Saturday, March 14, 2020

Maine Bicentennial Series - Atlantic Shore Railway 1911-1923

Superintendent George Hanscom posing with car No. 58
on the Atlantic Shore Railway private right-of-way west
of Route One in Kennebunk and Wells circa 1911.
O. R. Cummings Collection

Here is the newest release in the Maine Bicentennial series of electric railways in Maine. This blog post features the Atlantic Shore Railway summary/images from the book, "Atlantic Shore Trolleys" Bulletin No. 2 NEERHS by O. R. Cummings, January 1, 1966, "Atlantic Shore Line Railway" by O. R. Cummings, presented as Transportation Volume 4 by the Connecticut Electric Railway and the National Railway Historical Society-Connecticut Chapter - June 1950 Re-issued January 1957. And text/images are also taken from an O. R. Cummings book, "Trolleys To York Beach: The Portsmouth Dover & York Street Railway", Bulletin No. 1, New England Electric Historical Society, December 30, 1964. Some text/images may be from the NEERHS 2015 publication, "The Illustrated Atlas of Maine's Street & Electric Railways 1863-1946. Additional images will be credited or from O. R. Cummings Collection.

No. 18 at York Beach terminal circa 1915. The Atlantic
Shore Railway car was equipped with a Baker hot water
heater. Notice the stack protruding from the clerestory roof.
O. R. Cummings Collection

Click Here for the post: Ninety Communities in Maine had Electric Railway Service!
Click Here for the post: 57 Million Passengers Carried on Electric Railways in Maine in 1915!
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - History of the Portland Railroad 1860-1941
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - History of the Calais Street Railway 1894-1929
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - History of Aroostook Valley Railroad 1909-1946
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Fryeburg Horse Railroad 1887-1913
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - The Norway and Paris Street Railway 1894-1918
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Skowhegan & Norridgewock Railway 1894-1903
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Benton and Fairfield Railway 1898-1928
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - The Somerset Traction Company 1895-1928
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - The Fairfield and Shawmut Railway 1903-1927
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Waterville, Fairfield, & Oakland Rwy 1887-1937
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Trolleys to Augusta, Maine 1889-1932
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Rockland, South Thomaston, & St. George Rwy
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Biddeford and Saco Railroad Co. 1888-1939
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Mousam River Railroad - 1892-1899
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Sanford & Cape Porpoise Railway 1899-1904
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Portsmouth, Kittery & York St Rwy 1897-1903
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Bangor Street Railway 1889-1905
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Bangor Railway & Electric Company 1905-1925
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Bangor, Orono & Old Town Railway 1895-1905
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Bangor, Hampden & Winterport Rwy 1896-1905
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Penobscot Central Railway 1898-1906
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Bangor Hydro-Electric Company 1925-1945
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Lewiston, Brunswick & Bath St Rwy 1898-1907
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Lewiston, Augusta & Waterville St Rwy 1907-19
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Androscoggin & Kennebec Railway 1919-1941
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Portland & Brunswick Street Railway 1902-1911
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Auburn & Turner Railroad 1905-1928
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Auburn, Mechanic Falls & NorwayStRwy1902-7
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Portsmouth, Dover & York St Rwy 1903-1906
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Atlantic Shore Line Railway 1900-1910
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - York Utilities Company 1923-1949
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Portland-Lewiston Interurban - It Begins 1914
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Portland-Lewiston Interurban - The End 1933



Atlantic Shore Railway
     The reorganized Atlantic Shore Line Railway was incorporated by the new owners on January 1, 1911, as the Atlantic Shore Railway, with essentially the same management as before, attempted to inaugurate operating economies and at the same time make improvements to the service which would draw more patronage. The old route of the former Portsmouth, Kittery & York Street Railway was rebuilt to eliminate many sharp curves in Kittery and York; several trestles were replaced and many new rails and ties were laid at various points on the system.

At York Beach, Atlantic Express Company delivery wagon
and Atlantic Shore Railway box motor car exchange
goods. Circa 1912. O. R. Cummings Collection

     Practically every car on the line was put through the Town House shops for overhauling and painting. Schedules were speeded up, also, but try as it might, the railway just couldn't make money. The heavy funded debt and high operating costs were still present and in addition, automobile competition was beginning to become a factor in declining revenues.




\

Looking south from what would become Route One, the
Atlantic Shore Railway dipped under the Boston & Maine 
RR bridge that is just north of Route 1 and Route 9 in Wells,
where Route 9 leads to Kennebunk/Kennebunkport.
O. R. Cummings Collection

What is now Route One near the Kennebunk/Wells line
with what is now the Water Distric building on the right
(west side of RouteOne). O. R. Cummings Collection

Maine Street Kennebunk. From Main Street; the trolleys could
head south to Wells and on to York Beach, Kittery, South
Berwick, and Dover, NH; or head west from Main St.
to West Kennebunk, Alfred, Sanford, and Springvale; or
from Main St.turn east on Summer Street and on to Arundel,
Kennebunkport, Cape Porpoise, and Biddeford.
O. R. Cummings Collection

     In an attempt to pick up a few dollars here and there, the company operated excursions from Sanford and Biddeford to Portsmouth Navy Yard, and once when a whale washed up on the shore between York Harbor and Kittery Point, special cars were provided for those who wished to view the monster of the sea. Another time, when a forest fire was raging through the Ogunquit woods, the railway ran cars through the fire zone as long as possible, discontinuing service only when flames were within a hundred feet of the right-of-way. The last car was somewhat scorched from the heat and some passengers were frightened almost out of their wits, but no one was hurt.

A special excursion ticket
O. R. Cummings Collection

     In 1914, the Cape Porpoise trestle was abandoned, the hauling of coal from Cape porpoise to Sanford having been discontinued, and the salvaged rails were laid on a new location around the shore of Cape Porpoise to the Casino. A year later, on Labor Day night, the Casino was destroyed by fire.

1914 ticket to the Casino at Cape Porpoise. One year
before the Casino burned down, never to be rebuilt.
O. R. Cummings Collection

The Cape Porpoise Casino, seen on the left, was opened
in July 1900. Passengers would disembark or load the trolleys
from the end of the wooden trestle.
Postcard of PWM

The Casino in Cape Porpoise is on the right. The Pier Road
to Bickford Island is seen here.
Image from Kennebunkport Historical Society

The Cape Porpoise Casino outdoor decks had an incredible
view of Cape Porpoise Harbor.
O. R. Cummings Collection

Trolley tracks still visible on Pier Road to Bickford Island.
Circa 1923. In 1914, the Cape Porpoise coal trestle was
abandoned. The hauling of coal from Cape Porpoise to
Sanford had been discontinued. The salvaged rails from the 
trestle were installed on the road to access the Casino at
Bickford Island. Image - Kennebunkport Historical Society

Car No. 51 seen on Bickford Island at the end of the line
in Cape Porpoise circa summer 1915.

The coal pocket on the right-of-way just east of the First
Congregational Church at Town House junction.
O. R. Cummings Collection

Just north and next to the coal pocket was the trolley scrap
yard. Storage of trolleys to be scrapped or that had been in
accidents resided here.

From under the eave of the "new" passenger waiting station
at Town House Junction, First Congregational Church is seen
on the left. The tracks that you see turning left are heading
up Log Cabin Road, where the tracks would turn right at
what is now the main entrance to Seashore Trolley Museum.
The tracks that turn to the right in front of the First
Congregational Church lead to the right-of-way to Cape 
Porpoise and pass by the coal pocketseen on the right.
The mainline track to Cape Porpoise passed on the south side of the coal pocket en route to Cape Porpoise.
pocket. O. R. Cummings Collection circa 1916

The newly built Atlantic Shore Railway offices, carbarn, and
shop as seen here in 1911, was at Town House Junction.
O. R. Cummings Collection

The interior of the shop at Town House Junction 1912.
O. R. Cummings Collection

The waiting station at Town House burned in 1914.
O. R. Cummings Collection

The new waiting station was opened in 1915.
O. R. Cummings Collection

     Freight service from NH to Portland and on to the Androscoggin and Kennebec valleys was implemented in 1916.

End of the line north, for Atlantic 
Shore Railway was at Biddeford City
Hall. The open car seen here is on
the Biddeford & Saco Railroad line
on Main Street, Biddeford. The
car on the left in on Adams Street.
It is an express car of the ASRwy.

     On October 1, 1915, with a deficit of $122,000 accrued to June 30th of that year, the ASL defaulted on payment of interest on an issue of bonds. this triggered a request for a receiver to be appointed. Late in 1916, restructuring of the various railway properties began. This dismantling took place over a few years.

A car that will depart for Kennebunk is at York Beach Square.
For many years, first, the ASLRwy, followed by the ASRwy,
had through trips from Rosemary Junction in Eliot, through
York Beach, to Town House Junction in Kennebunkport.
The 33 mile-one-way trip would take about two hours.

     On March 17, 1923, operations were suspended for the trackage served by the former Portsmouth, Dover & York line. Tracks were pulled up and along with most cars, scrapped.

York Corner Circa 1920.
O. R. Cummings Collection

An Atlantic Shore car on Admas Street with the Biddeford
City Hall on the right in this image.
O. R. Cummings Collection

     The highwater mark for passengers carried on the ASL was 1915, year-end June 30, when 4,814,907 passengers were carried on just over 90 miles of mainline trackage.

    Early in 1922, the bondholders of the trackage of the Atlantic Shore Railway reorganized and on February 1, 1923, the ASL was sold to a newly incorporated company, York Utilities Company.

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.

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment