Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Reviews are Arriving: Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride

Cover for the new book is by Maine artist, Amy J. Gagnon,
from Mount Desert Island. Amy also created the twenty-eight
beautiful individual ink/pen sketches for the book. Click on
Amy's name above to see her Google home page where
there are links to her Twitter and Instagram pages.

Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride

We are on track for Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride to be printed and available for purchase during the fall of 2019...

Click Here: to pre-order your signed copy of Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride from Seashore Trolley Museum's online store.

Theodore Roosevelt leaning out of the train doorway of the
Portland-Lewiston Interurban No. 14, Narcissus, as he
addresses the gathered townsfolk in Gray, Maine on August
18, 1914. Roosevelt had experienced something special
as he and the Narcissus were approaching the Gray station
moments earlier. Image courtesy Gray Historical Society

     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.

Click Here: to pre-order your signed copy of Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride from Seashore Trolley Museum's online store.

     One year ago, I was very happy to release a blog post announcing that award-winning Maine author, Jean M. Flahive, had agreed to write a young readers historical fiction chapter book that would benefit the Narcissus Project. I am now, very happy to report, that the book, Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride, will be released this fall! Below are some blurbs/reviews from a few individuals who read the manuscript after being professionally edited by Maine Authors Publishing in Thomaston, Maine. For an autographed copy of Jean's book in time for distribution as a holiday gift; advance mail orders of the new book received by the Museum Store of Seashore Trolley Museum, prior to November 15, 2019, will receive an autographed copy of the new book, signed by Jean M. Flahive. So, stay tuned for details on the release date, etc., in the coming weeks.

Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride
by Jean M. Flahive
Cover Art and Sketches by Amy J. Gagnon
US $14.95 paperback
ISBN: 978-0-578-54473-1
Library of Congress Card Control: 2019909872

“Like she's done in her previous books, Jean Flahive expertly rolls back the years, bringing us back to the arrival of interurban rail in small-town Maine. These "electric traveling machines" change young Millie's life forever, opening up new worlds of possibility. She visits the city, rides with suffragettes, and even meets Theodore Roosevelt. An eye-opening and entertaining ride - you won't want the train to stop! Highly recommended.”

"Along with being a beautiful story, Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride contain many of the core elements that Roosevelt himself held dear. Understanding history, appreciating nature. Telling a good story. Loving children. At the same time profoundly personal and expansively historical, this book is ultimately about finding new life in things with deep underlying value."
Michael R. Canfield has published two books on observation and note-taking. Author of Theodore Roosevelt in the Field, and editor of Field Notes on Science and Nature

"An absolutely deeelighful story bringing to life a young farm girl's growing up in Theodore Roosevelt's time, meeting him and his mentor Bill Sewall, and experiencing World War I's effect on urban Maine and the devastation of the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic. The portrayal of hard work, honesty and community self-support is a model for all to follow. Having recently visited the "Narcissus" restoration, the colorful romanticizing of Maine's interurban trolley really resonated with me."

"As the great grand-daughter and current holder of the legacy of the Sewall House, the history of TR's friendship with William Sewall held within its walls, the chapters that include the story of their friendship beautifully woven into the touching story of the girl with the flowers, reflecting their friendship and my great grandfather's temperament as well."
Donna Davidge; great-granddaughter of William W. Sewall - Sewall House, Island Falls, Maine

"Flahive paints a vibrant picture of rural life in the early 1900s. The tremendous life shifts that occurred through the arrival of the trolley, the challenges of learning current news, the Great War and its impact on families and lives at home, women's suffrage and difficult life choices are woven into a moving, believable and engrossing tale that puts the reader squarely in the lives of its characters."
Marie Betts Bartlett, author of The Little Yellow Trolley Car

"Growing up on a Maine farm, you might think young Millie would have a quiet, sheltered life, by Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride reveals how the installation of an electric rail line created life-changing encounters and brought historic events right to the family's door."
Patricia Erikson, Peaks Island Press

"I liked this book. For me, it was one of those books that stays with you, nudging thoughts of historical values contained within the storyline that takes place in the early 1900s along with deftly woven articulate text that pertains to scientific concepts such as electricity, interurban trolleys, political turbulence, women's suffrage, and WWI. Author, Jean Flahive is masterful at pulling the reader into her story during this notable time period. Her realism wraps itself around the life of a young spontaneous Maine farm girl who dreams big! This believable tale kept me reading well into the night and then sharing much of the historical and scientific frameworks with my husband; a sixth-grade science teacher. Our lively discussions prompted him to place this book on his classroom reading list."
Lyn Smith, Reading Specialist, Pre-K-2, Kennebunk Elementary School, Kennebunk, Maine

"Jean M. Flahive skillfully describes the arrival of the interurban trolleys in Maine and how they changed both the landscape and lives of Mainers forever. Her captivating characters meet at crossroads of progress and politics, taking the reader on a journey of anticipation, wonder, and the reality of a changing world."
Marie Dostie, Consulting Teacher, Gifted Education, Auburn Middle School, Auburn, Maine

"This novel is truly rich in history...the dialogue flows and seems natural to that time."
Lisa LaBrecque, Sixth-grade reading teacher at Thornton Academy Middle School, Saco, Maine

"Flahive's book explores a lesser-known episode from the later life of Theodore Roosevelt; she imbues the story, told from a perspective of a young girl growing up at the turn of the century, with humor and heart."
Heather G. Cole, Curator, Literary & Popular Culture Collections at John Hay Library, Brown University

"Jean M. Flahive brings to life early twentieth-century rural Maine through the eyes of young spitfire Millie Thayer. With the arrival of the Narcissus electric trolley and a mysterious prediction by a fortune-teller, Millie's small-town world is suddenly filled with exciting possibilities, from encounters with former president Theodore Roosevelt, to chance meetings with suffragettes. Flahive weaves in historical context about not just local Maine history, but also topics like women's suffrage, changing party politics, World War I, and the Spanish Flu. Theodore Roosevelt lovers, train enthusiasts, students, and educators alike will enjoy this well-researched and entertaining book."
Karen Sieber, Humanities Specialist for the McGillicuddy Humanities Center at the University of Maine and serves remotely as the Outreach Coordinator for the Theodore Roosevelt Center at Dickinson State University

Click Here: to pre-order your signed copy of Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride from Seashore Trolley Museum's online store.

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. Scroll Down to find various Donation options.
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.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

1911 Nagasaki Tram No. 134 Renovation & Arts Integration Experience - Intensive Week Summary

Donated to Seashore Trolley Museum in 1960, by the
Nagasaki Electric Tramway Co. Ltd. of Japan to
commemorate the 100th anniversary of the opening of
trade between the United States and Japan. Built in 1911,
No. 134 originally operated in Osaka, being transferred to
Fukuoka in 1929 and to Nagasaki in 1953.

Text and photos for this blog post came from Facebook posts on Seashore Trolley Museum's page, Seashore Trolley Museum archival sources, and this blogger.

     In August (2019), Seashore Trolley Museum hosted a week-long Nagasaki Tram Renovation & Arts Integration Experience.  Led by local artist and new museum member, Ann Thompson of Friends of Aomori. With a grant from the Maine Humanities Council and the Maine Arts Commission, the idea to transform Nagasaki tram No. 134 was off and running. Fine Paints of Europe was a generous donor to the project with their donation of nine gallons of paint for the makeover.

     Several Seashore Trolley Museum members and volunteers were inspired by the energy around this project and donated their time to work alongside the six youth artists from the community who applied to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Together these young minds - Thalia Tucker, Metis Tucker, Blake Pennington, Carlie Hutchins, Amy Bradford, and Nia Farago-Dumsch - took the lead and transformed the tram outside and in. Outside by applying a new coat of paint and inside by creating woodblock printmaking to tell the story of one of the tram's operators, Wada Koichi, who lived in Nagasaki pre- and post-World War II, that would be on display inside No. 134 after a fresh coat of paint was applied.

Inside No. 134, left, seated, museum volunteers and staff,
standing, Ann Thomson, and seated right, the six students
that participated in the intensive week-long Arts Integration
Experience at Seashore Trolley Museum.

     A little background on No. 134 and its travels to Kennebunkport, Maine from Nagasaki, Japan.

No. 134 spec sheet with description.

Nagasaki (Japan) Street Car No. 134 was being
demonstrated to some of the many guests that
attended the presentation ceremony when the photo
was taken in 1960. The scene is just north of Clough
Crossing on the mainline. Note the bow trolley. The
car was shipped via the United States aboard the
Pioneer Minx. Shelvey photo

     No. 134, which was built with vestibules, has straight, vertically sheathed sides (instead of the convex-concave panels) and a railroad roof, the last so-called because it was traditionally used on steam railroad coaches before being applied to streetcars. The monitor, instead of ending abruptly with the flat board or window that was a vestige of the horsecar eyebrow, continues over the vestibule, tapering down to the roofline at the end of the car.
     No. 134 has longitudinal seats but these are very short to permit a maximum standing capacity. The truck on the car was built in the United States and it is equipped with General Electric motors. 
     When shipped to the United States from Japan aboard the SS Pioneer Minx, it was protected by a giant, wood-slatted crate to prevent its being damaged in transport.

     Letter Below:
New England Electric Railway Historical Society        25 April 1960 
Biddeford Road
Kennebunkport, Maine

Dear Sir :
     It is a pleasure for me and my company to be able to favorably consider your request and to present to you free of charge our streetcar #134.

     The streetcar concerned must be happy to join her friends from all over the world in your museum.

     At the time we saw her off, our local newspaper reported the event as a wedding with the headline, "Nagasaki Streetcar Becomes a bride in the United States".

     I hope personally and in behalf of all the employees who have loved her that she will be happy and well forever under your kind and thoughtful care.

Kansuke Wakiyama
Nagasaki Electric Tramway Co. Ltd.
43 Dekidaiku-machi
Nagasaki, City, Japan

     Photos with descriptions that explain the project.

Day 1
Standing, Lyell Castonguay, guest woodblock printing expert,
with the six students participating in the project, in the
museum's upstairs meeting room in the visitor center.

Day 2 - included students priming the exterior of Nagasaki tram No. 134 in the morning, a midday Skype interview with Janice Nimura, author of Daughters of the Samurai, followed by an afternoon continuing to refine their drawings for the woodblock narrative installation that will later be displayed in No. 134.

Day 3 - Morning painting continues, followed by classwork as they begin carving their woodblock prints and watch the movie, The Cats of Mirikitani for additional inspiration.

Day 4 & 5 - More painting and carving.

Day 6 - Painting was wrapped up in the morning followed by a midday Skype with Susan Southard, author of Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War, then they continued their woodblock work and refinements of the work in the afternoon. 

Day 7 -The Celebration - Students and museum volunteers and staff prepare No. 134 for the 4 pm celebration and install the woodblock prints with captions inside 1911 No. 134 from Nagasaki, Japan. Taiko Maine Dojo performed at the celebration. Scroll down these next few pages and see the incredible work these young artists were inspired to create. Stunning!

Ann Thomson may be reached through

     Work on exterior components of Nagasaki tram No. 134, not included in this amazing project, still require your help. You can help with needed repairs to replace the canvas on the roof and apply a fresh coat of paint, repairs to one end of a vestibule and recreating roll signs.
     Please consider a donation to help complete these exterior repairs. Visit www.trolleymuseum.org/support/donate and designate your gift to the Nagasaki Tram, fund #773.

Special thanks go out to Restoration Shop Technician Heidi Schweizer for taking the lead on the restoration half of the tram project and to volunteers Jim Mackell, John Mercurio, Karen & Ed Dooks, and Tom Tello for working alongside the students. Thanks to Restoration Shop Team, led by Randy Leclair and Brian Tenaglia, and the Yard Department Crew, led by Dan Vardaro and Ricj Pascucci, for helping relocate No. 134.