Tuesday, July 24, 2018

2018 Teddy Roosevelt Days - A Wonderful Weekend

Many happy guests seated in the 1901 Connecticut Car
Company open trolley car No. 303 just before departure for
an early evening ride along Seashore Trolley Museum's
heritage electric railway. The ride followed a wonderful
opening reception with programs for the 2018 Teddy
Roosevelt Days fundraising event to benefit the
Narcissus. PWM

The arrival of the two vintage horse-drawn
vehicles on loan from Skyline Farm & Carriage
Museum in North Yarmouth, Maine, that would
be on exhibit during the weekend event. Both
vehicles would have been in use in 1901
when Tower "C", seen here in the background,
began its service as a switching station for
the Boston Elevated Railway. PWM

The circa 1880s multi-use wagon would have carried people
and also would be used to carry produce to market.
The seat can easily be removed or relocated
anywhere along the open wagon body. It has a rear
tailgate that opens and closes. A very common wagon during
Maine in 1878 & 79. Was also very popular out west during
the 1880s when  Roosevelt and his friends and Maine guides,
William Sewall & Wilmot Dow were his ranch hands while
living with Roosevelt in North Dakota.
Photo courtesy of Kathy Allen Merrill

Guests arrive at Seashore Trolley Museum and checked in
between 3 pm and 4 pm.
Photo courtesy of Kathy Allen Merrill

     Guests included members from historical societies in Falmouth, Cumberland, Gray, New Gloucester, and of course Seashore Trolley Museum. Earlier this year, Donald Curry and I had done presentations about the Portland-Lewiston Interurban in the communities of West Falmouth, West Cumberland, and Lewiston. Another guest at Friday's opening gala was Jean Flahive. Jean has been contracted through Maine Authors Publishing to write an early reader historical fiction chapter book about the Narcissus.

Guests looking over the many silent auction items displayed
to bid on. Generous donors of silent auction items allowed for
100% of the proceeds from the auction and raffle items
to go to the Narcissus project.
Photo courtesy of Kathy Allen Merrill

Shortly after 4 pm, guests boarded 303 for a short ride to the 
1915 Portland-Lewiston Interurban waiting station from
Morrison Hill in West Cumberland, Maine, where they would
disembark then take a short walk to the
Donald G. Curry Town House Restoration Shop
for a tour and slideshow of the Narcissus
and the restoration progress. PWM 

Picture-perfect late afternoon. Guests on 303 prior to making
way to Morrison Hill Station. PWM

A grinning Theodore Roosevelt greets the guests at
Morrison Hill Station. Inside the station is an
exhibit on the PLI and the Narcissus. The Narcissus
would pass and occasionally stop at the station from
1915 through 1933 as it sat along the line in
West Cumberland.
Photo courtesy of Kathy Allen Merrill

The Narcissus is decorated with images and directional arrows
along its side sills and lower section of the vestibule. These
are for guests during their tour to see where the various
components to operate the National Register of Historic
Places icon.  PWM

The tour began with guests along the visitor gallery being
addressed by Ernie Eaton & Donald Curry. Ernie & Donald
are the lead restoration staff and volunteer working on
the Narcissus. The next stage of the tour was for guests to
go downstairs and be seated to watch & listen to
a presentation on the restoration. PWM

The number one end of the Narcissus with images of
headlights. PWM

Photos and a detailed drawing showing the exact location of
all components that will be attached to the underside of the
Narcissus. PWM

More photos and location points. PWM

Photos describing the patented interlocking rubber floor tiles
that are in the smoking compartment and down the center
of passenger compartment. PWM

Drawing of the complicated brake system. PWM

Old photographs are so helpful when locating or verifying
locations of components on the Narcissus. PWM

     Upon the conclusion of the tour and presentation at the shop, guests returned to the visitor center by trolley and enjoyed a meet and greet reception with food and beverages. This was followed by Phil Morse, project manager of the Narcissus Project, opening the evening program by welcoming guests. Phil asked the guests to have a moment of silence to honor two gentlemen that were dedicated to the Narcissus and had passed away since the 2017 Teddy Roosevelt Days event. Daniel Vallee and Norman Downs. Dan's father, J. Henri Vallee had purchased the body of the Narcissus in the 1930s for use as the family summer camp at Sabattus Pond. Dan spent the first eighteen summers of his life living in the Narcissus. Norm had pictures of the Narcissus from when it first arrived at Seashore in 1969. He, like Dan, and so many others with a connection to the Narcissus that have gone before them, so wanted to see the Narcissus restoration completed. 

     Phil then continued with his opening remarks to the gathered guests and gave his sincere thanks to Arthur Jones and Joseph Brogan, principals of the 20th Century Electric Railway Foundation for the very generous pledge (a check for one-half of which had arrived that very afternoon) of a gift that will fund the remaining costs associated with completing the restoration of the Narcissus. Phil went on to say that additional funds, above those needed for restoration, are still needed for the costs that will be associated with researching, creating, and implementing the interpretation portion of the Narcissus Project. This portion of the project is to tell the incredible story of the Narcissus that has taken place over more than one hundred years. This will be done through static and online exhibits, displays, and curriculum programs. The ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the restoration of the Narcissus and the unveiling of the interpretation programs is expected to take place in the fall of 2021.

     Then Phil introduced the first of two guest speakers, Sheila Libby Alexander. Sheila is a Board member of the Skyline Farm & Carriage Museum in North Yarmouth, Maine. Sheila explained how the Farm & Museum started and the various collections and activities carried out by the members of the organization. She also explained the history of the 1880s wagon on display. She then spent time explaining the story of how the 1840s circa Libby Family sleigh came to become part of the collection of the Museum and the steps taken to clean the original hand-painted winter scene on the exterior of the back panel of the sleigh. The guests were captivated by her presentation.

Sheila Libby Alexander starts her talk.
Photo courtesy of Kathy Allen Merrill

Guests were very engaged as Sheila spoke.

The Libby sleigh on display - PWM

     Following the conclusion of Sheila's presentation, Phil introduced the second guest speaker,          Donna Davidge. Donna is the owner of the Sewall House & Yoga Retreat in Island Falls, Maine. 
Phil first met Donna during a trip to Island Falls to visit Bible Point in the fall of 2015. Theodore Roosevelt would walk to this spot to read his Bible while he was in Island Falls staying at the Sewall House. William Sewall and William's nephew, Wilmot Dow, were Roosevelt's guides during Roosevelt's three trips to Island Falls in 1878 & 1879. Sewall and Dow, and later their families, would join Roosevelt in North Dakota in the mid-1880s. Sewall & Dow were ranch hands for Roosevelt and built his Elkhorn Ranch and then lived in the ranch with him with their families. The original mirror from the Elkron Ranch was on display at Seashore Trolley Museum during the 2016 Teddy Roosevelt Days weekend. The mirror is in the collection of the Presque Isle Historical Society in Presque Isle, Maine.

     Donna is the great-granddaughter of William Sewall and owns the original Sewall House where Theodore Roosevelt lived during his three visits to Island Falls, Maine in 1878 & 1879.

Donna Davidge, the owner of The Sewall House & Yoga
Retreat, tells the guests of her great-grandfather, William
Sewall, and how he and Theodore Roosevelt were
life-long friends. PWM

While Donna was expressing her passion for nature and
her emotional connection to her grandfather, a few guests
were brought to tears. PWM

Donna brought original artifacts from the Sewall House.
Correspondence between Theodore Roosevelt, Mrs.
Roosevelt, and Donna's grandfather, William Sewall. PWM

Guest speaker Donna Davidge pauses to have her photo taken
with the group behind her. (l-r) Her great-grandfather,
William Sewall, Wilmot Dow, and Theodore Roosevelt in
Island Falls, Maine ca February 1879
Houghton Library, Harvard University 
Photo courtesy of Ernie & Ann Eaton

L-R - Guest speaker Donna Davidge sits in the front seat with
motorman Ed Dooks at the controls of the 1901 Connecticut
open car trolley No. 303 prior to departing for the early
evening ride along the Museum's heritage electric railway.

     The raffle winners on Friday night were:
  • J. Melanson - Book (1923) "Theodore Roosevelt" by Lord Charwood
  • N. Latham - Ash wood barrel pen - wood from the Narcissus
  • S. Snowman - Pinewood barrel pen - wood from the Narcissus
  • K. Merrill - Poplar wood barrel pen - wood used in the Narcissus
  • G. Snow - "Volunteer" - Teddy Days T-shirt (new XL) - 1 of 2 original 100 shirts from 2015
     The 50/50 winner drawn at the end of the day on Sunday 7.22.2018:
  • T. Tello - Mr. Tello was very generous and donated the winnings back to the Narcissus Project

Click Here for more on Theodore Roosevelt's connections to ME

Click Here visit Theodore Roosevelt's Bible Point, Island Falls, ME

Click Here for more on the Narcissus and the other nine Maine electric railway vehicles at Seashore Trolley Museum listed on the National Register of Historic Places

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 finance@NEERHS.org or by phone, 207-967-2712 ext. 5.

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

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

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

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

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

Thank You :)

Thank You for our Current Funding Partners
20th Century Electric Railway Foundation - 2018 - Major Gift, 2017/2014 Matching Grants
Renaissance Charitable Foundation (LPCT) by Fiduciary Trust Charitable Giving Fund
Mass Bay RRE - 2018 Railroad Preservation Grant 
Thornton Academy (Saco, ME) - Staff & Alumni - Matching Grant Challenge 2014
New England Electric Railway Historical Society (Kennebunkport, ME) - Member Donations
Amherst Railway Society - 2015 Heritage Grant
National Railway Historical Society - 2016 & 2015 Heritage Preservation Grants
Enterprise Holding Foundation - 2015 Community Grant
Theodore Roosevelt Association - Member Donations
John Libby Family Association and Member Donations
* The Conley Family - In Memory of Scott Libbey 2018/2017/2016/2015
* The W. S. Libbey Family - Awalt, Conley, Graf, Holman, Libbey, McAvoy, McLaughlin, Meldrum, O'Halloran, Salto, - 2018/2017
* The Hughes Family 2017/2016/2010
New Gloucester Historical Society and Member Donations
Gray Historical Society and Member Donations
Gray Public Library Association - Pat Barter Speaker Series
* LogMein - Matching Employee Donation
* IBM - Matching Employee/Retiree Donations
* Fidelity Charitable Grant - Matching Employee Donations
* Richard E. Erwin Grant - 2017/2016

The Narcissus, with interior back-lit, stained glass windows are majestic.
Make a donation today to help restore the interior of this Maine gem.
Help Theodore Roosevelt's Maine Ride get back on track! Once restored,
you will be able to ride in luxury on this National Register Treasure at
Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine.
PWM photo

Please Consider Making a Donation to the project of the National Register of Historic Places member, Narcissus. We are currently raising funds to tell the incredible story of this Maine gem.

Various News stories during the summer of 2015 about the
Narcissus and its connection to Theodore Roosevelt. TR
was a passenger on the Narcissus on August 18, 1914.

Click Here to See the list of All Previous Blog Posts - Index

The Narcissus - July 31, 2015. Make a donation today.
Help Theodore Roosevelt's Maine Ride get back on track!
Once restored, you will be able to ride in luxury on this
Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine.

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