Saturday, June 3, 2017

No. 100 - 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:

1906 - No. 100 - Atlantic Shore Line Railway
Steeple Cab Locomotive - Double/Air
Laconia Car Company - Seats:       L: 34' 0"    W:      Ht:     Wt: 45,000
Date purchased: 1949

No. 100 on Seashore Trolley Museum's Town House Restoration Shop lead.
Fresh from a complete restoration in September 2009. PWM

     Three identical double-truck freight locomotives of wood construction, Nos. 100-102, were ordered by the Atlantic Shore Line Railway from the Laconia (NH) Car Company Works in 1906 and all were on hand by the end of the year. Of the so-called "cab-on-raft" variety, each was 34 feet long overall and was mounted on what was described in a 1908 ASLRy roster as Laconia "Special" trucks with a wheelbase of 5 ft. 6 in.. Other initial equipment of each locomotive included four General Electric 80 (40-hp) motors, K-28F platform controllers, and General Electric automatic air brakes. There were knuckle couplers of the MCB type and wooden bar pilots at the ends and single trolley poles on the cab roofs.

No. 100 in its original configuration in Sanford at the Goodall Mills in 1907
Seashore Trolley Museum collection

     An early picture suggests they were painted green with white trim and carried the company name on their side sills. No. 101 was rebuilt to a box express car in 1908 and at about the same time the cab on No. 102 was enlarged to almost double its original size. No. 100, however, remained in its original configuration and became the property of the Atlantic Shore Railway on Jan. 1, 1911 and of the York Utilities Company on Feb. 1, 1923.

Coal Pier at Bickford's Island, Cape Porpoise, ME
Schooners would have their coal cargo unloaded into coal
gondolas and 100 would haul the train of coal to the coal
pocket in Kennebunkport or to the mills in Sanford.

Postcard PWM

Coal pocket in Kennebunkport.

Seashore Trolley Museum Collection

     Geared for power rather than for speed, Nos. 100 and 102 were used primarily to haul standard steam railroad freight cars to and from physical connections with the Boston and Maine RR at Springvale village in Sanford, West Kennebunk and Kennebunk. Beginning about 1913, one of them also moved carload lots of cordwood from Harris siding, near the present entrance to the Seashore Trolley Museum, to the Kennebunk interchange for forwarding to destinations via the B&M. (The wood was harvested on both sides of the ASLRy-ASRy-YUCo private right-of-way between Log Cabin Road, Kennebunkport, and Granite Street Extension, Biddeford.)

     After the York Utilities Company abandoned its trackage between Sanford and Biddeford via Kennebunk and Kennebunkport on Sept. 15, 1927, Nos. 100 and 102 were based in Sanford and the former was active until the end of trolley freight service between the Springvale interchange and various industries in Sanford village in June 1949. It was acquired by Seashore Trolley Museum later the same year but received little attention there during the ensuing half-century. ASL-100 was fully restored, to operating condition, over the years of 2006-2009. 

     The only known serious accident involving No. 100 occurred Friday, June 11, 1915, when it collided with the 15-bench open passenger car No. 47 in Sanford. The force of the impact was so great that the roof supports of No. 47 were snapped off and the roof came crashing down on the passengers, injuring a number of them. (The most seriously hurt was Morris Gampert, 25, of Sanford, who had his left foot amputated after suffering multiple fractures when he jumped from the open car.) No. 47 was scrapped but minor damage to the locomotive was quickly repaired and No. 100 soldiered on for another 34 years. ASL-100 has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places since 1980.
History by O. R. Cummings, Historian, New England Electric Railway Historical Society

1949, No. 100 travels to its new home,
Seashore Trolley Museum.
Seashore Trolley Museum Collection

The Video below features ASL-100 before restoration and after.

The video below of ASL-100 receiving one of its Laconia Car Company Decals in 2009.

No. 100, very tired, but operating under its own power - September 17, 2005
as it makes its way to Town House Restoration Shop.
Initial restoration would begin late in the year. PWM

No. 100 on September 1, 2009. The first trip out of Seashore Trolley
Museum's Town House Restoration Shop to check clearances, brakes, etc.,
through switches and around the visitor center loop. The $135K restoration
 was a combination of Federal and State Funds through the TEA-21
program, local matching funds, including major grants through Massachusetts
Bay Railroad Enthusiasts', H. Albert Webb Memorial Railroad Award and
Amherst Railway Society Heritage Awards. Many thousands of hours
of restoration work was provided by many volunteers. PWM

     This full restoration was my first as the volunteer project manager. Initially, in 1999, a group of us identified the Portland-Lewiston Interurban, No. 14, Narcissus, as a prospect for possible TEA-21 funding. We had second thoughts on having our first TEA-21 application be for such a complicated, multi-year restoration, as Narcissus, so, it was determined that we should choose a less complicated complete restoration as our "practice" applicant to TEA-21. The 1906 wooden electric locomotive, No. 100, with a total of $55(!) in its restoration fund, was our choice. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and our research led us to believe that 100 was one of only two in all of North America to be of this type and in its original configuration. The first application was made in 2000 and was not approved. The 2002 application was not approved either. Persistency and more than 40 letters of support for the 2004 application tipped the scales in our favor and the project was approved. Contracts, public hearing, state project manager assignments, etc., took some time and restoration work began in earnest in November 2006. The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the completion of the project was held in September 2009. The $185,000 project included the complete restoration of 100, a beautiful 40' x 40' exhibit in the Museum's display room and an online curriculum. Many videos of the restoration work were posted on YouTube. Search ASL-100 and any number of clips will present themselves. Below is the very first video on September 17, 2005.

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 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: 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 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, 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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