Tuesday, June 6, 2017

No. 60 - Seashore Trolley Museum's Laconia Car Company-built Collection

The hands of Seashore Trolley Museum member-volunteers,
Ed Dooks and his granddaughter Chelsey Pino, 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). O
ver 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.

Laconia Car Company was one of the important electric railway streetcar manufacturing companies at the turn of the 20th century. This builder was the only industry in the New Hampshire town of the same name. The community problems faced by the townspeople following the company's collapse in 1928 have been the subject of several important economic studies.(1) 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 monitor roofs and a seating capacity of 26 passengers, up to a 1918 semi-convertible, with a seating capacity of 44. The collection includes a 1904, double-truck, 15-bench, open car with a railroad roof, wooden interurbans, a postal service car and a wooden steeple cab locomotive.

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.

(1) p. 6, 1954 "Historic Cars of the Seashore Electric Railway, 1st edition

This post will focus on the 1941 acquisition of the fourth car (body) acquired by the founders of the fledgling Seashore Trolley Museum:

1895 - No. 60 - Manchester Street Railway
City & Suburban Streetcar - Single motor/Handbrake
Laconia Car Company - Seats: 26 - L: 29' 6"   W:        Ht:              Wt:
Date Purchased: April 11, 1941

Seashore Trolley Museum's, 1895 Laconia Car Company-built,
Manchester Street Railway No. 60 enclosed vestibules.
One of the first trolleys in New Hampshire, it had a twenty-foot body and it originally had longitudinal plush upholstered seats and open platforms; vestibules were enclosed in 1899. After being withdrawn from passenger service, No. 60 was kept as a railway maintenance car to sand rails for many years and its body was acquired by Seashore in 1941. Historic Cars: The National Collection at the Seashore Trolley Museum by Ben Minnich. 

A truck for No. 60 was acquired from a scrapped Portland Railroad car. See and hear the founder of Seashore Trolley Museum, Ted Santarelli, talk briefly about how No. 60 was transported to Maine and the process of acquiring its truck. The opening is a brief account of how Seashore Trolley Museum was started.

A drawing on No. 60 in its original configuration with the open vestibules.
Image from the book, Historic Cars of the
Seashore Electric Railway, 1st Edition, 1954.
The cars of the 1890's were very much like the earlier horse cars but were larger and heavier. They had monitor roofs (without the eyebrow-style ends), yellow-belly sides, and open platforms (vestibules). (1)

June 1941 report of the fledgling
Seashore Electric Railway makes no mention
of acquiring No. 60 earlier that year.
Deadline for printing may have been the reason?

The 1945 report was in this February 1946
NEERHS - Seashore Electric Railway Annual Report.
Notice the W. F. Goddard drawing of No. 60 is
prominent at the top. PWM

Page 2 of the February 1946 Annual Report
has a photo of the Brill 21E trucks being
"acquired" from the Portland Railroad car.
See story below. PWM

Page 3 of the February 1946 annual Report
has a number of images of No. 60 with and without its
trucks. 1940 having some paint applied and 1944, a
couple of images of it on the rails :) PWM

Edward Dooks, a long-time Seashore Trolley Museum member/volunteer, conducted, recorded, and transcribed, recollections of  Seashore Trolley Museum members' experiences involving the Museum. In addition, Ed recorded, collected, and transcribed recollections of local neighbors to Seashore Trolley Museum. Here are some of those transcriptions, as they relate to the acquisition of No. 60 in 1941.

Transcripts from 1988 interviews conducted by Ed Dooks. Interviewees:
A = John Amlaw, one of Seashore's original members
B = Henry Brainerd, one of Seashore's earliest members

No. 60

A: We talked to Mr. Goodman (the junk man) for the better part of an hour and I asked him how much he wanted for the car. He was trying to get me to name a price and I said, "Well, Mr. Goodman, it's your property. So, how can I name a price for your property?" He finally said, "$100."

It was at this point that I told him that as far as I was concerned, it was worth nothing; that I'd give him $5 just to pay him for putting it on the books, but that the car was all wood; the only metal in it was screws and nuts and bolts which was practically nothing as far as junk was concerned. He would have to move it out of Manchester, down to Bedford.

In fact, he would have to move it down to Bedford to scrap it because he couldn't do it under Manchester City limits and it would cost him more to move that car down there and time, effort, and wages that he would never get back from scrapping it. So, we finally got down to the point where he said $25 and that was as low as he would go. Well, I had a $10 bill wrapped up, folded up in my (wallet) and I said, "Well, I guess I'll put this away." So, as soon as I started to unfold the $10, he reached out and grabbed my hand and he said, "Wait a minute. We're not done talking yet." So we kept on, and he said $10, well, all right. that's fairly close to $25." So we told him there were some things wrong with no. 60. Some things missing, but there was another car there, 58, which was the same kind of car, and if we could have the parts from 58 to fix up 60, then I would pay him the $10. so he agreed to this.

So we paid him the money for it and got the car and he subsequently came over to the barn when we were working on the cars and he came in and looked at it and he said, "Oh, I didn't know this was the car, I'm sorry I charged you the $10 for it. I didn't realize what it was. Look, come down here." So, we went down to another car that had new upholstery and new curtains in it and I don't know how it came about, because Manchester wasn't noted for putting new equipment in the cars, but maybe it was in the stock room and they figured they'd use it before they went out of business. "Take anything out of this car. These are nice new curtains, new seats. Take them to fix up the other car and anything else you want. Just don't take any brass." So, I said, "Mr. Goodman, if we need something and it's brass, would it be all right with you if we take it and show it to you and set a price on it?" "Yes, yes, that'll be fine," he said. So we did get one or two of the window bars on the bulkhead, not the outside window gratings which were iron. When he saw them he said, "Oh, that doesn't amount to anything, just take them."

So, we got 60 fixed up and the way we had it was to hire a couple of fellows in Manchester. They got a pair of wagon wheels about 4 ft. in diameter on a long axle and put it under the middle of the car, just back of the middle, put the front end of it onto the back of a Model A Ford coupe and drove the 80 miles from Manchester to Seashore in that manner.

D: Do you remember the guys' names?

A: No, I don't. Unfortunately, they were typical French names, and I can't for the life of me remember them.

B: It seems to me that we did something like enrolling them as members so they could say they were members doing some volunteer. We did pay them something but that was off the record and, if anyone tried to stop them for commercial trucking without proper permits, or anything, they could show something to prove they were members.

You didn't say anything about going up and painting 60 before we moved it. that's the day I was with you, so I remember. We were in a Model A Ford coupe with a rumble seat that was one of Earl Bacon's better buys, you know, "Better buy it before it falls apart." and you were driving. I was in the middle of the front seat, and we synchronized our actions so when you put the clutch down, I'd shift the gear to whatever was needed. I think Ted and Horton and Lou Phinney were with us. They had gallon cans of paint around their feet and we painted it red on the upper side panel and yellow on the lower. I think we painted some numbers so that they looked something like they should have. I remember I went around picking up all the old mica washers for the resistor grids and everyone else thought I was foolish, but it struck me they'd be very valuable if we ever had to change resistor grids.
We spent the full day and so, when the car was moved, it had reasonably good-looking paint.

60 was on a truck that John and some others got from a work car in Portland and couldn't afford motors.

A: As I recall it, when Portland went out, we were just about broke and just barely managing to keep up with the firms we owed and we just didn't want to try it (getting a car from Portland). What we did get from (Portland) was a (Brill 21E) truck. I guess it was from the Deering Carbarn. They had a little single-truck car.--- One thing about Portland--they kept the same design for many of their cars. So, these little single-truck box cars, the last of them were all steel, but they were still built to exactly the same standards as the wooden one were in the beginning. That's where we got the truck for no. 60. We took the body off and dumped it down in that little ravine beside the barn. I remember Ted was saying at the time that it's too bad that we have to junk this car because it was a beautiful little car but we just couldn't afford it. So, we didn't dare take a chance.

A: I remember 60 was painted white during the War. We painted it with white lead prime. A group of hunters came down one night just to gossip and they thought they were getting a little too much nose paint when they came through the woods and saw a white streetcar facing them. The colors were almost identically those used by First National Stores. So we used to joke that it was the First National's Auxiliary car.

Transcripts from July 4, 1989, interviews conducted by Ed Dooks. Interviewees:
B = Charlie Brown, one of Seashore's original members
C = Jerry Cunningham, one of Seashore's original members
P = Lucien Phinney, one of Seashore's original members

P: What I want to know is, when did we go to Portland to strip the truck from the Portland car, Portland Railroad car that was being dismantled? Because I was there and I remember what a bombastic thing that was when we cut the last bolt loose and the truck fell loose from the car, which was laying on its side. That was preparation for having the truck moved to Kennebunk for, they tell me now, City of Manchester.

B: The body from Manchester, of number 60 came over here on two big wagon wheels pulled by a pickup truck. Had had no truck. Had no steel streetcar truck. To obtain a suitable truck, steel streetcar truck, for that car body we went to Portland and dismantled a work car, I think 316 or 318, which had an identical truck in good condition, and that was placed under Manchester 60 and so we had a composite car if you will. but I believe that is what happened. We have a photograph of the car body from Portland car being tipped off its truck. And the body was scrapped; it was in such bad shape. The truck, I think is a Brill 21E, fit perfectly under the Manchester car. So we had one good car.

1895 Manchester Street Railway Car No. 60 is awaiting a project manager to lead its full restoration.

Click Here: Complete Video of Theodore Santarelli 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

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.

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