Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Narcissus Restoration Update - June 18, 2019

The casting of the first of twenty bronze handles for
up from the Brass Foundry in West Rockport, ME
 inspected and approved. The owner of the foundry,
Richard Remsen will make some pattern adjustments
to improve consistency. Take a look, it is self-evident
as to why it's a slow piece to mold, cast, and finish.
PWM image

     As 2019 rolls along, later in the year, on October 31st, the Narcissus will be celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of its arrival at Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine. The Narcissus is currently in the Donald G. Curry Town House Restoration Shop, in midst of a complete restoration to operating condition. Once the restoration is complete, the Narcissus will be on display for the visiting public, and for special occasions will be operated on the Museum's Heritage Electric Railway. The ribbon-cutting ceremony celebration is being planned for the fall of 2021.

     Scrolling down any of the Narcissus blog posts you will find the listing of the various generous organizations that have made donations to the Narcissus Project. Also listed are organizations whose members may have also contributed individually to the Narcissus Project. We are grateful to you all. Thank you!

     This post will be an update on various restoration tasks. While restoration is ongoing daily, other important work continues off-campus that also is critical to the Narcissus Project. In preparation for the ribbon-cutting celebration, we are planning the interpretation programming. We research Seashore TrolleyMuseum archives and many other historical societies, library, etc., for materials that will be important in helping us create exhibits, displays, and online education programming for all ages. Once artifacts, photographs, and related ephemera are identified, they are added to a spreadsheet. Once the data is collected, then the inventory can be considered for use in any number of interesting, engaging ways in the interpretation programming. In some cases, the photographs and other ephemera materials identified need to be photographed and have a digital file created. Then that digital file can be used in the programming.
    One such incredible find in our research was the original surveyors' map from January 1910, of the Portland, Gray and Lewiston Railroad (PG&LRR became the Portland-Lewiston Interurban in 1914). The owner, Paul Libbey, grandson of the builder of the PG&LRR, W. S. Libbey, gifted the historic electric railway map to Seashore Trolley Museum. It would be a cornerstone exhibit piece for the Narcissus ribbon-cutting celebration, however, it was in desperate need of conservation. Once cleaned, repaired, conserved, and photographed, we would have the original safely stored away and have the digital files available to use in the interpretation programming.
     First, we had to raise the funds to have the above conservation work, etc., done. It took eight months, but we raised the funds and now have the original safely stored and we have the exciting digital files....oh, and a 28.5-foot copy of the original map too!

David Joyall, Senior Collections Photographer at Northeast
Document Conservation Center in Andover, MA at the far
end starting to roll up the facsimile while Collections
Photographers, while Amelia Murphy and Katelyn Legacy,
hold the reproduction map steady prior to rolling it up.
Photo by Tim Gurczak, Collections Photographer.

     There are more important photographs and ephemera that have been identified within Seashore's collection, that will be invaluable to the Narcissus interpretation programming, these too must first undergo cleaning, repairs, conservation, and being photographed to create digital files.

Eighty-eight pages of irreplaceable photos,
original poetry, newspaper clippings with
personal notes, and other ephemera that
need our help to be cleaned, repaired,
conserved, and scanned to digital files can be
available to help tell the incredible story of the
Narcissus and the PLI. PWM image

     We have time on our side to have the work done in time for the creation of Narcissus programming. What we need is your help in raising the funds required to have the conservation work done. Please scroll down this post to find the various ways you might consider making a donation to the Narcissus Project to make this conservation work happen. Thank you!

Narcissus work -

One by one, the vertical window posts that
are assessed as being structurally unacceptable,
are replaced with new posts made in the shop.
The replacement of a single post requires
lifting the posts on either side of the 
replacement candidate to relieve the weight
enough from the post being replaced,
so the replacement process can
take place safely. PWM image.

Newly-made replacement window posts await their turn.
PWM image

The left side of the Narcissus as seen on June 12. We will
retain the original window posts that pass
the structural integrity assessment. PWM image

The right side of the Narcissus as seen on June 4, 2019.
PWM image

Seth is working on the left side belt line
that runs the whole length of the passenger
compartment and in part provides
horizontal support for the window posts
and ultimately a place for the  bottom of the
passenger window sash to rest when closed.
This left side belt line is in much better
condition than the right side. During its
35-years as the Vallee family summer camp
at Sabattus Pond, the right side
received all the weather elements, unprotected.
The left side faced inland and benefitted
from the protection. PWM

The right-side belt line needed lots of attention.
As mentioned in an earlier post, there were clear
and very interesting signs of having had several

More "Friend or Foe" trading card shims were found as repair
segments were removed...see the segment of one card?
PWM image

Here are the backs
PWM image

 Here are the fronts
PWM image

The previous repairs were removed. PWM image

Once the repairs from 70 years ago were removed, and the
other areas that had condition problems were also removed,
it was determined that enough of the original southern yellow
pine of the right side belt line was structurally sound and the
appropriate repairs would move forward. A very time-
consuming project. PWM image

Love the old growth southern yellow pine :)
Look at the number of growth rings per inch
in this beautiful old growth timber.
PWM image

Seth found some old growth southern yellow pine left over
from a since completed project and the sizing was just right
for the pieces needed for the repairs. PWM image

Repairs pieces in place and ready to become permanent.
PWM image

Seth begins the process of permanently
attaching the repair pieces. PWM image

Piece by piece. PWM image

l-r - Tom Hughes, Donald Curry, and Ernie
Eaton. Tom Hughes was the Narcissus Project
manager for a number of years starting in the
mid-1990s. His attention to details in
documenting the condition of the
Narcissus in those early years, through
photographs and sketches, has provided
Ernie, as the leader of the Narcissus
restoration in the shop, invaluable
resources for piecing together the
Narcissus planning. Thank you, Tom!

During Tom's visit, he was able to get
reacquainted with his old friend, Narcissus.
Tom also had the opportunity to meet shop staff
member, Seth Reed. Seth is the self-proclaimed,
"wood guy," providing his perfectly suited
woodworking skills from years in the historic
restoration field to the Narcissus. PWM

No. 16, Clematis, is a Laconia-built coach from the same
order in 1912, as Narcissus. The four Laconia-built coaches
originally all had brass "peanut" whistles, as seen here on the
clerestory roof of the Clematis. We needed a couple of these
whistles for the Narcissus. Photo from O.R. Cummings Coll.

This spring, a peanut whistle was offered
to the Museum. We acquired the whistle
and feel the base whistle will be one less
we need to find for the Narcissus :) 

Morrison Hill Station had two more benches added this
spring. We added four more - In Memoriam plaques in 2019.
While visitors wait for a trolley ride at Morrison Hill Station,
they have an opportunity to learn about some of the people
that played an important role in the life of the Narcissus. The
Narcissus traveled by and occasionally stopped at this
station when it was in service in West Cumberland, ME 
along the PLI from 1915 til 1933.  PWM image

J. Henri Vallee  - In Memoriam plaque - new in 2019 PWM

Bill Dox, Jr. - In Memoriam plaque - new in 2019 PWM

W. S. Libbey -In Memoriam plaque - new in 2019 PWM

O. R. Cummings - In Memoriam plaque - new in 2019 PWM

I was invited to speak at the Gray Historical Society's annual
meeting. The mid-April gathering had 50-plus in attendance.
The presentation focused on the  Narcissus Project and the PLI.
PWM image 

Gray Historical Society had an open house on 
Saturday, June 8, 2019. A feature display was
the extensive collection of Portland-Lewiston
Interurban artifacts and memorabilia. PWM 

Photo in the PLI Employees Scrapbook of No. 10,
Arbutus, in Mrs. Anthony's yard in 1941. In 1933,
Mrs. Gertrude Libbey Anthony purchased the fully
complete, ready to operate, No. 10, Arbutus, and had it
moved from Lewiston to her property in Saco, ME.
There it was placed on a short section of track, as a
the builder of the PLI.

Sadly, Mrs. Anthony had the Arbutus scrapped in the mid-40s.
She did, however, have some components and pieces of the
Arbutus removed and donated them to various organizations,
such as the Maine Historical Society and Gray Historical
Society. Here is a mahogany panel from No. 10, Arbutus,
on display at the Gray Historical Society's open house.
PWM image.

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 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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