Sunday, September 9, 2018

Portland Railroad - Munjoy Hill Revisited

 
If you are familiar with Portland, Maine, you recognize the historic
Portland Observatory on Munjoy Hill. Built in 1807, Portland Railroad
(PRR) trolleys, starting with the horse-drawn cars in 1864, were traveling
up Congress Street, past the Observatory to Atlantic Street. In 1890,
tracks were extended from Atlantic Street through Wilson and Beckett
Streets to Fort Allen Park along the Eastern Promenade. At the same time,
 a large brick carhouse was built at the corners of Beckett and Wilson
Streets. Electrification of all lines serviced by the PRR was complete by
1895. The focus of this photograph is actually the black metal pole in the
foreground. This pole is one of fifty PRR trolley line poles that are still in
place along Congress Street to Munjoy Hill from Franklin Street to
Vesper Street. These poles would each have a long metal arm extending
out over the street that would hold the wire that powered the electric
trolley cars and other railway equipment. September 3, 2018 - PWM

     Photo and research resources used in this blog post are courtesy of Seashore Trolley Museum's Library; specifically from the O. R. Cummings Collection and Phil Morse (PWM), and O. R. Cummings books, "Portland Railroad" Part 1, 1957, and Part 2, 1959.

     Monument Square in Portland, Maine was the hub for all the early horse-drawn and electric railway systems running into and out of Portland. This blog features the high-speed, luxury interurban, No. 14, Narcissus of the Portland-Lewiston Interurban (PLI) that is now being restored at Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine. The Narcissus and nine other Maine vehicles used on electric railways have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1980. Though we are deep into the research of information and materials related to the PLI and the Narcissus for use in creating the interpretation portion of the Narcissus project, it's too hard to resist posting other interesting electric railway tidbits from Maine's transportation history. With that in mind,  from 1914 until 1933, the Narcissus, as a PLI interurban, did operate into and out of Monument Square to pick up and discharge passengers. As we approach Maine's Bicentennial year (2020), this blog will release posts that relate to many electric railway operations throughout the State of Maine. One of the first in the series will be a more comprehensive look at the Portland Railroad. The 470 Railroad Club in Portland will host a public presentation on the history of the Portland Railroad beginning at 7pm on October 17, 2018, at 75 State Street, Portland, Maine; entrance to the meeting hall is on Gray Street between Gray & Park Street.

     This blog post is one that will be a bit of teaser towards that presentation at the 470 Railroad Club next month and will show a few images of the Portland Railroad system in the Munjoy Hill/Eastern Promenade area. 

     Click Here to go to the post: Maine Bicentennial - Portland Railroad - A History of Public Transportation 1860-1941
     Click Here to go to the post: Portland Railroad - Westbrook, Gorham & So. Windham Revisited
     Click Here to go to the post: Portland Railroad - Forest Avenue to Riverton Park Revisited
     Click Here to go to the post: Portland Railroad - Congress Street Revisited: Monument Sq.-Union 
     Click Here to go to the post: Portland Railroad - South Portland & Cape Elizabeth Revisited
     Click Here to go to the post: Portland Railroad: Trolleys Through Scarborough, Maine

The original ornate cap is still on the top of the
former PRR trolley line pole on Congress
Street near the Portland Observatory.
September 3, 2018 - PWM

Of the fifty former PRR trolley line poles
along Congress Street to Munjoy Hill
from Franklin Street to Vesper Street, about
thirty-two either have had their tops
repurposed for use as a streetlight or are
missing their ornate cap.
September 3, 2018 - PWM

A tribute/memorial to the Portland Railroad is in 
Congress Street at the top of Munjoy Hill in Portland, Maine.
September 3, 2018 -PWM

The big brick PRR Beckett Street Carhouse was built in 1890. Horses and trolley cars were originally housed here.
Courtesy Seashore Trolley Museum Library:
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_30_002

The PRR Beckett Street carhouse has an electric trolley peeking out from one of the doorways.
Courtesy Seashore Trolley Museum Library:
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_30_003

The 1916 Schematic of the PRR Beckett Street Carhouse 
shows where the footprint took most of the block
enclosed by Beckett, Wilson, Vesper, and Moody Streets.
Courtesy Seashore Trolley Museum Library:
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_30_001

Today, the footprint of the PRR Beckett
Street carhouse is nonexistent. The line
in the image above named Adams School Path
is where Beckett Street used to pass
through the property.
Screenshot from Google Maps.

Beckett Street (sign on left) used to continue across Moody
Street and then through what is now residential housing.
August 31, 2018 - PWM

Corner of Moody and Vesper Streets is seen here as new
residential housing on the right. August 31, 2018 - PWM

Where Vesper Street connects with the Eastern Promenade.
Courtesy Seashore Trolley Museum Library:
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_35_026

Today, where Vesper Street connects with the Eastern
Promenade. Screenshot of Google Maps.

No. 104 was purchased in 1895 from the J. G. Brill Co.,
Philadelphia, PA for use on the St. John Street Division
of the Portland Railroad. The photo was taken from about 62
Eastern Promenade looking towards Morning Street.
Courtesy Seashore Trolley Museum Library:
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_35_024

This photo was taken from about 62 Eastern Promenade.
September 1, 2018 - PWM
Courtesy Seashore Trolley Museum Library:
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_35_021

 
Munjoy Hill to the Eastern Promenade and Fort Allen.
At about where 62 Eastern Promenade is today.

Postcard postmarked June 29, 1905 - From PWM Collection.

This photo was taken from about where 62 Eastern Promenade
is today. September 1, 2018 - PWM

Click on: "Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride," to learn about the young reader historical fiction chapter book due for release this fall. Proceeds will benefit the Narcissus Project :)

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.

The 2015 publication of, The Illustrated Atlas
of Maine's Street & Electric Railways
1863-1946, was published by the Library
at Seashore Trolley Museum, Kennebunkport.
Copies are available for purchase from the

Seashore Trolley Museum, - Museum of Mass Transit, is celebrating its 80th Birthday year in 2019! 
Special Events are scheduled  - Public operations start on May 4, 2019. 
Click Here for the 2019 Events & Special Activities for the 80th Anniversary Season, with hot links

Click Here for 2019 Special Events 


Click Here for 80th Anniversary Year - Seashore Trolley Museum 1939-2019 post
Click Here for the post - 80th Anniversary Year -A Look Back at the 50s - Seashore Trolley Mus.
Click Here for the post - 80th Anniversary Year - A Look Back at the 60s  - Seashore Trolley Mus.
Click Here for the post - 80th Anniversary Year -A Look Back at the '70s - Seashore Trolley Mus.
Click Here for The Birth of Seashore Trolley Museum Blog Post
Click Here for STM's Ten National Register of Historic Places Electric Railway Vehicles post
Click Here for 1901 Tower C Boston Elevated Railway to STM in 1975
Click Here for No. 38 - 1906 Manchester & Nashua Street Railway - Acquired March 21, 1940
Click Here for No. 60 - 1895 Manchester Street Railway - Acquired April 11, 1941
Click Here for No. 4387 - 1918 Eastern Mass. Street Railway - Acquired August 29, 1946
Click Here for No. 100 - 1906 Atlantic Shore Line Railway - Acquired 1949
Click Here for No. 108 - 1904 Portsmouth, Dover & York Street Railway - Acquired 1949
Click Here for No. 14 Narcissus 1912 Portland-Lewiston Interurban - Acquired 1969

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
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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