Monday, February 18, 2019

Narcissus Restoration Project - 2018 Outreach Summary

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 Narcissus 1912 Project Blog celebrated its third full calendar year as 2018 cames to a close. Total page views passed 190,000 at the end of December (2018). This is an increase of 75,000 views since the end of 2017. The blog was created for the purpose of reaching out to a large number of folks, through the power of social media, to introduce them to the Narcissus Project. 

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

     Hopefully, as the restoration continues over the next three years, these posts generate interest from readers to become engaged in the Narcissus project and to help spread the word of the project and perhaps support the Narcissus financially. For information on donations options, scroll down the page until you come to that section. We are currently fundraising for the interpretation programs that will be created to tell this fascinating 100+-year-old story of the Narcissus. Please help by making a donation Today:)
      The Narcissus is currently under restoration at the Museum and is on track to be completed in the fall of 2021.  Once the restoration is completed, the Narcissus will serve as an operating testimonial to Maine's Finest and Fastest Electric Interurban Railroad.

Click Here to go the Narcissus Restoration Update - 2018 summary

You will read of some exciting and even some amazing developments that have come about in 2018 during our outreach programs. If you have something to contribute to the story, please, I encourage readers' feedback via email - or through the blog comments.

Outreach - Connecting with the Community 2018
Outreach opportunities include presentations in various communities.

Volunteer project manager for the Narcissus project, Phil
Morse is seen here at the Scarborough Public Library
March 4, 2018 - PWM photo

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 were
freshmen at Thornton Academy in Saco, Maine (2018). They both are
international high school students enrolled in Thornton Academy's
 Residential Life Program in Saco, ME. PWM

Volunteers Donald Curry and Phil Morse were speakers
April 10, 2018. Thank you to STM volunteers John Mercurio
Jingqi "Owen" Tu and Wenyuan
"Wen" Du from Thornton Academy for volunteering to help.

The Narcissus display during the presentation by
Donald Curry and Phil Morse at the West Falmouth Baptist
Church as the guest speakers of the Falmouth300 committee
on April 17, 2018. Falmouth celebrated its tercentennial
(300th) anniversary. Thank you to STM members John
Mercurio, Denise Macaronas, and Randy Leclair, along with
Zaocheng "Sunny" Zhong from Thornton Academy for
volunteering and helping. PWM

Donald Curry and Phil Morse at the West Falmouth Baptist
 Falmouth celebrated its tercentennial (300th) anniversary.

We made it into the 2019 Commemorative Calendar :)
See below.

Thank you to Erin Cadigan, Chair of the Falmouth300
Committee for the calendars :)

Phil Morse and Donald Curry were presenters at the West
Cumberland Recreation Center Hall as the guest speakers of
the Prince Memorial Library on May 15, 2018. Of all the 
spring presentations, this one had the largest turnout with
70 or so attending. Thank you to Zaocheng "Sunny" Zhong
from Thornton Academy for volunteering and helping.

Museum L-A (Lewiston-Auburn) presented, Maine Innovation
Expo 2018 at the former Bates Mill complex on May 19.
Seashore Trolley Museum and the Narcissus were well
represented with volunteers  John Middleton, John Mercurio,
and Phil Morse, along with  Zaocheng "Sunny" Zhong
and Hunh Huy "Henry" Nguyen from
Thornton Academy. PWM

These charming ladies (l-r) Miriam Bisbee, Charlotte
(Verrill) Frost, and Elizabeth (Whitney) Megguier all rode
on the interurbans of Portland-Lewiston Interurban when they
were young girls growing up in Gray, Maine. Two
nonagenarians and one centenarian. We recorded their stories
on Saturday morning, June 23, 2018, at the Gray Historical
Society. PWM photo.

Remnants of a PLI overpass in Gray starts to disappear.
Jul 15, 2018 - PWM

Outreach includes connecting donors with
one another to share stories about one of
their fav projects :) July 2018
Left to right - Bryan Conley, Mary Libbey
Conley, with Arthur Jones. Mary Libbey
Conley is a great-granddaughter to W. S.
Libbey. Thank you to Arthur Jones and Joe
Brogan, Founders of the 20th Century Electric
Railway Foundation for believing in the
Museum as we continue the work on the
Narcissus. So many donors, like the Conleys,
made the Foundation match possible through
their generous donations to the Narcissus
Project. Thank you, to all the donors,
grantors, and businesses that continue
to help the Narcissus ❤❤
Photo courtesy of Mary Libbey Conley

on July 20-23. Here, guests listen to Sheila Libby Alexander
North Yarmouth, ME. The next guest speaker was Donna 
Davidge, owner of the Sewall House Yoga Retreat, and
great-granddaughter of William Sewall. Sewall and Theodore
Roosevelt were lifelong friends.  Guests included members
from historical societies in Falmouth, Cumberland, Gray,
New Gloucester, and of course Seashore Trolley Museum.

Agata Sloniewska and Zaocheng "Sunny" Zhong from
Thornton Academy volunteered to help Phil Morse at
the 114th Annual John Libby Family Association reunion
held in Libby Hall at the Black Point Congregational Church
in Scarborough, ME. W. S. Libbey, the builder of the PLI
is descended from John Libby, as is this blogger:)

The Libby reunion is all about family connections. The
Narcissus is a Libby/Libbey family artifact PWM

Registry of Deeds in August. PWM

     These outreach programs made many new friends for Seashore Trolley Museum, the Narcissus, and for me :) Kathy Allen Merrill and Nancy Wilson Latham have deep family roots in the West Cumberland area. They have both been deeply involved in researching their families connections over many generations. They were both interested in researching and sharing their families' connections to the Portland-Lewiston Interurban and the Narcissus. Nancy's great-uncle, Henry Wilson kept a diary and Nancy and Kathy read through the entries in the series of annual diaries during the construction of the Portland, Gray, and Lewiston Railroad (PLI later). They have been very generous in sharing their finds with me. Thank you:)

This deed has a piece of land in West Cumberland from
Nancy Wilson's great-grandfather being sold to the electric
railroad people - Nancy grew up at the
Wilson Farm. Her great uncle, Henry, kept a diary each year
over many, many years. He did work for the electric railroad
people during the construction of the line. Even had
W.S. Libbey having dinner at the Wilson Farm on a couple
nights in April 1913.

The Museum crew that brought the Narcissus from Sabattus to
the  Museum via Lewiston-Portland in 1969 made a stop at 
Kathy's parent's store, Allen's Farm Store in West Cumberland.
One of Kathy's parents took this picture.
October 31, 1969 photo courtesy of Kathy Allen Merrill

Amazing contacts and connections are made through these
community outreach offerings. In this photo are James
and Robert Greenwood. Their father, Forest Greenwood
was a motorman for the Portland-Lewiston Interurban out of
the Lewiston terminal. Forest would become a motorman
at Seashore Trolley Museum. James is holding his father's
trolley museum motorman hat with member number 301
 hat badge. Robert is holding his father's trolley museum
ticket punch and a strip of A & K Railway tickets.
Photo courtesy of John Mercurio

Forest Greenwood mentioned in the above photo caption
of a number of Portland-Lewiston Interurban-related items.
Employee Badge No. 233 belonged to Joseph R. Levigne.
Joe was a motorman for the Portland-Lewiston Interurban
and worked out of the Portland, Maine, station. 
Androscoggin Electric Company became the owner of the 
builder of the line, W. S. Libbey. Central Maine Power
acquired the Androscoggin Electric Company in 1920, 
thereby becoming the owner of the PLI and the
Narcissus. Among the collection of the Gray

The original "key" for operating the Narcissus! This lever
is positioned in the keyway of the controller in the
neutral position and depending on whether the motorman
needs to move the coach forward or reverse the key lever 
is moved into the forward position or the reverse position
prior to activating the electrical current by moving the
controller handle. Collection of the Gray

Outreach includes going out into communities.
While doing research in the Portland and 
South Portland communities, many former
line poles used by the Portland Railroad were
area of Portland. Fifty in all. The Museum
is now in communication with the city
officials on plans to consider donating
line poles and surviving caps to the Museum
as street upgrades are made in the future.

One of the ornate caps that are still in place
on an original Portland Railroad line pole
on Congress Street on Munjoy Hill in
Portland. PWM

former line pole in place from the Portland
Railroad. This one not only has its ornate
cap still in place, but also its rare ornate
base skirt. PWM

The ornate base skirt was cast across the 
bridge on the Portland waterfront at the
Portland Company foundry. PWM

Once its restoration is completed, the Narcissus, once a high-speed luxury interurban coach, its name and exquisite interior personally appointed by the intrepid builder of the Portland-Lewiston Interurban, W. S. Libbey, will return to passenger service after being retired from the PLI in 1933. The revised timeline now has the Narcissus restoration scheduled for completion later in 2021.

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 update

Independent book publisher, Phil Morse, holding
the Gold Book Award Winner plaque for
 the Middle Reader category for The Eric
Hoffer Book Award. Congratulations to
award-winning Maine author,
Jean M. Flahive

     The paperback edition of Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride can be purchased online through the Seashore Trolley Museum's store website. Books purchased through the Museum's website directly benefit the Museum and the Narcissus project. Amazon book purchases also benefit the Museum and the Narcissus.

Click Here to go to the Museum Store webpage to order online

Click Here to go to the Amazon page to order the book online

Click Here to go to the ebook page

Books are available at these local bookstores in Maine:
The Book Review, Falmouth
The Bookworm, Gorham
Letterpress Books, Portland
Nonesuch Books and More, South Portland
Sherman's Maine Coast Book Shops - All locations

Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride
by Jean M. Flahive
Illustrations by Amy J. Gagnon

     Millie Thayer is a headstrong farmer's daughter who chases her dreams in a way you would expect a little girl nicknamed "Spitfire" would-running full tilt and with her eyes on the stars. Dreaming of leaving the farm life, working in the city, and fighting for women's right to vote, Millie imagines flying away on a magic carpet. One day, that flying carpet shows up in the form of an electric trolley that cuts across her farm. A fortune-teller predicts that Millie's path will cross that of someone famous. Suddenly, she finds herself caught up in events that shake the nation, Maine, and her family. Despairing that her dreams may be shattered, Millie learns, in an unexpected way, that dreams can be shared.
A resource for teachers 
Maine Historical Society has created companion lesson plans inspired by Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride - These State-standard-based lesson plans for classroom use in grades 6, 7, and 8 are now completed. They will be uploaded to the Maine Memory Network and will be included with the other statewide lesson plans K-12. Once a link is available, it will be posted here. The lesson plans will also be uploaded and available through the Seashore Trolley Museum's website later in July 2020. Go to the Teacher Resource Page in the pulldown for more details.

The ebook is available through Amazon Kindle Click HERE

The audiobook is now available Click HERE to go to the Audible page.

2-minute, 30-second, Retail Audio Sample of the Audiobook 

Award-winning author, Jean M. Flahive


Click Here to read the post - Coveted Blueink Starred Review  - Notable Book - January 20, 2020

Click Here to read the post - Three 5-Star Reviews from Readers' Favorite posted on January 6, 2020

Click Here to read January 24, 2020 - Four-Star Clarion Review

Click Here to read January 19, 2020 - Theodore Roosevelt Center Blog Post Review

Click Here to read the December 25, 2019 4-Stars out of 4-Stars Review through OnlineBookClub

Please Consider a Donation to the Narcissus Project to help us tell the incredible story of the Narcissus through the interpretation portion of the Narcissus Project.

     Here is an example of how donations to the Narcissus Project now will help with the interpretation portion of the project. The interpretation programming will include exhibits, displays, education programming. During 2019, through generous donations to the Narcissus Project, we were able to conserve, replicate, and have high resolutions digital image files made of the original, 1910, 25.5-foot long, surveyor map of the elevation and grade of the 30-mile private right-of-way of the Portland, Gray, and Lewiston Railroad (Portland-Lewiston Interurban)
Thank You!

MUST-READ! - Click Here 

   Inside the Donald G. Curry Town House Restoration Shop, the Narcissus is in the midst of major work as we strive to complete its restoration. We are now planning the interpretation portion of the Narcissus Project. Donations to the Narcissus Project may be used in the future to help tell the incredible 100-plus-year-old story of the Narcissus. Your donation to the Narcissus is helping to make the dream of the project's success, a reality.

See below for Donation options -
It starts with YOU
Your Donation Matters
Make a Donation TODAY

Please Help the Narcissus. 
Donation Options to Help the Narcissus Project:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank You :)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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