Thursday, March 14, 2019

Maine Bicentennial Series - Rockland, South Thomaston & St. George Railway 1902-1918

Rockland, South Thomaston, & St. George Railway
closed car No. 8 with destination sign for Cresent Beach
while towing a work car with what looks like track materials.
circa 1914 - O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_41_198

Here is the newest release in the Maine Bicentennial series of electric railways in Maine. This blog post features the summary of the Rockland, South Thomaston, & St. George Railway in O. R. Cummings book, "Transportation Bulletin No. 6, Part 1. January 1952 -"Rockland, Thomaston & Camden Street Railway", issued by the Connecticut Valley Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society. Additional photos will be credited accordingly. This material is taken from a copy of Transportation Bulletins No. 6 book acquired by this blogger.

Click Here for the post: Ninety Communities in Maine had Electric Railway Service!
Click Here for the post: 57 Million Passengers Carried on Electric Railways in Maine in 1915!
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - History of the Portland Railroad 1860-1941
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - History of the Calais Street Railway 1894-1929
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - History of Aroostook Valley Railroad 1909-1946
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Fryeburg Horse Railroad 1887-1913
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - The Norway and Paris Street Railway 1894-1918
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Skowhegan & Norridgewock Railway 1894-1903
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Benton and Fairfield Railway 1898-1928
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - The Somerset Traction Company 1895-1928
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - The Fairfield and Shawmut Railway 1903-1927
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Waterville, Fairfield, & Oakland Rwy 1887-1937
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Trolleys to Augusta, Maine 1889-1932
Click Here for post: Maine Bicentennial series - Rockland, Thomaston, & Camden St.Rwy. '92-1931

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

Rockland, South Thomaston, & St. George Railway
     About ten years after the Rockland, Thomaston, & Camden Street Railway began operation, a new company, the Rockland, South Thomaston, & Owl's Head Railway, was organized on March 25, 1902, to build from Rockland into South Thomaston, there dividing and running by one branch to Cresent Beach and Owl's Head. Construction began in 1905 and by November 30, 4.35 miles of the route, from South Main and Mechanic Streets in Rockland to Cresent Beach, had been completed.

Map from 2015 NEERHS book, "The Illustrated Atlas of
Maine's Street & Electric Railways 1863-1946"

     On March 27, 1906, the Rockland, South Thomaston, & Owl's Head Railway went into receivership, with the receiver beginning operation of the line on July 3rd. Power was purchased and cars were leased from the Rockland, Thomaston, & Camden, which granted trackage rights over South Main Street to Park Street in Rockland.

Ash Point waiting station.
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_41_201

     The property was sold to the bondholders on November 1, 1908, and a new company, the Rockland, South Thomaston, & St. George Railway was organized. Two open and two closed were acquired, one of the latter being purchased second-hand from the Boston Elevated Railway and the other coming from the Rockland, Thomaston, & Camden. The two opens were also second-hand but their original owner is unknown.

One open car and one closed car at the Crescent Beach Hotel.
circa 1914
Courtesy Penobscot Marine Museum  LB2007.1.1.112586

     The branch to South Thomaston village was finally built in 1914, the necessary certificate of safety being granted on January 5th. Later that year, the company sought to effect its own entrance into Rockland, using streets not occupied by the Rockland, Thomaston, & Camden Street Railway. Although a franchise was granted by the city, the petition for the necessary permission to build was dismissed by the Railroad Commissioners.

South Thomaston waiting station. Circa 1915
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_41_202

     The railway also planned to extend from Crescent Beach to Owl's Head village and from South Thomaston through Tenant's Harbor to Port Clyde. Neither extension was ever built.

Open car No. 2 at the Crescent Beach Hotel. Circa 1914.
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_41_195

     The railway was not a profitable one, revenues barely covered bed-rock operating expenses. President Alfred S. Black personally furnished money to pay the bond interest for several years, and when an open car overturned in an accident during the summer of 1917, he paid the claims which resulted from the mishap.

Open car No. 2 took a tumble. The date in the Museum file
makes note the date is September 3, 1914. 
So, it is unclear from the Museum records whether this is the 
accident referred to in the text of O.R.'s book describing
an open car overturning in the summer of 1917?
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_41_196

Here is the carbarn where you see the South Thomaston
spur line turns off to the left. Circa 1917
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_41_200

View looking out from the carbarn. Track on right coming
at the viewer would be passing the carbarn (behind the viewer)
and heading on to South Thomaston. The road in the
distance; tracks turn left for Rockland and turn right for
Crescent Beach. Circa 1917.
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_41_203

     Service was suspended in the late fall of 1917 and during the following winter, efforts were made to interest the Rockland, Thomaston, & Camden in taking over the South Thomaston line. But the Rockland, Thomaston, & Camden wasn't interested. A receiver was appointed early in 1918.

     Thomas Hawken, former general manager of the Rockland, Thomaston, & Camden, was engaged to make a survey of the Rockland, South Thomaston, & St. George, report on its physical condition and estimate the cost of making it safe for operation. From the basis of his unfavorable report, it was decided to seek abandonment. And so, in 1918, the Rockland, South Thomaston, & St. George Railway passed into history.


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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