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. 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.

     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 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 the 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 1890s 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?
PWM

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 the 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

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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