Thursday, May 25, 2017

No. 108 - Seashore Trolley Museum's Laconia Car Company-built Collection

The hands of Seashore Trolley Museum member-volunteers,
Ed Dooks and his granddaughter Chelsey Pino, as they work
in unison to carefully peel away the paper from the newly
applied Laconia Car Company decal on the side sill of the
Laconia Car Company-built, and then newly restored, 1906
electric locomotive from the Atlantic Shore Line Railways,
No. 100. Image by PWM 6-30-2009

The Laconia Car Company was located in the center of
Laconia, NH. Over the years, it expanded and took up 7 acres
of land. There were woodworking shops, foundries, set-up
shops, storehouses, and paint shops. The extensive four-story
brick building was dedicated to the iron foundry, which was
connected with the car fabrication business.


     This blog is all about the Portland-Lewiston Interurban, No. 14, Narcissus.....which was built in 1912 by the Laconia Car Company. From time to time, a blog post will extend its coverage of related information to include electric railway topics that enhance understanding of the collection of Seashore Trolley Museum. This post will be one, in a series, that digs deeper into the Museum's collection of Laconia Car Company-built vehicles.

     Laconia Car Company was one of the important electric railway streetcar manufacturing companies at the turn of the 20th century. Seashore Trolley Museum has ten accessioned electric railway representatives from the Laconia Car Company among its collections. The Laconia collection at Seashore Trolley Museum is diverse. Starting with two early single-truck models from 1895, with a 1902, double-truck, streetcar, a 1904, double-truck, 15-bench, open car, a 1904 postal service/express car, a 1906 wooden interurban, a 1906 wooden steeple cab locomotive, a 1912 wooden interurban, a 1914 semi-convertible, and a 1918 semi-convertible.  Not all of these vehicles have been restored yet.

     Three of these Laconia vehicles in Seashore's collection are listed in the National Register of Historic Places; 1904 Portsmouth Dover & York Street Railway, No. 108, wooden Railway Post Office/Express, 1906 Atlantic Shore Line, No. 100, wooden Steeple Cab Locomotive, and 1912 Portland-Lewiston Interurban, No. 14 - Narcissus, wooden Interurban Coach.

     This post will focus on one of the cars acquired in 1949, by Seashore Trolley Museum, from York Utilities Company in Sanford, Maine:

1904 - No. 108 - Portsmouth, Dover & York Street Railway - Railway Post Office/Express
Combination Car: Railway Post Office/Express - Double/Air
Laconia Car Company - Seats:         L: 36' 8"  W: 8' 4"  Ht: 13' 0"  Wt:
Date Purchased: 1949


Laconia Car Company-built, PD & Y mail car No. 108
shown at York Beach about 1905.
Courtesy of O. R. Cummings Collection

Charles Preston, mail clerk sorting letters inside mail car 108. 
Courtesy of O. R. Cummings Collection 

     No. 108 was constructed as a Railway Post Office car, carried the mail in closed pouches and sacks, similar to those operated on the steam railroads, with additional space provided for baggage and express. Built by Laconia in 1904 for the Portsmouth, Dover & York Street Railway, which was part of the Atlantic Shore system from 1906 until 1917, it was regularly operated on the York Beach-Portsmouth RPO route until 1918 when the mail contract was canceled.

     With New Bedford RPO Car 34, No. 108 was used in the first-day cover release of streetcar commemorative stamps at Seashore in 1983, officiated by then-Vice President George Bush and Postmaster General William Bolger. P D & Y No. 108 has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1980. 

One of the many special envelopes that were part of the 150th
Anniversary of Street Railways first day covers that were canceled
at Seashore Trolley Museum on  October 1, 1983.
Laconia Car Company-built, 1904 P D & Y No. 108 is featured here
PWM 

1904 Portsmouth Dover & York Street Railway No, 108 is portrayed in
this York County Stamp Club envelope and special cancellation stamp
September 24, 1983 - PWM

Vice-President George Prescott Bush was present at Seashore Trolley
Museum when No. 108 was used in the first-day cover release of
streetcar commemorative stamps in 1983. PWM


     Converted to a railway maintenance line car to maintain overhead trolley wires in 1919, it was sold to the York Utilities Company in 1925. Used regularly as a line car and occasionally as a substitute locomotive by York Utilities, it was acquired by Seashore in 1949. Car 108 was used for many years as a line car at the Museum before being restored to its original configuration, mostly by volunteers.
Historic Cars: The National Collection at the Seashore Trolley Museum by Ben Minnich

No. 108 on its side in January 1918. Having read in the above text that the
U.S. Mail contract was canceled in 1918. This is probably why :) Read
newspaper accounting below. 108 would later be converted to a line
work car.
Image from O. R. Cummings book, Atlantic Shore Line 1-1-1966

This newspaper account refers to the collapse of a small bridge. The image
above taken at the scene in January 1918 shows little of said collapse?
A typed account from O. R. Cummings Collection

108 (left) as a line car in Sanford in 1947. Laconia Car Company-built
electric locomotive Nos. 100 (center) and 102 (far right). No. 100 also was
acquired by Seashore Trolley Museum. 100 was completely restored over
a three-year period from 2007-2009.
Image from O. R. Cummings book, Atlantic Shore Line 1-1-1966

Image from O. R. Cummings book, Atlantic Shore Line 1-1-1966

The video below of No. 108 in service at Seashore Trolley Museum.




Click Here: Video of Theodore Santarelli de Brasch explaining the "Birth" of Seashore Trolley - 1939

Additional blog posts on Seashore Trolley Museum's Laconia Car Company-built Collection:
Click Here: No. 14 - 1912 Laconia Car Company-built Collection
Click Here: No. 38 - 1907 Laconia Car Company-built Collection
Click Here: No. 60 - 1895 Laconia Car Company-built Collection
Click Here: No. 100 - 1906 Laconia Car Company-built Collection
Click Here: No. 108 - 1904 Laconia Car Company-built Collection
Click Here: No. 235 & No. 50 - 1895 & 1902 Laconia Car Company-built Collection
Click Here: No. 4175 - 1914 Laconia Car Company-built Collection
Click Here: No. 4387 - 1918 Laconia Car Company-built Collection

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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