Saturday, March 3, 2018

Portland Railroad: Trolleys Through Scarborough, Maine

The 700-foot, S-shaped viaduct carried trolleys on the Old Orchard
Beach Branch across the eastern division of the Boston & Maine
Railroad in Scarborough to Portland Avenue, through Milliken Mills to
Old Orchard Street near the pier in OOB. The high trestle was
the only structure of its type on the Portland trolley system. Built in
1903, it was torn down in 1932 immediately following the
abandonment of the Saco Division. Postcard postmarked
September 5, 1908, from PWM

This post was originally a slide presentation done by Phil Morse from Seashore Trolley Museum as a guest speaker for the Scarborough Historical Society. The presentation was made at the Scarborough Public Library on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at 2 p.m. The images and text are from various sources, including some that belong to Phil Morse. Other sources will be noted. Much of the text and many of the images were drawn from various books released by O. R. Cummings. O. R. wrote more than fifty books on electric railway systems throughout New England. O. R. passed away early in 2013. He was a member/volunteer at the New England Electric Railway Historical Society (Seashore Trolley Museum) starting in 1947, serving as its historian for many, many years. O. R was a personal friend and is dearly missed.

A full room. Nearly 50 attended the Scarborough Historical Society's
meeting at the Scarborough Public Library on March 4, 2018, for
the presentation of the Portland Railroad by Phil Morse. PWM

Thank you to Shun "Kevin" Yao and Jingqi "Owen" Tu for volunteering
to help with the Narcissus display and with the sales of Narcissus
Suncatchers and Theodore Roosevelt-related books. Kevin and Owen are
freshmen at Thornton Academy in Saco, Maine. They both are from China
and are two of the more than 200 Residential Life Program international
students from 30 different countries attending Thornton Academy. PWM

This material is not intended as a comprehensive history of the Portland Railroad. Instead, it was tailored for the Scarborough audience. Its intent was to show how residents in Scarborough in the early 1900s could board a Portland Railroad trolley in Scarborough and visit any number of communities and attractions in Maine.

Click Here to see the YouTube video of the presentation as recorded by the Scarborough Historical Society.  I have watched the video. I misspoke on a couple of occasions. When I spoke of certain trolleys being built in Philadelphia, PA, the correct name of the manufacturer is the J.G. Brill Company (not Briggs, though the Briggs Carriage Company in Amesbury, MA did build streetcars). At about the 32-minute mark, I mention that many trolley museums built trolley parks when I meant to say it was the trolley companies that built the parks. During the question period near the end of the presentation, I was asked whether the Portland Railroad generated their own electricity or did they purchase and then convert the AC to DC. I answered the question from the Portland-Lewiston Interurban perspective and not the Portland Railroad perspective. Here is a summary of the Portland Railroad perspective. The Portland Railroad did build their own power facilities and generated their own DC current initially. That changed in 1912 when the railroad was purchased by the Cumberland County Power & Light Company. Arrangements were made to operate the railroad by the current supplied from the hydroelectric plants of the CCP&L on the Saco and Presumpscot Rivers. This required the current to be converted from 38,200 volts of AC to 550 volts of DC for the trolleys to operate.

Portland Railroad: Trolleys Through Scarborough, Maine

The Portland Railroad system as it existed following the completion of the Saco-Old Orchard line in 1903, utilized 93.75 miles of track for trolleys, serving the communities of Portland, South Portland, Cape Elizabeth, Scarborough, Saco, Old Orchard Beach, Westbrook, Gorham, South Windham, Falmouth, Cumberland, and Yarmouth. More than 500 persons, including 133 motormen and 133 conductors, were employed. The line owned a total of 217 passengers cars (trolleys). Imagine living in Scarborough in the very early 1900s and being able to board a trolley and easily travel to visit any number of attractions in Maine, south, and east of Waterville, or south into New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and beyond. Let's check out some of the choices available 100+ years ago.

Middle Street, Portland, Maine.
Postcard postmarked November 5, 1909, from PWM

In 1910, only about 10% of the population had electricity in their homes - Early Electric Power companies’ major revenue was from lighting Main Streets & Electric Railways.
1915 - Trolleys in Maine - Total trackage 520 miles - 90 Communities had trolley service - More than 57 million passengers that year.

The Portland Railroad employed more than 500 persons, including 133 motormen and 133 conductors. The road owned a total of 217 passenger cars. Horsecar operations started in 1863, electrification started in 1891, and the last trolley car rolled through the streets of Portland in May of 1941.

Click Here to go to the post: Maine Bicentennial - Portland Railroad - A History of Public Transportation 1860-1941

Monument Square postcard postmarked June 1917, from PWM

The “Hub” of the Portland Railroad system, at the junction of Congress, Preble, Middle, Federal, and Elm Streets in downtown Portland. All trolley cars on all lines, both city, and suburban (and the Portland-Lewiston Interurban) passed through this point. The Portland Railroad had many prosperous years. For example, more than 13 million passengers were carried during the year ending June 30, 1904, with revenues totaling $686,000, net profits more than $86,000, and stockholders shared dividends of nearly $60,000.

Monument Square. Image circa 1910 courtesy PWM

Monument Square was the hub for the Portland Railroad’s operated 78 miles of route and 95 miles of track, serving the communities of Portland, South Portland, Cape Elizabeth, Scarborough, Saco, Old Orchard, Westbrook, Gorham, South Windham, Falmouth, Cumberland, and Yarmouth. However, the PRR was also a hub for handling freight as well as connecting passengers to more far-reaching destinations as well as being a major intermodal transportation center, with connections with the Portland-Lewiston Interurban, Biddeford & Saco Railroad, Lewiston, Augusta, & Waterville Street Railway, Boston & Maine Railroad, Maine Central Railroad, Grand Trunk Railroad, Casco Bay Lines, and various steamship companies.

A reprinted map, circa 1910, "Trolleying through the Heart of Maine"
Distributed by the Portland Railroad and the Lewiston, Augusta, &
Waterville Street Railway. 

Below: a promotional handout with destinations and prices for Casco Bay cruise trips.

Below: a promotional handout with destinations and prices for trolley trips with the Portland Railroad and the Lewiston, Augusta & Waterville Street Railway.

A reprinted copy of "Trolleying through the Heart of Maine"
Distributed by the Portland Railroad and the Lewiston, Augusta, &
Waterville Street Railway.

Portland Railroad map from Cash Corner (top right) through Scarborough,
 to Main Street Saco and Old Orchard Beach. Map from 2015 
NEERHS book, "The Illustrated Atlas of Maine's Street & Electric Railways

     The Portland Railroad opened the Saco Line from Rigby Road, South Portland, also on Broadway, South Portland from Lincoln Street to Main Street at Cash Corner on July 9, 1902. Description of routes - as of 1916 - Saco Division - From Monument Square via Congress Street to Railroad Square; St. John Street to Danforth Street and Vaughan’s Bridge; across Vaughan’s Bridge to Main Street, South Portland. And Nonesuch Corner, South Portland-Scarborough city line; Route One through Scarborough to Saco city line; Main Street to Beach Street, Saco. 15.45 miles.

One way rates for the PRR. From O. R. Cummings
1957 book, Part 1, "Portland Railroad."

Union Station at Railroad Square on the corner of Congress Street
and St. John Street. Trolleys would stop (left) on St. John Street.
Postcard postmarked August 10, 1905, from PWM.

Bound for Saco, trolley car no. 174 crosses the new Vaughn's bridge
across the Fore River between Danforth Street, Portland, and Main
Street, South Portland shortly after the newly built span was opened
in August 1909. Through trolleys were operated between Portland
and Saco during the fall, winter, and spring and between Portland
and between Old Orchard Beach in summer and trolleys like No.
174 were run the year round. From O. R. Cummings 1999
Images of America book, "York County Trolleys."

With the Walker home in the background, a crew of trolleys meeting
at Scottow’s turnout near Oak Hill, Scarborough,
pose for the photographer in front of Saco-bound
trolley No. 179 circa 1903. This trolley survived until the end
of trolley service in Portland in 1941 and then was scrapped.
The smoking compartment is where the first three windows of
the passenger compartment is divided by a wider vertical board.
From O. R. Cummings 1999 Images of America book, "York County

Dunstan Carhouse was built in 1902 and was razed in 1932
when the Saco Division lines were abandoned. From O. R. Cummings
1959 book, Part 2, "Portland Railroad."

The brick substation building that was next to the Dunstan carhouse
remains today and is home to the Scarborough Historical Society.
Image from SHS webpage.

Portland Railroad trolley car No. 173, waiting on the Biddeford & Saco
Railroad trackage on Main Street, Saco, c 1903, was destroyed
by fire at Oak Hill, Scarborough, on January 22,1915. Trucks and
electrical equipment salvaged from 173 were installed on a
replacement trolley car, No. 502, which operated until 1941.
From O. R. Cummings 1999 Images of America book,
"York County Trolleys."

From Main Street in Saco, passengers could board a Biddeford & Saco Railroad trolley to connect to the Atlantic Shore Line trolley system and travel to points in southern York County in Maine and on to NH. The Kennebunkport area was a frequent southern destination for riders on the Portland Railroad.

Biddeford City Hall, Main Street. An Atlantic Shore Line trolley is
seen here and will take passengers from Main Street, Biddeford,
to communities in southern York County and NH.
Postcard postmarked August 31, 1910, from PWM

Atlantic Shore Line: From Biddeford (to where Seashore
Trolley Museum has been located since 1939) to Cape
Porpoise, Kennebunkport, Kennebunk, Sanford, Wells,
Ogunquit, York (Beach), Kittery, South Berwick,
Dover, NH, Portsmouth, NH, then passengers could
continue to travel via other trolleys systems through NH,
and MA, etc. Map from 2015 NEERHS  book, "The
Illustrated Atlas of Maine's Street & Railways

Dock Square, Kennebunkport. Postcard postmarked February
25, 1907, from PWM.

The Cape Porpoise Casino on the Atlantic Shore Line. The veranda faced the
harbor and the open ocean. A four-masted schooner loaded with coal is
docked at the Bickford Island end of the Cape Porpoise trestle. From
O. R. Cummings 1999 Images of America book, "York County Trolleys."

The casino was famous for its shore dinner.
From the 2015 NEERHS book, "The Illustrated Atlas of
Maine's Street & Railways 1863-1946."

The John Libby Family Association, based in Scarborough, held a couple
of their annual family reunions at the casino in the early 1900s. From
2015 NEERHS book, "The Illustrated Atlas of Maine's Street & Railways

     We'll now return to the Dunstan Corner area to pick up where the Portland Railroad left the Route One line and headed to Old Orchard Beach.

The Old Orchard Beach branch of the Portland Railroad at Dunstan Corner
was opened on June 15, 1903.  Knight's General Store is seen here on the
left. From 2015 NEERHS book, "The  Illustrated Atlas of Maine's Street
& Railways 1863-1946."

     Description of Old Orchard Beach route, 1916 - Same as Saco line to Dunstan Corner, Scarborough; Dunstan via Milliken Mills to Portland and Saco Avenues, Old Orchard Beach; Old Orchard Street to B & M RR crossing. 14.43 miles.

The Old Orchard Beach branch of the PRR"s Saco Division left the main line
at Old Orchard Junction near Dunstan Corner, West Scarborough. Trolley No.
184 takes the switch at the junction as it heads for the resort about 1905. From
O. R. Cummings 1999 Images of America book, "York County Trolleys."

Trolley travel to or from Old Orchard Beach wasn't without its risks. On
August 21, 1910, thirteen passengers were injured when two open trolleys
collided head-on, on the easterly approach to the viaduct. Both trolleys were
extensively damaged and had to be towed back to Portland.
Postcard from PWM

Portland open trolley car No. 188 and closed No. 180 and a Biddeford &
Saco open trolley is at the end of the line at Old Orchard Beach circa 1906.
The buildings at left disappeared during the great conflagration of August
15-16, 1907 when 17 hotels, 20 stores, and 60 cottages were destroyed.
Only three lives were lost as the flames swept from building to building.
Trolleys were jammed on the weekend of August 17-18 as thousands flocked
to the beach to view the ruins. Postcard from PWM

Let us now return to Scarborough and make our way back north and visit some of the trolley attractions in the greater Portland area and northeast of Portland.

First, we'll travel to South Portland and Cape Elizabeth.
Map from 2015 NEERHS book, "The  Illustrated
Atlas of Maine's Street & Railways 1863-1946."

Cape Cottage Park was a trolley park opened in June of 1898 by the
Portland & Cape Elizabeth Railway. Trolleys left Monument Square every
ten minutes for the scenic destination.  Postcard from PWM

This expansive veranda faced the ocean. From 2015 NEERHS book,
"The  Illustrated Atlas of Maine's Street & Railways 1863-1946."

Postcard postmarked August 2, 1908, from PWM.

The theatre at Cape Cottage Park. The theatre was managed by Bartley
McCullum, a local actor who is credited with pioneering summer stock
theater in Maine. The park officially closed in 1922. Text from 2012
NEERHS book, "The Trolley Parks of Maine."  Postcard from PWM.

The Grand Casino at Willard Beach, South Portland, by the Portland & Cape
Elizabeth Railway. 10,000 visitors attended opening day on June 10, 1896,
just two weeks before rival Riverton Park opened in Portland. The
Grand Casino at Willard Beach burned down two years later under suspicious
circumstances. The $35,000 insurance settlement was reinvested in the
Cape Cottage Park. From 2012 NEERHS book, "The Trolley Parks
of Maine."

     Then we work our way back into South Portland.

10-bench, single-truck open trolley car No. 264 was built in 1895 for the
Portland & Cape Elizabeth Railway. The Portland Railroad owned 50 of
this type of open trolley.  Postcard from PWM.

The million dollar bridge from Knightville, South Portland to Portland.
The former Snow Squall Restaurant was the original trolley carbarn.
The brick power station was just west of the trolley barn. 
Trolleys would pull around the back of these buildings and use the
storage tracks seen next to the bridge in this image. Postcard from PWM.

Once across the bridge, it's a short trip to the Grand Trunk Railroad depot
on India Street in Portland. Postcard postmarked July 29, 1909, from PWM.

From Munjoy Hill to the Eastern Promenade and Fort Allen.
postcard postmarked June 29, 1905, from PWM.

The double-truck parlor car trolley, "Bramhall", was built in 1896 by the
J. G. Brill Company, Philadelphia, PA, and is said to have been given free
to the Portland Railroad in appreciation for past and anticipated future
business. Seen here at Fort Allen shortly after delivery. It was primarily
for use by PRR officials, but it was available for charter by special parties -
at an extra rate, of course. It was a handsome one, painted in shiny black
with gold leaf trim and lettering, and had ornamental iron grillwork on the
ends. Interior was fitted with 20 wicker chairs with plush seats, tasseled
curtains at the windows, and two cupboards (for spirits) at each end. In
1916, it was rebuilt as an experimental pre-payment car and became
No. 500. It was scrapped in the 1920s. Text and photo from
O. R. Cummings 1959 book, "The Trolley Parlor Cars
of New England."

We return to Monument Square where passengers could then take one of the beautifully
appointed Portland-Lewiston Interurban coaches if you needed to travel north to West
Falmouth, West Cumberland, Gray, New Gloucester, Auburn, or Lewiston. Photo
circa 1920 from 2015 NEERHS book, "The  Illustrated Atlas of Maine's Street &
Railways 1863-1946."

The Interurbans of the Portland-Lewiston Interurban were much larger than the
more common trolleys of the Portland Railroad. Photos from the slide collection of DGC/ORC.

From Monument Square, the PLI coaches would work their way through Portland to Forest Avenue, where they would enter the 30-mile PLI right-of-way leading to Lewiston, at Morrill's Corner, just off of Allen Avenue. 

Portland Railroad trolleys that were taking passengers to
Riverton Park would continue on Forest Avenue until
they turned off at the park's turnout. Map from 2015
NEERHS book, "The  Illustrated Atlas of Maine's Street
& Railways 1863-1946."

Trolley entrance to Riverton Park in Portland. The main attraction at the
casino (seen at the top of the hill) was dining and dancing. The park included
an outdoor theater, bandstands, croquet, boating & canoeing, etc.
Postcard from PWM.

Riverton Park opened on June 27, 1896. Regular Portland
Railroad trolley cars from Preble Street left every 15 minutes starting at 8:30 a.m. to carry passengers to Riverton and generally, one or extra trolleys were required to handle the rush. Bridal shower parties, card parties, and other private groups could hire the new, posh parlor trolley car, the Bramhall, for $5 round-trip. Left image, the bandstand, circa 1910 from 2015 NEERHS book, "The  Illustrated Atlas of Maine's Street
& Railways 1863-1946." Right, a postcard from PWM.

Boating and canoeing were very popular pastimes at Riverton Park. Left, postcard postmarked August 14, 1911, from PWM.
Right, the outdoor rustic theater could seat 2,500 guests. Image from 2012 NEERHS book, "The Trolley Parks of Maine."

Riverton Park flourished for about 20 years. The Portland Railroad sold the
property, including buildings, in 1921. Riverton Park remained in business
until 1933. Postcard postmarked August 10, 1919, from PWM.

     We return to Monument Square to travel up the coast of Maine.

Let's travel from Portland up the coastal trolley route. Map
from 2015 NEERHS book, "The  Illustrated Atlas of
Maine's Street & Railways 1863-1946."

Falmouth had Maine's only electric fountain at Underwood Spring Park.
The Portland & Yarmouth Electric Railway opened the park in the summer
of 1899.

Built upon an underground spring that gushed forth a quarter of a million
gallons of healthful water every 24 hours. Day-trippers from Portland
could depart Monument Square every 30 minutes, every 15 minutes during
peak times. 20 cents roundtrip. Every evening between 8 and 9 p.m.,
an engineer would operate the electric fountain, manipulating its
controls to create a shifting rainbow of color in the water. The casino and
theater burned down in 1907 and was never rebuilt.  Text and image from
2012 NEERHS book, "The Trolley Parks of Maine."

On to Yarmouth. Postcard postmarked June 22, 1910, from PWM.

At Yarmouth, passengers would disembark their Portland
Railroad trolley and could easily board a Portland &
Brunswick Street Railway trolley to continue their coastal
trolley tour. The builder of this railway, Amos Fitz Gerald,
Pine Tree State. Map from 2015 NEERHS book, "The
Illustrated Atlas of Maine's Street & Railways 1863-1946."

Amos Fitz Gerald was a fan of castles. He built a castle or castle-like
structure at many of the electric railway parks he was involved with over
the years of his developing railway systems in Maine. Casco Castle Park in
Freeport is one example. Opened in 1902, the casino was like no other in
Maine. It even had a moat! The park was never profitable for the railway
company and was sold and later burned in 1914. The 100-foot tall rower still
stands today. Some text from 2012 NEERHS book, "The Trolley Parks of
Maine." Image from a postcard postmarked May 8, 1906, PWM

Next stop is Merrymeeting Park in Brunswick. Opened in 1899 by the
Lewiston, Brunswick & Bath Street Railway. The 120-acre park was another
one of Amos Fitz Gerald's railway parks. Seven times larger than Riverton
Park in Portland. A portion of text from 2012 NEERHS book, "The Trolley
Parks of Maine." Postcard from PWM.

The outdoor amphitheater seated 1,000 patrons. Zoological gardens included a herd of deer, monkeys, crocodiles, brightly colored birds, and several buffalo. The park never made a profit for the railway and closed in 1906. A portion of text from
2012 NEERHS book, "The Trolley Parks of Maine."Left postcard postmarked July 30, 1906, from PWM. Right postcard from PWM.

From Brunswick, passengers could continue on to Bath or travel to
Lewiston and then continue on to Waterville and other communities in the
greater Auburn/Lewiston area. Lewiston, along with Bangor, were both
major hubs for trolleys operations. Topsham Fairgrounds & Bowdoin College
in Brunswick and Bates College, Lewiston Fairgrounds, and the PLI
to return to Portland, in Lewiston. Image from O. R. Cummings
1966 book, "Trolleys to Brunswick, Maine 1896-1937."

Main Street, Brunswick. Image north from the Railroad Crossing.
Postcard postmark August 15, 1924, from PWM.

The "Merrymeeting" was a double-truck parlor car built in 1899 by the
Briggs Carriage Company of Amesbury, MA, for the Lewiston, Brunswick
Bath Street Railway. Seen here at the Tacoma Inn. The Tacoma Inn was
one of the "Triangle Trolley Trips." 40-feet long (compared to the 25-foot
Bramhall parlor car of the PRR), all interior woodwork was of mahogany
and was lighted by 42 incandescent lamps. The exterior was painted green
with gold lettering. $10 a day charter fee. Ended service in 1917 and was
stored until scrapped in the early 1920s. Text from O. R. Cummings
1959 book, "The Trolley Parlor Cars of New England." Photo from
NEERHS Library Collection.

     We end this trip to attractions with the Brunswick/Lewiston connections.
Let's wrap up the Portland Railroad now.

Portland-Saco trolley service ended April 16, 1932. This image has PRR
No. 179 on Main Street, Saco, reportedly taken that day. No. 179
would continue to see service in Portland, South Portland,
and Westbrook for another nine years.

The last use of this 14-bench open trolley car was to carry workmen engaged
in tearing up the trolley tracks in Scarborough, Old Orchard, and Saco in
1932. Once the task was completed, the car was burned for scrap.

The Cedars In on Route One in Scarborough circa 1930. It was located
near Oak Hill. Image courtesy of the Collection of Rodney Laughton.

The Cedars Inn later on after an addition was added. The Cedars
burned down and it was not rebuilt. Image courtesy of the
Collection of Rodney Laughton.

Thornton Heights was the end of the electrified line of Route One in
South Portland after 1932. When the PRR sold several small Birney trolleys
to the Biddeford & Saco Railroad in 1936 & 193, the trolleys would travel
to Thornton Heights on the PRR tracks and then were loaded on a trailer
for delivery to the B & S RR trolley carbarn in Saco. This image shows
No. 622 as its loading on a trailer as part of the 1936 sale.
The final trolley operations of the Portland Railroad took place in May 1941.

Seashore Trolley Museum has the lone surviving trolley from the Portland
Railroad. A small Birney trolley, No. 615, that was also sold to the
Biddeford & Saco Railroad in 1936 and operated for the B&SRR until
the end of trolley service in July 1939. The body of No. 615 survived
as a workmen shed while the tracks and overhead wire were being
salvaged. The body of No. 615 was acquired by the Trolley Museum
in 1941 and awaits the funding necessary for restoration.

The 1912 Portland-Lewiston Interurban No. 14, Narcissus operated from 1914 until 1933 between Portland and Lewiston. The body was a summer camp next to Sabattus Pond until 1969 when it came to Seashore Trolley Museum. It is now being restored.

Thirteen descendants of W. S. Libbey attended a fundraising gathering at Seashore Trolley Museum on July 21, 2017.
John Libby Family Association members also attended the Teddy Roosevelt Days event weekend July 21-23, 2017.

Theodore Roosevelt waving to Gray residents from the number 2 end of
the Narcissus on August 18, 1914. Image courtesy of the Gray Historical

in place temporarily for the 2016 Teddy Roosevelt Days fundraising
event weekend to benefit the Narcissus.

An original porcelain promotional tile from a PLI ticket booth.

An original Portland Railroad
desk from the Portland shops is in use at 
Seashore Trolley Museum
in the Donald G. Curry Town House
Restoration Shop in Kennebunkport, ME.

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 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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