Monday, April 16, 2018

The Portland-Lewiston Interurban No. 14, Narcissus - West Falmouth, Maine

The Narcissus (left) and the Gladiolus at the West Falmouth substation
May 19, 1916. The PLI ended service on June 29, 1933.
The Narcissus is the only surviving high-speed, luxury interurban coach
from the PLI. The Narcissus is currently under restoration at
Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, ME.
Image from DGC/ORC slide.

This post is a companion to the slide presentation program done by Phil Morse as a guest speaker for the Falmouth Memorial Library and Falmouth300 (the presentation includes Donald Curry presenting on the restoration of the Narcissus currently underway at Seashore Trolley Museum) and was made at the West Falmouth Baptist Church on Tuesday, April 17, 2018, at 6:30 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 great turnout! Donald Curry from Seashore Trolley
Museum in Kennebunkport, ME discusses the Narcissus 
restoration with the assembled guests attending the
Falmouth300 & Falmouth Memorial Library
April 17, 2018 presentation on the Portland-Lewiston
Interurban. PWM

The Narcissus /PLI display with items for sale to
benefit the Narcissus project at the presentation  Tuesday,
April 17, 2018. PWM

This material is not intended as a comprehensive history of the Portland-Lewiston Interurban or the railway systems that served the greater Falmouth area. Instead, it was tailored for the Falmouth audience attending the public presentation at the West Falmouth Baptist Church on April 17, 2018. Its intent was to show a glimpse of how the Portland-Lewiston Interurban and its employees were important to the communities they served in the early 1900s and to let them know that one of these majestic PLI interurbans, the Narcissus, was saved and is currently being restored at Seashore Trolley Museum.

The Portland-Lewiston Interurban 1910-1933

The Portland-Lewiston Interurban (PLI) operated in West Falmouth from 1914 until 1933 and carried a total of 7.3. million passengers traveling between Portland and Lewiston. Serving the communities of Lewiston, Auburn, New Gloucester, Gray, West Cumberland, West Falmouth, and Portland. Operating over some 30 miles of well ballasted private right-of-way and trackage rights into both Portland and Lewiston. The PLI was special, a jewel that was cherished by its employees and patrons alike.

First, we will briefly visit the early years of electric railway service in Falmouth. The Portland & Yarmouth Electric Railway was awarded its charter on November 21, 1894. During 1895, the company obtained locations in Portland, Deering, Falmouth, Cumberland, & Yarmouth. A change in ownership occurred early in 1897, followed by controversies that led to legal action. Finally, in August of 1897, construction of the line started. The rebuilding of Tukey's Bridge delayed completion on the railway for a year. Service from Portland to the Cumberland/Yarmouth town line was opened August 1, 1898. The balance of the line to the Grand Trunk Railroad depot at Yarmouth was completed on August 18, 1898.

No. 3, an 1897 combination car. Express (light freight) and
passengers were both carried. O. R. Cummings
"Portland Railroad, January 1957.

Martin's Point Bridge between Portland and Falmouth.
From the NEERHS 2015 book, "The Illustrated Atlas of
Maine's Street & Electric Railways 1863-1946."

     A half-hour schedule between Portland and Yarmouth was placed in effect, the nearly thirteen-mile route having a one-hour running time. The Portland Railroad took stock-control of the Portland & Yarmouth line on December 11, 1900.

     The route of the Yarmouth line; Monument Square via Elm and Oxford Streets to Washington Avenue; Washington Avenue to Veranda Street; Veranda Street to Martin's Point Bridge; Route One through Falmouth and Cumberland Foresides to Yarmouth; Pleasant and Main Streets to Grand Trunk Depot in Yarmouth. 12.44 miles. Services on the Yarmouth line, outward from the Marine Hospital, was abandoned on June 29, 1933. The same day service ended for the Portland-Lewiston Interurban.

From the NEERHS 2015 book, "The Illustrated Atlas of
Maine's Street & Electric Railways 1863-1946."

From O. R. Cummings 1957 book,
"Part 1 - Portland Railroad."

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 healthy 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."

Trolley car No. 253, built in 1912,  seen here derailed at Skillins Corner
in Falmouth Foreside. The crew is "cutting the high centers" of the snow.
From the NEERHS 2015 book, "The Illustrated Atlas of
 Maine's Street & Electric Railways 1863-1946."
     
Portland to Yarmouth. Postcard postmarked June 22, 1910, from PWM.

In 1910, only about 10% of the population had electricity in their homes. The early electric power companies' major revenue source was from contracts with cities to provide electricity to light their main streets and with the electric railway companies.

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

     The "Hub" of the Portland Railroad system, was 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. Notice, there is no Portland-Lewiston
Interurban yet. STM

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. The rates for travel are included. STM


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."

     Living in Falmouth made it challenging to travel to the Auburn/Lewiston area. The early trolley passengers first rode a trolley to Yarmouth, changed trolleys for the trip to Brunswick. and changed trolleys again prior to traveling to Lewiston. Travel time was close to three hours.

The Finest Electric Railroad in All New England

In 1905, there were two competing companies organized to build a more direct electric railway line between Lewiston and Portland. Fortunately, the two interests were friendly and they decided to combine to form a single charter that was approved in 1907.  

     The Portland, Gray & Lewiston Railroad was chartered from the consolidation of these two competing charters. The electric power for the new electric railroad would be supplied by the Lewiston & Auburn Electric Light Company. The Electric Light Company was co-owned by Winfield Scott Libbey, a prominent Lewiston businessman and philanthropist, and his partner, Henry M. Dingley. With the initial incorporators unable to secure the $1 million in capitalization to start construction and operations, Libbey and Dingley took control of the company early in 1910.


W. S. Libbey drove his very rare Stanley Motor Coach
Company, K 30-hp Semi-Racer. Only 25 of these cars were
ever built. Only three survive today. Libby's is among the
Mount Desert Island, Maine. The fact that it has not
been restored, might be the most valuable
Stanly in the world. Image from the Portland-
Lewiston Interuban Employees Scrapbook which
is among the collection of the NEERHS Library.

     The first sod of earth was turned over by the construction superintendent, Samuel Ferguson, near Littlefield’s Corner, Auburn at 1:13 p.m. on the afternoon of Thursday, April 7, 1910. By that fall, the grading had been done through New Gloucester to Gray. In 1911, construction started at the Portland end at Deering Junction and proceeded to Gray.

Image from the Portland-Lewiston Interurban Employees Scrapbook
which is among the collection of the NEERHS Library.

Harold's gang refers to Mrs. Helen C. Libbey's husband,
Harold S. Libbey, son of W. S. Libbey. Mrs. Libbey is
seen here in the upper right with daughter, Eleanor. The Libbeys
would camp out along the route during its construction.
Harold, who graduated from MIT, would write letters
to his father with updates on the progress. Harold
also created maps with precise measurements of
elevations and grade of the line. Image from the
Portland-Lewiston Interurban Employees Scrapbook which
is among the collection of the NEERHS Library.

1911-1912 - Tower wagon used to run the messenger wire (telephone) and
trolley wire along the right-of-way. This work was done in advance of the
rails and crossties being placed.  O.R. Cummings 1967 book,
"Maine's Fast Electric Railroad: Portland-Lewiston Interurban."

Image from the Portland-Lewiston Interurban Employees
Scrapbook which is among the collection of the NEERHS
Library.

     A dozen concrete bridges were built. The two longest bridges were each 110-feet in length, spanning the Presumpscot River (Portland/Falmouth) and the Little Androscoggin River in Auburn. There were also fifty cattle crossing tunnels built along the nearly 30-mile line.

From O. R. Cummings 1967 book,
"Maine's Fast Electric Railroad -
 Portland-Lewiston Interurban."

Image from the Portland-Lewiston Interurban Employees
Scrapbook which is among the collection of the NEERHS
Library.

The original concrete bridge  spanning the
Presumpscot River. From O.R. Cummings 1967
book, "Maine's Fast Electric Railroad:
Portland-Lewiston Interurban."

The "new" replacement bridge in place atop the original.
1928. From O.R. Cummings 1967 book,
"Maine's Fast Electric Railroad: Portland-Lewiston Interurban."

No. 1 bridge, a triple arch, across the Piscataqua River at Pearson's curve,
West Falmouth. From O. R. Cummings 1967 book,
"Maine's Fast Electric Railroad: Portland-Lewiston Interurban."

A progress report in the Lewiston Sun of July 18, 1912, indicated that the track had been laid all the way from Deering Junction to West Cumberland and the overhead over the entire line was nearing completion. The Portland carhouse-terminal construction would start August 1, 1912. The high tension line from Deer Rips plant of the Lewiston & Auburn Electric Company to the PG & L substations was in place during summer 1912.


Image from the Portland-Lewiston Interurban Employees
Scrapbook which is among the collection of the NEERHS
Library.

Image from the Portland-Lewiston Interurban Employees
Scrapbook which is among the collection of the NEERHS
Library.

Construction Delays 1912/1913 - A feud in the construction camp near Littlefield’s, one of the workmen, Vincenzio Jamari, was stabbed fatally by a fellow worker. During the investigation, about ten others from the camp were confined to the Auburn city jail for a few days.

Heavy rains during spring and fall 2013 caused delays.


From the Portland-Lewiston Interurban Employees Scrapbook which is
among the collection of the NEERHS Library.

From the Portland-Lewiston Interurban Employees Scrapbook which is
among the collection of the NEERHS Library.

The line was of substantial construction - as well as many steam
railroads. This is through Chandler's Woods near New Gloucester. Trolley
poles are on the right and high tension lines are on the left. From O. R.
Cummings 1967 book, " Maine's Fast electric Railroad -
 Portland-Lewiston Interurban."

Rolling stock was produced by some of the nation's leading car builders.
Laconia Car Company (Laconia, NH) and Wason Manufacturing
(Springfield, MA). Here is No. 16, Clematis, prepared for shipment from the
Laconia Car Company in 1912.  ORC/DGC Slide Collection.

Modern methods of power generation and distribution were used.
From the Portland-Lewiston Interurban employees Scrapbook
which is among the collection of NEERHS Library.

     Consolidation of the Libbey-Dingley electric light and railroad properties into a single corporation was planned for in 1913 when a new charter was approved for the Androscoggin Electric Company in March 1913, but no action was taken until 1914. This did not include any of the other Libbey-Dingley businesses, i.e. mills, etc.

The PLI vehicles were required to call the dispatcher in the Lewiston terminal when entering or leaving the right-of-way. In Auburn, the right-of-way ended and the physical connection with the Lewiston, Augusta & Waterville Street Railway (LA& W) system began. In Portland, the right-of-way ended at Deering Junction for the physical connection with the Portland Railroad (PRR) systemEach of the substations/terminals also had phones connected to the PLI telephone system. The dispatcher was located in the Lewiston terminal. Each PLI railway vehicles also had an emergency portable phone (see the display for an actual phone).

The PLI phone booth at Fairview Junction in
Auburn. One was on each end of the right-of-way
where the operator would need to call the
dispatcher in the Lewiston terminal for orders.

PLI phone booth at Deering Junction, Portland.

     By May 15, 1914, the Interurban was practically ready to run.

Map of the Portland-Lewiston Interurban shows
the direct route between Lewiston and Auburn
compared to the more triangular route that
trolleys traveled between the cities prior.
From O. R. Cummings 1967 book,
"Maine's Fast Electric Railroad -
Portland-Lewiston Interurban."

Distances between the various locations that a PLI
vehicle might use. The large high-speed interurbans
during "limited" designated trips would make very few
scheduled stops. The "local" service stops might use a
large interurban but mostly used one of the two smaller
standard streetcars. In addition, there were freight
service vehicles that might be used for milk pick
up, light freight, etc. From the NEERHS 2015 book,
"The Illustrated Atlas of Maine's Street & Electric
Railways 1863-1946.

Morrison Hill Station from West Cumberland. Was there a similar
Portland-Lewiston Interurban waiting station in West Falmouth?  We have
heard there was. Perhaps at Hurricane? Contact me and let me know.
p.morse31@gmail.com PWM

From the NEERHS 2015 book, "The Illustrated Atlas
of Maine's Street & Electric Railways 1863-1946.


From the NEERHS 2015 book, "The Illustrated Atlas of
Maine's Street & Electric Railways 1863-1946.

May 17, 1914, W. S. Libbey died suddenly in his 63rd year. The name of the
Portland, Gray & Lewiston Railroad was changed to the Portland-Lewiston
Railroad on July 10, 1914, just eight days after the official opening of the
line. In October, a syndicate acquired the capital stock of the electric light
and railroad properties and the charter of the Androscoggin Electric
Company. The Androscoggin Electric Company was formally organized
later in October. Central Maine Power (CMP) would acquire the company
in 1920 and close the PLI in mid-1933.

     When the Portland-Lewiston Interurban line opened on July 2, 1914, total travel time was reduced to less than two hours for a Falmouth passenger.

Monument Square is where passengers could 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 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."


No. 10, Arbutus with Lewiston Terminal personnel. L-R, two unidentified
men, R. G. Weeks, master mechanic, Guy W. Mitchell, barn foreman;
H. L. Wright, Mrs. Lucy Card Matthews, E. J. Chateauvert, Milan H.
Spinney, Charles E. Kenniston, L. R. Penny, June 29, 1914.
The Laconia-built interurbans included; No. 10 Arbutus, No. 12
Gladiolus, No. 14 Narcissus, No. 16 Clematis.

Incredible interior of the Laconia-built
interurban coaches. Here is the Arbutus interior
of mahogany with inlay of ebony/holly/ebony,
gold leaf fleur-de-lis in the ceiling panels, green
mohair plush-covered seats, interlocking
rubber-tile in the center and smoking compartment
floors. ORC/DGC slides.

The Narcissus interior prior to restoration
prior to the beginning of restoration in
mid-2015. DGC photo.

August 18, 1914, Theodore Roosevelt  from the number 2 end of the
Narcissus, waves to gathered spectators in Gray, Maine. TR was again a
passenger on a PLI coach on August 31, 1916, when he was traveling from
Portland to Lewiston. Photo courtesy of the Gray Historical Society.

Before leaving for Portland, the Gladiolus takes the siding at West Falmouth
on April 6, 1933, less than three months prior to abandonment.
Francis J. Goldsmith photo from ORC/DGC slides

West Falmouth Substation. From ORC/DGC slides

Clematis at West Falmouth. Image from the Portland-Lewiston Interurban
Employees Scrapbook which is among the collection of the NEERHS
Library.

Image from the Portland-Lewiston Interurban Employees
Scrapbook which is among the collection of the NEERHS
Library.

Image from the Portland-Lewiston Interurban Employees
Scrapbook which is among the collection of the NEERHS
Library.

Image from the Portland-Lewiston Interurban Employees
Scrapbook which is among the collection of the NEERHS
Library.

Image from the Portland-Lewiston Interurban Employees
Scrapbook which is among the collection of the NEERHS
Library.

Image from the Portland-Lewiston Interurban Employees
Scrapbook which is among the collection of the NEERHS
Library.

Image from the Portland-Lewiston Interurban Employees
Scrapbook which is among the collection of the NEERHS
Library.


Image from the Portland-Lewiston Interurban Employees
Scrapbook which is among the collection of the NEERHS
Library.

Image from the Portland-Lewiston Interurban Employees
Scrapbook which is among the collection of the NEERHS
Library.

The Magnolia at  West Falmouth sub station. 
Image from the Portland-Lewiston Interurban
Employees Scrapbook which is among the collection of the NEERHS
Library. 

Former West Falmouth sub station was converted to a residence.
A tone point, W. H. Jones lived hereFrom DGC Slides


Former Falmouth resident and Seashore 
Trolley Museum volunteer for many years,
Lee Johnson (left) would speak of his
mother's recollections of being a passenger
on the PLI interurbans. This connection
to the Narcissus drew Lee to work on 
restoration of the Narcissus. PWM


Here is the Arbutus with crew and guests of
the final passenger trip. Including, Gertrude
Libbey Anthony, daughter of W. S. Libbey. 
From the Portland-Lewiston Interurban
Employees Scrapbook which is among the
collection of NEERHS Library.

The Gladiolus was actually the very last interurban over the line. It was
deadheaded back to Lewiston during the forenoon on Jun 29, 1933, and that
night, at Lewiston, the employees of the interurban officially closed the line
at a farewell dinner. The "boys" drowned their sorrows with the newly-legal
3.2 beer. From the Portland-Lewiston Interurban Employees scrapbook
which is among the collection of NEERHS Library.

No. 20 Magnolia, No. 14 Narcissus, and No. 22 Maine at
the Androscoggin & Kennebec carhouse railyard in Lewiston.
July 29, 1933, or 34.

     In 1933, there was no market for the passenger or freight equipment of the PLI and most of the rolling stock was dismantled at Gray and at the Lewiston carhouse yard of the Androscoggin & Kennebec. At least five of the passenger car bodies were sold to private parties and one complete coach, the Arbutus, was purchased by Mrs. Gertrude Libbey Anthony and moved to her property in Saco, Maine (but was later scrapped in 1946). The body of the Maine became a dinner in Lewiston (and was later scrapped). The body of the Narcissus became a summer camp at Sabattus Pond. The body of the Azalea was located on West Rose Hill, overlooking the Androscoggin River, in Auburn (its whereabouts or use is unknown). The bodies of the two standard passenger trolleys, Nos. 40 & 42, were used as storage building in Casco, ME and later travelled to Seashore Trolley Museum where their coupling components were saved and the remains of the bodies were scrapped.

A letter detailing sale of PLI vehicles 1933.
From Collection at Seashore Trolley Museum.

No. 10 Arbutus, was sold to Mrs. Gertrude Libbey Anthony,
daughter of W. S. Libbey. The complete coach, with trucks (wheels,
motors, axles, etc.) was transported to her property in the Bay View
area of Saco, Maine. From the Portland-Lewiston Interurban
employees scrapbook which is among the collection of NEERHS
Library.

The Arbutus in 1940, when a memorial to W. S Libbey, on the property of
his daughter, Gertrude Libbey Anthony, in the Bay View area of Saco,
Maine. It was scrapped in 1946. From the Portland-Lewiston Interurban
employees scrapbook which is among the collection of NEERHS Library.

No. 22 Maine, became a diner and drinking establishment on
Park Avenue in Lewiston (the Vallees lived next door in the
third-floor apartment, when not living in the Narcissus).
From O. R. Cummings 1965 book, "Maine's Fast
Electric Railroad - Portland-Lewiston
Interurban."

Pond. From footage of O. R. Cummings Collection
at Northeast Historic Films, Bucksport, ME.

The Narcissus circa 1965 when the summer camp of the J. Henri Vallee
family at Sabattus Pond. Photo coutesy of Daniel Vallee.

Former employees of the Portland-Lewiston Interurban had four annual
reunions in Gray, 1938, 1939, 1940, & 1941. From the Portland-
Lewiston Interurban employees scrapbook which is among the collection of
NEERHS Library.

of the good days of the PLI. From the Portland-
Lewiston Interuban employees scrapbook which is
among the collection of NEERHS Library.

From the Portland-Lewiston Interurban
employees scrapbook which is among the
collection of N64EERHS Library.

Circa 1964 photo of the interior of the Narcissus when the summer
camp of J. Henri Vallee (far right). Photo courtesy of Daniel Vallee.

Circa 1965 photo of the interior of the Narcissus when the summer camp of
J. Henri Vallee (left) with his son, Daniel Vallee. The "addition" to the
body of the Narcissus is the kitchen (seen here behind the gentlemen)
with a hand pump for water and a Buck-stove for heat. Photo
courtesy of Daniel Vallee.

     "Narcissus is the last Maine car available for restoration."

Page 1 of 2 from the July/August 1965 Trolley
Museum newsletter that speak to the interest the
Museum had for preserving a PLI interurban
since the 1930s. PWM Collection

Trucks that could be used with the Narcissus
were located in Ontario, Canada. These trucks would 
later in 1965 arrive at the Museum after Governor
Reed and his office negotiated in having the trucks
donated to the Museum as a gesture of international
goodwill. PWM Collection

Donald Curry lead a team to assess the Narcissus during Christmas week,
1968. They would later remove the attached addition seen here.
DGC photos.

Fall 1969 Seashore Trolley Museum volunteers and staff load the
Narcissus on the Museum's "Highway Monster" for shipping to
Kennebunkport. Photo courtesy of Daniel Vallee.

Late October 1969, the Narcissus is secured to the trailer and ready to 
travel to Kennebunkport. The new home in the background was built by the
Museum as Mr. Vallee's replacement housing for transferring the Narcissus
to the Museum. Photo courtesy of Daniel Vallee.

The Narcissus, just prior to traveling to Kennebunkport. Photo
courtesy of Daniel Vallee.

Spring of 1970 at Seashore Trolley Museum. The Narcissus in the parking
lot on the right rear. PWM Collection.

Spring 1970 at Seashore Trolley Musuem. The Narcissus still has its sign
on its side thanking all the businesses that contributed materials or labor
to building the Valleee's replacement housing. Photo courtesy of
Norm Downs.

The Narcissus at Seashore Trolley Museum in the Donald G. Curry
Town House Restoration Shop with all 26 ornate leaded stained glass
windows temporarily in place in the clerestory for guests to see during the
benefit the Narcissus. PWM

The Narcissus shortly after having its trucks removed
and rolled out from under it. October 2017. Seen here is
the number 2 end. The same end that Theodore Roosevelt 
leaned out the train door and waved at folks in Gray
during his August 18, 1914, trip. PWM

     The Narcissus will have its 37-foot, southern yellow pine side sills removed and assessed. The inside and portion of its top and bottom are incased in channel steel. Upon separating the sills from the channel steel, the degree of deterioration will determine the steps necessary to repair or replace the sills. Continue to follow the Narcissus Blog for updates. Please consider making a donation to the Narcissus Project. See below for donation options. Thank You. 

Schedule of PLI/Narcissus Presentations - Spring 2018

The 1915 Morrison Hill Station from the Portland-Lewiston Interurban
in West Cumberland, Maine, at Seashore Trolley Museum in
Kennebunkport greets passengers as they arrive on the 1901 open trolley car
No. 303 from New Haven, CT. July 2017 PWM image

May 15 - West Cumberland Recreation Hall  - Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.
                115 (Rear) Blackstrap Road, Cumberland, Maine
"The 1915 Morrison Hill Station & the PLI in West Cumberland"
The Portland-Lewiston Interurban (PLI) operated in West Cumberland and carried 7.3 million passengers between 1914 and 1933. The 1915 waiting station at Morrison Hill was donated to Seashore Trolley Museum by Richard Budd, owner of Budd's Gulf in West Cumberland. Learn about the construction (1910-1914) of the line, operations between Portland and Lewiston, Theodore Roosevelt's 1914 ride from Lewiston to Portland on the high-speed luxury interurban, Narcissus, the only surviving high-speed interurban from the line that exists today. Currently, under restoration at Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, the PLI's No. 14, Narcissus, has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places since 1980. A number of PLI/Narcissus artifacts will be on display during the event. Narcissus project manager Phil Morse and restoration technician Donald Curry from Seashore Trolley Museum will be the presenters.
This is a free public event is in cooperation with Prince Memorial Library

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

Donations made to the Narcissus Fund 816-A, during 2018 and until further notice,
 will be used for the interpretation portion of the Narcissus Project. Funds are needed for the research, development, and implementation of a comprehensive plan to tell the incredible story of the Narcissus that has taken place over more than one hundred years! 

See below for Donation options -

It starts with YOU
Your Donation Matters
Make a Donation TODAY

Please Help the Narcissus
Donations are now being raised to restore the interior of the Narcissus.

Donation Options to Help Restore the Narcissus:


The New England Electric Railway Historical Society (NEERHS)
is the 501c3 organization that owns and operates the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, ME and the National Streetcar
The NEERHS is registered with the IRS (EIN# 01-0244457) and was incorporated in Maine in 1941.

Check or Money Order ***** should be made payable to:
New England Electric Railway Historical Society (NEERHS)
In the memo please write: Narcissus Fund 816-A
Mail to: Seashore Trolley Museum
              P. O. Box A
              Kennebunkport, ME 04046

Credit Card ***** donations can be a one-time donation or you
may choose to have a specific amount charged to your card
automatically on a monthly basis. Please contact the Museum bookkeeper, Connie, via email at finance@NEERHS.org or by phone, 207-967-2712 ext. 5.

Online Donations - may be made by using a Credit Card: 
Click Here to make an online donation through the Museum's website - When at the Donation page: Fill in donor info, etc., when at "To which fund are you donating? Scroll down to "Other" and type in: 816-A Narcissus, then continue on filling in the required information.

Click Here for PayPal - to make an online donation: you can use email: finance@NEERHS.org and in the message box write:
For Narcissus fund 816-A

Donation of Securities ***** We also accept donations of
securities. You can contact the Museum bookkeeper, Connie, via email at finance@NEERHS.org or by phone, 207-967-2712 ext. 5,
for brokerage account information for accepting donated securities.

BONUS ***** If you work for a company/corporation that will
"match" an employee's donation to an approved 501c3 non-profit,
educational, organization, please be sure to complete the necessary paperwork with your employer so that your donation is matched :)

Questions? ***** Please contact Narcissus project manager:
Phil Morse, pmorse31@gmail.com or call 207-985-9723 - cell.

Thank You :)

Thank You for our Current Funding Partners
20th Century Electric Railway Foundation - 2018 - Major Gift, 2017/2014 Matching Grants
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 2017/2016/2015
The W. S. Libbey Family - Awalt, Conley, Graf, Holman, Libbey, McAvoy, McLaughlin, Meldrum, O'Halloran, Salto, - 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
Scarborough Historical Society - PRR/PLI
* 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 Narcissus Project. 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 - 100-Plus
Link to Libby/Libbey Family connections

Click Here - Portland Public Library Presentation - History of the Portland-Lewiston Interurban
Click Here - W. S. Libbey - The Man and His Mill
Click Here - W. S. Libbey - His 1908 Stanley Steamer K 30-hp Semi-Racer
Click Here - W. Scott Libbey's 1908 Stanley Steamer History to be Featured - July 21, 2017
Click Here - Scrapbook Celebrates the People of the Portland-Lewiston Interurban
Click Here - May 18, 1914, Newspaper Story on the Passing of PLI Builder, W. Scott Libbey
Click Here - 102nd Anniversary of the Opening of the Portland-Lewiston Interurban
Click Here - the 83rd anniversary of the Closing of the Portland-Lewiston Interurban
Click Here - Sophia, W. S. Libbey Descendant Visits the Narcissus
Click Here - LibbylLibbey Family Connection to Narcissus becomes Personal
Click Here - Ode To the Grand Old Interurban
Click Here - The Portland-Lewiston Interurban "Bouquet" is Ordered (1912)

Links to Narcissus Restoration Work:
Click Here - Ornate Leaded Stained Glass Work
Click Here - Narcissus Enters Town House Restoration Shop
Click Here - Sorting and Cleaning Materials on Interior of the Narcissus
Click Here - September 7, 2015, Restoration Report
Click Here - December 7, 2015, Restoration Report
Click Here - December 14, 2015, Restoration Report
Click Here - Beautiful Brass of the Narcissus
Click Here - December 28, 2015 Restoration Update
Click Here - January 4, 2016, Restoration Update
Click Here - Vallee Family Photos of Narcissus 1960s
Click Here - February 11, 2016, Restoration Update
Click Here - A Wooden Interurban - Restoration Info
Click Here - NRHS 2016 Heritage Grant Award to Narcissus
Click Here - Announcement of 2016 Teddy Roosevelt Days Fundraising Event for the Narcissus
Click Here - Series of Restoration Posts related to work on exterior poplar frames
Click Here - Vintage Poplar used in Narcissus restoration
Click Here - Mahogany Sash passenger windows being restored
Click Here - "A President Has Ridden in My House!" - Video of Dan Vallee
Click Here - Teddy Roosevelt Days 2016 - Weekend Event Benefits the Narcissus
Click Here - August 2016 Restoration Update
Click Here - Mid-September Restoration Update
Click Here - Theodore Roosevelt & the Narcissus: Connecting Maine Communities
Click Here - How to Make New Seats for the Narcissus?
Click Here - 2016 Summary of Research and Outreach
Click Here - 2016 Restoration Summary

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
National Historic Treasure at
Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine.




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