Narcissus

Welcome to the Narcissus page


The Narcissus

Click Here: for the newest restoration update on the Narcissus.

Click Here: for Narcissus National Register of Historic Places info.

     The Narcissus was built in 1912 in Laconia, New Hampshire, at the Laconia Car Company Works, for the Portland, Gray & Lewiston Railroad (PG&L), based in Lewiston, Maine.  This high-speed, luxury, wooden interurban with its exquisite mahogany interior, resplendent in copious ornamental brass components, including forty ornate leaded stained glass windows, its center ceiling panels embellished with gold leaf fleur-de-lis, with alternating red and green interlocking rubber tile on the floor and it was all appointed by the intrepid builder of the PG&L, W. Scott Libbey.

     Libbey also personally named each of the original six coaches after his favorite flowers. The 46-foot coaches had green plush Mohair upholstered, reversible seats, and a smoking compartment with two, six-foot-long, leather-covered bench seats, making the seating capacity 52 passengers. With its four-90hp Westinghouse motors, speeds in excess of 70-mph were reached from time to time.

     The most famous passenger to ride in the Narcissus was Theodore Roosevelt. The former President was a passenger on the Narcissus on August 18, 1914, while campaigning for the Progressive Party candidates, during a trip from Lewiston to Portland.

     The Narcissus operated between Lewiston, Maine, and Portland, Maine on a thirty-mile, private right-of-way, interurban line that was built to steam railroad specifications. Construction of the line was seasonal from 1910 until finished in 1914. Operations commenced early in July 1914 and carried on until the line ceased operations late in June 1933. Just a few weeks prior to the opening of the line in 1914, the principal owner of the line, W. Scott Libbey, died. Within a couple of months, the management changed and so did the name of the line. It became the Portland-Lewiston Interurban Railroad; best known as the Portland-Lewiston Interurban or simple the PLI.

     After nineteen years of operating on the PLI, the Narcissus, along with the other equipment, was put up for sale, either as a fully operational electric railway vehicle or as a wooden-body only. Over the years, ultimately, the body of No. 14, Narcissus was the only surviving piece of the rail equipment.

     The body was initially sold in the mid-1930s for use in Sabattus, Maine, as a diner near Sabattus Pond. It is unclear what happened, but the diner-idea was abandoned. Later in the 30s, the body was resold to Mr. J. Henri Vallee. Mr. Vallee had the Narcissus moved a short distance to his property at Sabattus Pond, where he made the Narcissus his family summer camp. During the 1960s, members of Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine, approached Mr. Vallee with the idea of the Museum acquiring the body of the Narcissus. The Museum wanted to restore the Narcissus
 to operating condition for two purposes; first, in order to preserve the sole-surviving piece of Maine's electric interurban railway history; and send, to have the Museum visitors experience the splendor of its beauty when riding as passengers in the exquisitely appointed, majestic coach.

     A deal was struck with Mr. Vallee. The Museum, led by Museum member, Mr. William M. Dox, Jr., would arrange for a replacement home to be built for the Vallee family, and in exchange, the Narcissus would become the property of the Museum. The Narcissus arrived at Seashore Trolley Museum on October 31, 1969. Fifty years later; following years of financial support from generous Museum members, interested individuals, and organizations, and thousands of hours of work by skilled Museum volunteers and staff, a generous major gift from 20th Century Electric Railway Foundation was pledged in 2018.  This major gift became the financial catalyst to propel the restoration of this National Register of Historic Places electric railway icon, Narcissus, to completion. When the restoration is complete, the Narcissus will be the elegant operating representative of the finest and fastest electric railroad, not only in Maine but throughout all of New England.

     The ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the completed restoration of the Narcissus will be in the fall of 2021 at Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine.

     In the meantime, visitors to the Museum can see the work being done on the PLI icon when they walk into the Donald G. Curry Town House Restoration Shop at the Museum.

     We are still in need of funds for creating the interpretation programs that will tell this fascinating 100+-year-old story of the Narcissus. For information on donation options, scroll down this post and find the one that best fits your position.

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment