-Racer as they are cruising alongside the Narcissus. 
Click Here for the full story

A signed print of "Fast Friends" is available
for purchase in several sizes.  All proceeds benefit
the Narcissus.
Click Here for details

"Fast Friends" greeting cards (4"x 6") in boxes of ten cards with envelopes
are available to purchase. All proceeds benefit the Narcissus.
Click Here for details

The Friday opening gala came to a close during a beautiful summer sunset
trolley ride in the 1901 open trolley No. 303 from Connecticut. 
PWM photo

Saturday, during the 2017 Teddy Roosevelt Days event, featured children's
book author, Suzanne Buzby Hersey signing and selling her books.
Her "My Maine" was the biggest seller of the day. Ms. Buzby Hersey was
 very kind to donate back to the Narcissus a very generous percentage of her
sales from the day. p.s. yes, that is Museum Life member, James Morse sitting
 in  the background :) PWM photo
Click Here for the full story

Throughout the TR Days weekend,
many John Libby Family
Association (JLFA) members with
their family visited the Narcissus and also
enjoyed trolley rides.
PWM photo

Throughout the TR Days weekend,
Maine artist Wade Zahares started 
a variety of new original works of art
using Museum buildings and artifacts as
the focus or backdrop.
Courtesy Wade Zahares.

Starting with the platform upgrade in April, the Morrison Hill Station and surrounding area received much-needed repairs throughout the summer and on into late October. The 1915 Portland-Lewiston Interurban waiting station originally was in place along the Morrison Hill section of the PLI in West Cumberland, ME.  It came to Seashore Trolley Museum in the late 80s/early 90s as a donation from Richard Budd. When Richard purchased what is now Budd's Gulf, the derelict waiting station was in woods in the backyard of the station. The station received the recent repairs and attention in preparation to house an exhibit on the Portland-Lewiston Interurban during the 2018 season of the Museum's public operations.
Click Here for the full story

A still photo of the interior of the 1915 PLI Morrison Hill station
using a 360-degree camera lens. This image was taken early
in the summer of 2017 before any renovations or repairs were made.
PWM photo

Another early view of the interior using the 360-degree camera lens.
PWM photo

In the summer of 1880 (July 20-August 3), Theodore Roosevelt visited Mount Desert Island, ME. Traveling with him was his fiance', Alice Lee, and several of their friends. So, in advance of my Friday, August 11 evening Narcissus presentation at the Seal Cove Auto Museum on Mount Desert Island, I traveled to the Ellsworth, Bar Harbor area several hours early to conduct some TR-related research.

The Bar Harbor Historical Society also had some great TR-related
materials that helped in my research. PWM photo

I received a most wonderful and warm
welcome upon arrival later in the day on
Friday. PWM photo

The Seal Cove Auto Museum has free admission times for children that visit
during certain hours on Saturdays. There are many activities made available
for the children to enjoy. In this photo from Saturday, August 12,  children
are coloring and then cutting and assembling Narcissus paper models
at one of the Narcissus display tables. PWM photo
Click Here for the full story 

W. S. Libbey's original and very rare 1908 Stanley Steamer K 30-hp
Semi-Racer on display at the Seal Cove Auto Museum in Mount Desert, ME.
PWM photo

A mid-July scene
The 1915 Portland-Lewiston Interurban waiting station from Morrison Hill
in West Cumberland, Maine makes for a lovely greeter of Seashore Trolley
Museum visitors as they return from Talbott Park on their trolley ride
on the Museum's heritage railway. Notice the orange-colored tiger lilies
in the foreground of the station. These Tiger Lilies will look very familiar
in a few images from now. PWM photo.

While working on the 1915 Morrison Hill Station (MHS) in mid-August, this
family crossed the tracks from the Riverside exhibit carhouse to the MHS
platform. I asked where they were from. The father replied that he was
originally from Saco (ME) and recently he and his family had moved into a
home in West Cumberland (ME). I chuckled and replied that I now lived
in Saco and I worked at Thronton Academy and that "this" building (MHS)
was a waiting station from the Portland-Lewiston Interurban that was located
in West Cumberland and was in the Morrison Hill area. He and his wife
looked at each other and smiled as he replied that he was a graduate
of Thronton Academy (class of' 94) and that when they purchased
their home in West Cumberland, they were told that there used to be a
waiting station on the property. The foundation is still there. 
Morrison Hill Station has a new family of friends! PWM photo
Click Here for the full story

Donald Curry and I were invited by the Laconia Historical Society and Museum to lecture in Laconia, NH at the Gale Memorial Library on Saturday, August 19 during the 125th
 celebration activities for the opening of the Laconia Railroad Station. Donald's lecture would be on the ten accessioned historic electric railway vehicles among the collections of the Seashore Trolley Museum that were built in Laconia, NH by the Laconia Car Company. I traveled to Laconia a day early so that I could do some research at the archives of the Laconia Historical Society and Museum. The Narcissus was built in Laconia in 1912.

One of my favorite images :) It is from 2009. It has the hands
of long-time member Ed Dooks working in perfect harmony
with his granddaughter's, (Chelsea Pino) hands as they peel
the protective paper away from the Laconia Car Company
Works decal applied to the 1906 Atlantic Shore Line
electric locomotive No. 100 side sill. PWM photo

The Laconia Car Company was one of the largest railway/ railroads
vehicle manufacturers in the northeast in the late 1800s, early 1900s.
Dozens of large brick buildings were utilized for all the various departments
required for such a large operation. Today, many of those original building
still exist and have been repurposed for many different uses.
PWM photo

This former Laconia Car Company building is now owned by the 
Laconia Historical Society and Museum and in part houses many of the 
Society's collections.  PWM photo

Map showing the various buildings of the
Laconia Car Company. Used with
permission by the Laconia Historical Society
and Museum. PWM photo

An impressive view of the Gale  Memorial Library in Laconia, NH.
PWM photo

Selfie showing the guests arriving early for the lecture in the Rotary Hall
in the Gale Memorial Library in Laconia, NH.  PWM photo

Donald Curry speaking to a very engaged group of guests during the
August 19 lecture. The local access tv station recorded the presentation
and has aired it repeatedly in the county Laconia is located.
Click Here to view the recorded presentation on Youtube

Early in September, Donald Curry and I traveled to Auburn (ME) and 
the Danville (ME) area to pick up seat components that were left at two
foundries so they could make estimates for making the castings necessary to
build the 20 walk-over seats for the Narcissus.  PWM photo
Click Here for the full story on Narcissus seats

While we were in the Danville neighborhood, we drove by the former
PLI station. We stopped and took some pictures...see below. PWM photo

The former PLI building looks pretty much the same now as it did 
80 or more years ago. PWM photo

From Danville, we made our way to Gray (ME) and passed by one of the 
PLI concrete cattle crossings. There were fifty concrete crossings built
along the approximately 32-mile right-of-way during the construction
(1910-1914). The crossing did vary in size, this is one of the larger ones
and horse or oxen-pulled carts could pass through it. PWM photo

We then visited the Gray Historical Society and conducted some research.
The volunteers have always been very friendly and helpful when we have
visited. The Society has a very large collection of artifacts and ephemera
related to the PLI. PWM photo

A PLI motorman hat in the Gray Historical Society collection.
PWM photo

One of the two original destination signs from the 1912 PLI  No. 10,
Arbutus. the Arbutus is one of the three Laconia Car Company-built sisters
of the Narcissus. PWM photo

Also in early September, I attended a Maine Archives & Museums
workshop held at the Biddeford (ME) Mills Museum. The title of the
workshop, Harness the Power: Great Tours + Maine Tourism Industry =
Museums Success. This image is one of the many taken during the tour
component of the workshop. It was a great workshop, a great tour.
Helped with developing ideas for the Morrison Hill Station display.
PWM photo

On Members' Day, a  large group of Museum and local community
members turned out to honor Donald Curry in his retirement
and the dedication of the newly named,
Donald G. Curry Town House Restoration Shop. Sales of "Fast Freinds"
signed prints and greeting cards were good. PWM photo

Attended the 113th John Libby Family Association (JLFA) reunion on the
4th Saturday of September. The reunion is in the Libby Community House
which is behind the Blackpoint Congregational Church. My parents were
married in the Blackpoint Congregational Church on February 22, 1952.
PWM photo
Click Here for the full story

Thornton Academy Residential Life student Zhaocheng "Sunny" Zhong,
volunteered to help staff the Narcissus table at the JLFA 113th reunion.
Many boxes of "Fast Friends" greeting cards were sold. 
PWM photo

A solid turnout of JLFA members attended the 113th JLFAreunion.
PWM photo

The Narcissus display at the 2016 Cumberland County Fair
September 25 to October 2, 2017

The 2017 Transit Day at Seashore Trolley Museum on Saturday of 
Columbus Day weekend was very well attended.  The Narcissus display
on the platform of the 1915 PLI Morrison Hill Station drew some interest
members as well as the many casual museum visitors.
Herb Pence photo

On October 17th the Narcissus project blog passed one hundred thousand
total page views! PWM photo
Click Here for the full story

Volunteers Jim Mackell (l) and Tom Tello (r) are seen
here securing new trim boards to the front windows
of the 1915 Portland-Lewiston Interurban waiting station
from the Morrison Hill area in West Cumberland, Maine.
New window sills and a new door sill were installed as
well. All were primed and painted. PWM photo

The power supply box that controls the
600-volt DC power-feed to the
Morrison Hill Station was disconnected from the overhead line feed by volunteer John Donnelly so that we could replace the power-feed box.
Volunteer Jim Mackell constructed the new box.
The power was not reintroduced to the box until the front of the metal roof was sanded and painted and the edges of the roof were repaired, sanded, and painted a few weeks later.

Volunteer Jim Mackell cuts the new
floating floorboards for installation
in the waiting station. PWM photo

Inside the 1915 Morrison Hill Station with its new
flooring, newly painted trim boards, window sash, walls,
and ceiling. A new display featuring a Western Electric
330-F series portable magneto filed phone similar
to the 330-E series phone that will be installed in the
Narcissus. A well-known image of the grinning TR

greets visitors. These display items are installed
temporarily. 2018 will bring a new-look exhibit.
PWM photo

The south-facing side of the newly renovated 1915
Morrison Hill station interior. PWM photo

I was shocked to learn of the passing of a dear friend, Dan Vallee. Seen here
sitting with his wife of 50 years, Rose (l), and Museum friend,
Donald Curry, at the Friday opening gala of the 2017 Teddy Roosevelt Days
event. Daniel A. Vallee passed away unexpectedly on September 1. 
Dan grew up spending his summers at Sabattus Pond, living in the Narcissus.
PWM photo
Click Here for the full story

A new bench is at the platform of the Morrison Hill Station. There is a
commemorative plaque on the bench in memory of Daniel A. Vallee.
PWM photo.

On a beautiful late-October afternoon, the 1915 Morrison Hill Station and
the surrounding platform area is looking very inviting after the repairs and
renovations to the station and area were completed. PWM photo

In seeking ideas for possible landscaping ideas for the future around the
Morrison Hill station area, I paid visit to the Coastal Maine Botanical
Gardens in Boothbay, Maine. This was my first visit. 2017 was their 10th
anniversary year. They have 90,000 visitors a year! They have a massive
expansion underway at this time. I took lots of photos. It was well worth
the visit and the admission fee. PWM photo

The end of October brought a close to the regular season of public
operations at Seashore Trolley Museum. So, I bring in the restoration shop
Narcissus display hand-out materials. These materials have been very
effective at engaging the casual Museum visitor to visit the
Narcissus blog and in some cases, to make a donation to the Narcissus.
PWM photo

The Museum store now has a nice
"Fast Friends" display where visitors can
purchase greeting cards. PWM photo

The end of October brought more great news
for the Narcissus project. Donations to the
Narcissus project was substantial in October.
Enough in fact to pass our fundraising goal
of $40,000 in new donations that would
then be matched, dollar-for-dollar
by the 20th Century Electric Railway
Foundation in LaCanada, CA. The paperwork
was submitted in November. We 
expect a check for $40,000 for the Narcissus
project in the coming weeks. These funds added
to the existing funds on hand may be enough
to handle the expenses needed to complete
the restoration of the exterior of the Narcissus.
Click Here for the full story

Late in the fall, Maine artist Wade Zahares unveiled his new original
work of Morrison Hill Station, titled "Waiting For the Narcissus". Do
you recall seeing the orange Tiger Lilies from an early photo from the
summer? :) There are now 4" x 6" greeting cards available in boxes
of ten, with envelopes. Contact Phil Morse at if you would like to purchase a box of the new cards.

November also brought an exciting opportunity to travel to Lewiston (ME) to visit Paul Libbey. Paul is a grandson of W. S. Libbey, the builder of the Portland-Lewiston Interurban.

I arrived in Lewiston early so that I could take a morning-light photo of the
building on Middle Street that was formerly the Lewiston carhouse for the
Portland-Lewiston Interurban. PWM photo

This building on the corner of Main and Lisbon Streets is now the home
of J. Dostie Jewelers. When W. S. Libbey was a young man, he was a
telegrapher for the Western Union office, which was located on the first floor
of this building. W. S. Libbey's friend and business partner, Harry Dingley,
had an office upstairs in the same building, then known as the "Journal"
building.  PWM photo
Click Here for the full story of W. S. Libbey

Street view via Google Earth of the Scotia Company on Lincoln Street
in Lewiston (ME). This is where I met Paul Libbey and his son Mark.
Paul's grandfather, W. S. Libbey, bought this building in 1888, along with
what was then the Cumberland Woolen Mill business operation.

Paul Libbey was a most gracious host. He gave me a tour of the mill
operation and spent the time to talk with me about the mill business, and

his grandfather's keen business sense of timing. I so very much enjoyed my
visit.  Paul was very kind and made a gift to the Museum of the original 
PLI map showing the various elevations and grades of the line that his

uncle Harold had created during the construction of the line 1910-1914.

PWM photo

Paul Libbey also made a gift of this to the Museum.
He explained it to me as being a test piece of copper
wire used to transfer the 6,000 volts of electricity
along the PLI. This test piece was a section of the
copper was that had a tensile-strength test
performed. Very neat PLI artifact :) 

After my meeting with Paul Libbey, I traveled to Auburn to have lunch and
look around. I wanted to find the intersection seen in the photos above and
below from O. R. Cummings book on the PLI.
Click Here to see O. R. Cummings' 1956 Book on the PLI
Click Here to see O. R. Cummings' 1967 book on the PLI

I think I found it! Minot Avenue with the left-hand turn onto Poland Road.
PWM photo

One of my goals for 2017 and on into 2018 is to reach out to more of the local communities served by the PLI in order to make new friends for the Narcissus and rekindle an interest in the PLI. 
I hoped to make arrangements in Falmouth/West Falmouth, West Cumberland, and hopefully in Auburn or Lewiston.  I had been in contact with some folks in Falmouth in 2016 that I had met at a meeting to discuss an opportunity to participate in some way in activities to celebrate Falmouth's Tercentennial. Also in 2016, I had done research in the Androscoggin Historical Society in Auburn.  I need to follow up and make inquiries at the historical society and the two local libraries (Auburn/Lewiston). 

This fall I followed up with Falmouth and my call and offer to conduct a presentation about the PLI and the Narcissus project was met with enthusiasm. A presentation in West Falmouth has been scheduled for an early evening in April. More details to follow after the first of the year.

From one of the blog posts early in 2017, I received an email from the director of the Prince Memorial Library in West Cumberland, Thomas Bennett. We have stayed in contact and a date for a PLI/Narcissus/Morrison Hill Station presentation has been scheduled for Tuesday, May 15, 2018, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.  at the West Cumberland Recreation Hall. 

One of the 1915 West Cumberland (ME) maps showing the PLI that was
shared with me by Thomas Bennett, Director of the Prince Memorial
Library in West Cumberland. This map would lead us to a visit to
West Cumberland in search of concrete cattle crossings.

The map above showed a concrete cattle crossing being
very close to this bridge in West Cumberland. This photo

On Tuesday, November 21st, our concrete cattle crossing search party is
seen here approaching the PLI-built Piscataqua River bridge seen in
the previous photo above. Our search team includes (l-r) Thomas Bennett
(Prince Library), Joel Fuller (West Cumberland historian),
Glen Snow (Seashore Trolley Museum), and Christina Briggs
(Seashore Trolley Museum). PWM photo

Joel led us directly to the PLI concrete cattle crossing. (l-r)
Glen Snow, Thomas Bennett, Christina Briggs, and Joel Fuller.
PWM photo

Clearly, you can see the remnants of the PLI right-of-way in a number of

spots in West Cumberland.  PWM photo

A portion of the Narcissus display set up prior to December 12, 2017 
Networking After Work gathering at Stroudwater Distillery on
Thompson's Point in Portland, Maine.

The final appearance of the Narcissus display in 2017. Great program
on Wednesday night, December 27, for Seashore Trolley Museum's
7th Annual Donor & Volunteer Appreciation Reception. Held at
the Doubletree by Hilton in Andover, MA. PWM photo 

One side of a single-page, brief summary, of some of the
progress made in 2017 on the Narcissus project. This 
summary was enclosed in a "Fast Friends" greeting card 
and mailed with a hand-written note to nearly 200
friends of the Narcissus.  PWM

The reverse side of the 2017 summary. PWM photo

I look this post over, I realize I've had another busy year full of accomplishments that have provided many more wonderful opportunities for the Narcissus project in 2018.

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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