Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Maine Bicentennial Series - Trolleys to Augusta, Maine 1889-1932

Louden Hill trestle in Hallowell as it appeared in 1890
when the Augusta, Hallowell, & Gardiner Railroad opened.
L. E. Brown photo within the O. R. Cummings
Collection 2009_2_21_057

Here is the newest release in the Maine Bicentennial series of electric railways in Maine. This blog post features the summary of the Lewiston, Augusta, & Waterville Augusta Division, later the Kennebec Division of the LA&W's successor, the Androscoggin & Kennebec Railway, and covers primarily the trolley lines extending from Augusta, the capital of Maine, to Hallowell, Farmingdale, and Gardiner; to Vassalboro, Winslow, and Waterville; to Manchester and Winthrop, and to the National Soldiers' Home in Togus, as well as a short local line in Augusta itself. As written by O. R. Cummings and edited by Roger Borrup in O. R. Cummings book, "Transportation Bulletin No. 76-Trolleys to Augusta, Maine", issued by the Connecticut Valley Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, January-August 1969. Additional photos will be credited accordingly. This material is taken from a copy of Transportation Bulletins No. 76-Trolleys to Augusta, Maine 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 - 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 - Rockland, South Thomaston, & St. George Rwy
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Rockland, Thomaston, & Camden St.Rwy. '92-1931
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Biddeford and Saco Railroad Co. 1888-1939
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Mousam River Railroad 1892-1899
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Sanford & Cape Porpoise Railway 1899-1904
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Portsmouth, Kittery & York St. Rwy 1897-1903
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Bangor Street Railway 1889-1905
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Bangor Railway & Electric Company 1905-1925
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Bangor, Orono & Old Town Railway 1895-1905
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Bangor, Hampden & Winterport Rwy 1896-1905
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Penobscot Central Railway 1898-1906
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Bangor Hydro-Electric Company 1925-1945
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Lewiston, Brunswick & Bath St Rwy 1898-1907
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Lewiston, Augusta & Waterville St Rwy 1907-19
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Androscoggin & Kennebec Railway 1919-1941
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Portland & Brunswick Street Railway 1902-1911
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Auburn & Turner Railroad 1905-1928
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Auburn, Mechanic Falls & NorwayStRwy1902-7
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Portsmouth, Dover & York St Rwy 1903-1906
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Atlantic Shore Line Railway 1900-1910
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Atlantic Shore Railway 1911-1923
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - York Utilities Company 1923-1949
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Portland-Lewiston Interurban - It Begins 1914
Click Here for the post: Maine Bicentennial series - Portland-Lewiston Interurban - The End 1933

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

Trolleys to Augusta, Maine 1889 - 1941 
          * (AH&G RR) Augusta, Hallowell, & Gardiner Railroad Company 1889 - 1901
          * (A&T) Augusta & Togus Railway 1900 (AH&G acquired control of A&T charter 1900)
          * (AW&G) Augusta, Winthrop, & Gardiner Street Railway Company 1902 - 1907
          * (LA&W) Lewiston, Augusta, & Waterville Street Railway Company 1907 - 1920
          * (A&K) Androscoggin & Kennebec Railway Company 1919 - 1941

Augusta, Hallowell, & Gardiner Railroad (AH&G RR)
     Trolley service in Maine's thriving Capital Region had its modest beginnings on March 6, 1889, when the AH&G RR) was chartered by the State Legislature with authorization to construct a 7-mile line connecting the cities named in its corporate title.
     (It was the Pine Tree State's second electric railway: the Bangor Street Railway was the first)

     The act of incorporation provided that the road must be built and in operation within two years and the company was empowered to issue $150,000 in capital stock and to float mortgage bonds in the same amount.
     Among the incorporators were George E. Macomber and J. Manchester Haynes, two prominent residents of Augusta, and Amos F. Gerald of Fairfield later became known as the "Electric Railway King of Maine."

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

Depot Square - Gardiner, showing a single-truck open car
of the Augusta, Hallowell, & Gardiner Railroad Company,
at the Maine Central depot and the old covered bridge that
spanned the Kennebec River between Gardiner and
Randolph. O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_21_046

     The authorization route of the AH&G RR) began at Depot Square, near the passenger station of the Maine Central Railroad (MCRR) in Gardiner, and extended northerly out Maine Street and along the east side of the county road (present Route 201) as far as Grant Street in the town of Farmingdale. Here it crossed to the west side of the highway and continued on to Hallowell.

A right-of-way along Main Avenue in Farmingdale, showing
the LA&W and the Maine Central Tracks (left)
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_21_055

     Running through Water Street, Hallowell, the line was to enter Augusta via State Street, running along the westerly side of the road as far as the State House. There it was to curve to the easterly side and extend onto the junction of State Street with Grove Street and Western Avenue.

State Street shuttle car at State Street and Western Avenue
in 1909 as the motorman changes the ends. Henry L. C. Leighton,
as a child, stands in the doorway of the car.
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_21_074

     Running through Water Street, Hallowell, the line was to enter Augusta via State Street, running along the westerly side of the road as far as the State House. There it was to curve to the easterly side and extend on the junction of State Street with Grove Street and Western Avenue.
     Running through Grove Street and down Rines Hill to Water Street, the tracks were to extend along Water Street to Bond Street, up Bond Street to the foot of Gas House Hill, so-called, on State Street, and down State Street to Grove Street, forming a large loop through the central part of the city.
     There were to be grade crossings of the Maine Central's mainline at the foot of Loudon Hill, Hallowell, and at the bottom of Rines Hill. The tracks were to run under the Maine Central's bridge spanning Water Street, Hallowell.

Map from O. R. Cummings 1963 book, "Lewiston,
Augusta, & Waterville Street Railway

     Near the northern end of Water Street, Augusta, between Bridge and Laurel Streets, the AH&G RR was to dip under the approaches to the Maine Central's Kennebec River bridge.
     Because of clearance problems, it was impossible to install a trolley wire under the bridge structure and until the street grade was changed and the tracks lowered, cars had to be coasted through the gap in the overhead.
     (The grade crossing at Laurel Hill and Rines Hill both were to be protected by ball signals which, when raised to the top of a mast by the crossing tender, indicated that the way was clear for the trolleys. At night, red lanterns were used. There also were gates at both crossings.)
     Contracts for the building and equipping of the line were awarded in late January 1890, and construction began in March. Work proceeded so rapidly that the prime contractor, Willard B. Ferguson of Malden, MA, an active street railway promoter in the Bay State, optimistically predicted that the entire road would be finished by June 25th, although the agreement called for its completion only as far as Hallowell on that date.

No. 16, a Briggs-built car, at the Hallowell carbarn.
Photo from the Collection of Gerald F. Cunningham,
in O. R. Cummings 1969 book, "Transportation Bulletin
No. 76-Trolleys to Augusta, Maine"

     He did not, however, reckon with the telephone company which on June 13th refused to move in the path of the AH&G RR's tracks.
     The adamant stand of the utility, which was opposed to the construction of the railway because of fears of electrical interference with its communications circuits, delayed progress for several weeks; indeed, it was not until July 18th that the dispute was settled.
     Forty-five-pound "T" and 55-pound girder-rail were used in building the line which had many steep grades and sharp curves. The overhead was supported mostly by side brackets.
     Three wooden bridges and two pile trestles were constructed along the route, the longer trestle being at Loudon Hill on the approach to the Maine Central crossing.
     A carhouse was erected on the east side of Water Street, Hallowell, and temporary power plants were set up in an idle wire mill in Hallowell and in a sash and blind factory in Gardiner.

Hallowell Carhouse of the Augusta, Hallowell, & Gardiner
Railroad as it looked shortly after completion in 1890. No. 11,
a Newburyport (MA) Car Company, 10-bench, open car.
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_25_026

Car from Newburyport Car Company
     Rolling stock was ordered from the Newburyport Car Company of Newburyport, MA, and motors, generators, and other electrical equipment were provided by the Thomson-Houston Electric Company of Lynn, MA, one of the pioneers in the electric railway industry, which was taken over by the General Electric Company in 1892.
     By mid-July of 1890, the railway was nearly complete, and on Tuesday, July 22nd, the State Railroad Commissioners and others were guests of the management on an inspection trip over the entire line.
     A certificate of safety was granted by the Commissioners and regular operation between Augusta and the Hallowell carbarn commenced on Saturday, 26th. Service through to Depot Square, Gardiner, began on Monday, August 4th.

Laying the rail for the new electric line for Augusta,
Hallowell, & Gardiner Railroad on Water Street, Hallowell.
Circa 1890 - O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_21_064

     Commenting on the opening of the AH&G RR, the Railroad Commissioners in their 1890 report said:
     The road was built this year and is located through the main streets of Augusta and extends along the county road and through the streets of Hallowell and Farmingdale to a point near the passenger station of the Maine Central railroad at Gardiner.
     The track is laid with steel rails and well secured; the roadbed is generally well-graded but is too narrow in several places and should be widened and ditched. The bridges are wooden trestles and pile structures, fairly well built. The crossings of the Maine Central Railroad at the foot of Rines Hill in Augusta and Loudon Hill in Hallowell are dangerous and every precaution should be adopted to guard against accidents. The company has a good workshop and carhouse at Hallowell. The road is carefully operated and under good management.

Market Square, Augusta, showing a 9-bench open car of the
Augusta, Hallowell, & Gardiner Railroad on Water Street,
at the post office, headed for Gardiner.
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_21_086

     In its first return to the Railroad Commissioners on September 30, 1890, the AH&G RR reported that its road had cost $108,236 to build and equip. There were 7 miles of mainline track and another mile of sidings, turnouts, and carhouse tracks. Nine passenger cars were owned.
     Officials of the company on that date were J. Manchester Haynes, president; George E. Macomber, treasurer; Henry G. Staples of Augusta, clerk of the corporation, and Everett K. Day, superintendent. Directors were Messrs. Haynes, Macomber, staples, John F. Hill and E. C. Allen of Augusta, Willard B. Ferguson, and Amos F. Gerald.
     (Superintendent Day was relieved of his duties in the fall of 1892 and was succeeded by Leander F. Taylor, one of the conductors, who served as acting superintendent until March 1, 1893, when Willis G. Meloon of New Castle, NH, was named to the permanent post. Meloon resigned in 1897 to become superintendent of the Portsmouth, Kittery, and York Street Railway in the southwestern part of Maine, and Mr. Taylor took over again.)
     Improvements to the Augusta-Gardiner line began as early as 1891 when a permanent power plant was erected alongside the Hallowell carhouse. In the following years, the rails on Rines Hill were realigned and regraded and new special work was installed at the Maine Central crossing there.

Ascending Rines Hill, Augusta, after crossing 
the Maine Central Railroad was one of the 16-foot
closed cars in the early days
days of the AH&G RR. This grade crossing was eliminated in
1910 by the building of an overpass for the highway
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_21_079

     Late in 1891, the tracks on Bond Street, from Water Street to State Street, and on State Street from Bond Street to Crosby Lane, at the top of Gas House Hill, were abandoned and removed. The rails and overhead materials were used to extend the track on Water Street from Bond Street northerly to the cotton mills of the Edwards Manufacturing Company, near the intersection of Water Street with Northern Avenue.
     Additional rolling stock was acquired in 1891, 1892, and 1893, and at the beginning, in 1895 the company started an intensive rehabilitation program which was described in the annual reports of the Railroad Commissioners:
          1895 - The roadbed and track were in very fair condition. About 2,300 new ties have been laid and some 500 cubic yards of ballast have been put under the track; 300 feet of girder rail has been laid in place of the "T"-rail at the north end of Water Street in Augusta; 800 feet of track has been relaid; two miles of the trolley line has been rebuilt; new and larger poles being used; four bridges have been strengthened, and all of the cars were repaired and painted.
          1896 - The roadbed and tracks have been considerably improved during the past year. At Loudon Hill, an earth roadbed has been graded preparatory to taking out the trestle at that place. Three miles of track have been ballasted and rebounded...The overhead line from Hallowell to Augusta has been rebuilt, new and longer poles are being used, and the line is put in first-class condition. Twenty-five hundred new ties have been laid in the track.
          1897 - The roadbed and track are in good condition. Considerable work has been done, 2,400 new ties and 600 cubic yards of ballast were used. A new siding has been installed at Farmingdale. The trolley line has been improved by the use of new overhead material and 50 new poles. A bad curve near the head of Causeway Street, Gardiner, has been greatly improved by the purchase of enough land to place the tracks outside of the limits of the street. At Loudon Hill, the track has been moved to the earth roadbed and the trestle removed. Another curve near the north line of Hallowell has been improved by widening the road and moving the track over about five feet.

Water Street, Gardiner. Circa 1900
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_21_049

          1898 - The roadbed and track are in good condition of line and surface and have been considerably improved during the year by the use of ballast and the putting in of new ties...Some trestles have been filled and at several points, the ledge and earth have been removed so as to widen the road...
          1899 - The general alignment has been improved and the grades reduced in many places. The one-fifth mile of the new track has been relaid installing the 52-pound rail, 1,100 new ties have been installed, and about 1,200 cubic yards of ballast used in surfacing the track. Seventy-five new poles have been installed...All the trestle bridges have been replaced with stone culverts and earth embankments.
          1900 - The roadbed and track of this line are in good condition and considerable improvement has been made during the past year, notable in rebuilding the track in the immediate vicinity of the powerhouse at Hallowell and the improvements that have been made on Rines Hill in Augusta...The rolling stock of the road is in excellent condition...
     As of June 30, 1900, the AH&G RR reported ownership of 7 miles of mainline track and 0.57 miles of sidings and turnouts. The railway had 16 passenger cars, one work car, one snowplow, and 38 employees.

Augusta & Togus Railway (A&T)
     Construction of a trolley line from Augusta to the National Soldiers Home (now the Veterans Administration Center) at Togus, in the town of Chelsea, was proposed early in 1900 when Amos F. Gerald and two associates, Stephen A. Nye and Albert B. Page, both of Fairfield, Maine, filed the articles of association of the A&T with the Railroad Commissioners.
     Due to necessary changes, the articles were withdrawn shortly after they were submitted. Revised articles of association, with George E. Macomber listed as one of the incorporators, were filed on May 21, 1900, and a public hearing on the petition was set for May 29.

     Opposition by Kennebec Central
     At the hearing, strong opposition to the building of the A&T was offered by representatives of the Kennebec Central Railroad, a 5-mile long, 2-foot gauge steam line extending from Randolph (across the Kennebec River from Gardiner) to Togus.
     These remonstrants stated that the railroad, which had opened in 1890, provided reasonable facilities for travel to and from the Soldiers Home, even from Augusta, and that most of the riding on the proposed electric road if constructed, would be simply that of sightseers and people "on pleasure bent" and that the line would not serve the public convenience.
     Despite these arguments, which were the justifiable efforts of an existing railroad to prevent competition, the Railroad Commissioners ruled that the "public good" required the construction of the trolley line and on June 6th, they ratified the incorporation of the A&T.

     Togus Line Built by AH&G RR
     As it turned out, the Togus line actually was built by the Augusta, Hallowell, & Gardiner Railroad (AH&G RR) which acquired control of the A&T charter shortly after it was granted.
     Construction of the 5.5-mile line began during the early spring of 1901 and a certificate of safety was granted by the Railroad Commissioners on Saturday, June 15. Operations began the same day.
     This line began at Bridge and Water Streets, Augusta, and extended across the Cony Street bridge spanning the Kennebec River and up Cony Street hill to Cony Corner.

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

     From Cony Corner the tracks continued through Stone Street and along Hospital Street to the Maine State Hospital and over a private right-of-way to Togus, the line terminating on the Soldiers' Home grounds.

Approach to Togus station
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_21_136

Four cars are ready to leave for Augusta from Togus station.
Circa 1902 - O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_21_131

Mileage Statistics as of 1901
     As of June 30, 1901, the AH&G RR) had 12.49 miles of mainline track and 0.62 miles of sidings and turnouts. Of the total, 4.5 miles of the mainline track was on private right-of-way.
     There were two protected steam railroad grade crossings, with two railroad tracks and one street railway track at each crossing. Overhead construction consisted of 11.99 miles of side bracket and 0.50 miles of span-wire suspension.
     The company had 38 employees, the total including 6 conductors, 7 motormen, 3 roadmen, one lineman, 2 engineers, 2 firemen, and one electrician.

The same Men Remain as Officials
     J. Manchester Haynes was still president of the company, while George E. Macomber was both the treasurer and general manager. Henry G. Staples was the clerk and Leander F. Taylor was the superintendent. Directors were the Mssrs. Haynes, Macomber, and Staples, John F. Hill, Thomas J. Lynch, George A. Cony of Augusta, and Fred S. Thorne of Gardiner.
     (Macomber was president of the Rockland, Thomaston, & Camden Street Railway at the time and Macomber and Haynes both were directors of the Norway and Paris Street Railway.)
     The AH&G RR property was valued at $273,825 on July 1, 1901, and the company had $120,000 in common capital stock; $100,000 in 20-year, 6-percent first-mortgage bonds dated July 1, 1890, and $50,000 in 20-year, 4.5-percent second-mortgage bonds dated January 1, 1899.
     All the second-mortgage bonds and $89,500 of the first-mortgage bonds were retired through the issuance of $239,500 in 4-percent, 50-year general-mortgage bonds. These were dated July 1, 1901, and increased the Augusta, Hallowell, & Gardiner Railroad Company's funded debt to $250,000.

AH&G RR a Boon to Those Who Did Purchase Stock
     Because of the pioneer and experimental nature of the AH&G RR in 1890, plus an apparent belief that the road never would pay, the company had been unable to dispose of its securities at par value and was forced to sell them at substantial discounts - $96,000 on the stock and $8,450 on the bonds issued in 1890. This resulted in a price of $20 for each of the 1,200 shares of stock.
     The AH&G RR did, however, turn out to be a profitable undertaking and in 1896 the railway declared and paid a 3.5-percent dividend (or $4,200) on its capital stock. The dividend rate was increased to 4 percent in 1897 and stockholders received $4,800 annually through June 30, 1901.

Company Helped in Civic Projects
     Being locally owned and managed, the AH&G RR was a civic-minded company. On Saturday, October 14, 1899, all fares collected on the cars were donated to the Augusta City Hospital.
     Somewhat more than a year later, in January 1901, the railway company donated an annunciator system to the same hospital, the equipment being installed by the company's electrician, Warren W. Seavey. This system allowed any patient to summon a nurse by pressing a bedside call button.

Passenger Count for Augusta, Hallowell, & Gardiner Railroad
     1891-1901, total passengers = 8,738,656
     1891 - fewest passengers = 620,283
     1901 - most passengers = 825,903
     Average yearly passengers = 794,423
     AH&G RR was profitable and in the "black" every year

Augusta, Winthrop, & Gardiner Street Railway (AW&G)
     Construction of the greater part of a proposed through-line between Lewiston and Augusta was the aim of the (AW&G), promoted in late 1900 by Amos F. Gerald.
     This road was to extend from a junction with the AH&G RR in Augusta through Hallowell, Manchester, and Winthrop to Monmouth and Wales, and a connection with the Lewiston, Brunswick, & Bath Street Railway at Sabattus Village in the town of Webster.
     (The six-mile line from Lewiston to Sabattus Village had been opened on July 26, 1898.)

Winthrop Center station circa 1903.
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_21_111

No. 20, "Cobbosseecontee," at Winthrop Village. Circa 1902.
New cars for the Winthrop line of the  AW&G Street Railway
were given names. 
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_21_122

     Associated with promoter Gerald in the enterprise were Stephen A. Nye, Albert H. Shaw of Bath, and Atty. Herbert M. Heath of Augusta, M. I. Masson of Brunswick, and Theodore L. Peters and F. Burton Hart, Jr. of New York City.
     All except Nye were directors of the Lewiston, Brunswick, & Bath Street Railway Company, and Mssrs. Hart and Peters were the president and vice-president, respectively, of the Portsmouth, Kittery, & York Street Railway Company, of which Mr. Mason was a director. (The latter company was another Gerald promotion.)

Maine Central Opposed Trolleys
     The Lewiston, Winthrop, & Augusta Street Railway (LW&A) was to be about 27 miles long and the company proposed a capitalization of $160,000. Its articles of association were approved by the Railroad Commissioners on December 29, 1900 - over the objections of the Maine Central Railroad, which claimed the proposed route would be in competition with part of its line between Lewiston and Waterville via Green, Monmouth, Winthrop, Readfield, Belgrade, and Oakland.
     Early in 1901, the charter of the LW&A was acquired by the Macomber-Haynes interests, and shortly thereafter the LW&A was authorized by the State Legislature to purchase the Augusta, Hallowell, & Gardiner Railroad (AH&G RR).
     The two roads were consolidated on July 1, 1901, and about six months later, on January 13, 1902, the LW&A changed its name to the Augusta, Winthrop, & Gardiner Street Railway Company (AW&G).
     For some reason not now apparent, the plans to build between Winthrop and Sabattus were dropped and a petition for authority to build a nearly 14-mile line from Augusta to Winthrop Village via Hallowell, Manchester, East Winthrop, and Winthrop Center was filed with the Railroad Commissioners on January 20, 1902. Locations of the proposed route were approved by the state body on March 24th and the construction began shortly thereafter.
     Beginning at the junction of Western Avenue with State and Grove Streets, Augusta, this line extended out Western Avenue and along the present Route 202 for about 2 miles before entering a private right-of-way leading to Granite Hill, Hallowell, where there were extensive quarries. The tracks then made a right turn and, still on private land, continued on to Manchester Village.

Freight Express car, Augusta to Winthrop line, en route
to Winthrop in Manchester Village, Maine
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_21_108

Much Private Way Running
     Rejoining the highway at Manchester, the trolley line ran beside or close to the road as far as Hammond's Grove and then, on private land again, continued in a generally westerly direction along the north shore of Lake Cobbosseecontee to East Winthrop. There was some more side-of-the-road running here and then the tracks curved southwesterly over a private way to Winthrop Center and Baileyville.
     Turning northwesterly, the line crossed the present Route 202 at Dudley's and continued on across the present Route 135 to Tallwood station at Maranacook Lake.

No. 19, "Maranacook," on the Upper Dam Bridge, Winthrop.
Later was numbered 108 for operation on LA&W.
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_21_120

     Still, on private land, the tracks ran southerly beside the east shore of the lake, past Big Pine Point, to Winthrop, the line entering the village via Bowdoin Street and looping through Main, Union, and Summer Streets.

Big Pine Point station at Maranacook Lake, Winthrop, was
just a wooden platform and steps at the road crossing.
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_21_116

Lake Maranacook, Bearce's Landing, Big Pine Point.
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_21_114

Well Constructed Trackage
     Seventy-pound "T"-rails in 60-foot lengths were used in building the line, being laid on cedar ties spaced on a 24-inch center. A large amount of broken stone ballast was applied. The overhead was supported by side brackets, for the most part, using double-trolley wire.
     The first section of the Winthrop line to open was from Augusta to the Winthrop town line, a distance of 6 miles, over which operation began on Tuesday, July 1, 1902.
     Another 3.5 miles of track, from the Winthrop town line to Dudley's Crossing, was completed on Saturday, July 19, and Wednesday, July 30, the five miles from Dudley's Crossing to Winthrop Village was placed in operation.
     Commenting on the Augusta, Winthrop line, the Railroad Commissioners in their 1902 report said:
          This extension is one of the best-built roads in the state. It runs largely upon acquired private right-of-way outside the highway. The materials used in its construction are all of the best. The grading is quite extensive in volume and well done - the whole construction was carried out on a generous plan.

Approaching Winthrop is a 15-bench open car rounding
the curve along the shore of Maranacook Lake.
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_21_112

     As completed in 1902, the Winthrop line was 13.95 miles long and there were no changes until June 30, 1906, when a short extension was opened along Main Street from Bowdoin Street to the Maine Central station in Winthrop.
     As of that date, the AW&G owned 26.665 route miles and 1.244 miles of siding and turnouts for a single-track equivalent of 27.909 miles, its system consisting of the former AH&G RR line from Augusta to Hallowell, Farmingdale, and Gardiner; the A&T route; the tracks on State Street from Grove Street to Crosby Lane in the Capital City and, of course, the line from Augusta to Winthrop.

City Hall Park in Waterville, Maine.
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_21_178

Library of Congress

Block Signals and Telephones
     Block signals were in use and the railway maintained its own private telephone system, the main switchboard being located at the Augusta carhouse. Instruments were provided at all turnouts, junctions, and terminal points on the road.
     Like its predecessor, AH&G RR, AW&G spent large sums of money for maintenance and improvement, and the general condition of and various betterments to the road were described in the annual inspection reports of the Railroad Commissioners from 1903-1906:
          1903 - The original road from Augusta to Gardiner was a difficult piece of construction because of the narrowness of the highway and the steep hills involved. It had installed the original 40-pound rail and does not ride as smoothly as it would with a heavier rail. Nevertheless, the track is in very good condition as regards both surface and line, although inferior to the more recently built lines.
          The line to Togus is in excellent order but could be still further improved by more ballast. the Winthrop line is very largely built upon private right-of-way with good alignment and grade not exceeding three percent. It is partly ballasted with broken stone and it is intended that eventually, it shall be entirely so. When this is accomplished, it will have no superior electric roads in the state.
          1904 - The roadbed and track on this line are in excellent condition in all particulars. Several improvements are apparent, along the line of a general policy of improvements adopted some time since by this company. The system of block signals has been introduced and adds a good deal to the safety and facility of operation. A good many tie rods and braces have been put in the track on curves and ties installed wherever needed.
          The bridges are in excellent order and the larger number are good superstructures on well-built masonry. Those built by the company are first-class structures.
          1905 - No special change or improvement has been made to this road during the past year, but nearly $10,000 has been expended on repairs of the roadbed, track, and electric lines. Consequently, the track is in excellent condition. Especially, this is true of the Winthrop line, upon which there is a large amount of broken stone ballast. The Togus line has received considerable attention and is in good line and surface. The State Street track also has been much improved.

The "Merrymeeting" parlor car at Togus station.
The "Merrymeeting" was a double truck (two sets of wheels & motors)
parlor car was built in 1899 by the Briggs Carriage Company of Amesbury, MA,
for the Lewiston, Brunswick & Bath Street Railway, at a cost of $7,000.
It could be chartered for $10 a day and traveled all over the LA&W line.
Text from O. R. Cummings 1959 publication, "Trolley Parlor Cars of New
England".  O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_21_130

          1906 - The lines from Augusta to Togus and to Winthrop are fine roads, thoroughly built, of modern construction, and largely ballasted with broken stone. Safety in operation has been enhanced by clearing the adjoining lands of trees and brushing up on the inside of curves so that the vision of motormen has been greatly increased. Excellent ditches have been made upon the private way and the roadbed widened and ballast added. The alignment and surface are very good.
          The line from Augusta to Gardiner has the disadvantage of a light rail and several very heavy grades but is well cared for and in very good condition.
     All indications are that AW&G was a profitable road, the company reporting a comfortable net income every year, but dividends were paid to the stockholders only in 1902, 1906, and 1907, and these totaled but $11,400.
     One reason for this lack of dividends undoubtedly was the company's policy of using a large part of its earnings for physical improvements and maintenance and there may also have been a desire to build up a substantial surplus, this accounting line was at $44,336 as of June 30, 1906.
     On this same date, AW&G was valued at a total of $813,537 and the company had $300,000 in common capital stock, and total funded debt of $428,500, including $10,500 in the first mortgage and $239,500 in general mortgage bonds of the old AH&G RR, and $96,000 in first-mortgage and $82,500 in general mortgage bonds of the Augusta, Winthrop, & Gardiner.

All stock Held in Maine
     All 3,000 shares of capital stock were held in Maine, there were 21 stockholders.
     Prior to April 30, 1907, the company issued $229,000 in 4-percent preferred stock to retire certain general mortgage bonds of the AH&G RR and the AW&G, and on that date, the funded debt of the latter company consisted of $100,000 in general mortgage and $99,000 in first-mortgage bonds of its own and $61,500 in general mortgage bonds and $10,500 in first-mortgage bonds of the AH&G RR.

Passenger Count for Augusta, Winthrop, & Gardiner Street Railway
     1902-1907, total passengers = 10,431,946
     1902 - fewest passengers = 1,192.748
     1906 - most passengers = 2,059,236
     Average yearly passengers = 1,738,658
     AW&G St.Rwy was profitable and in the "black" every year

     The earliest officials of AW&G were essentially the same as those of the former AH&G RR.
J. Manchester Haynes was president, George E. Macomber was treasurer and general manager, Leander F. Taylor was superintendent, Atty. Herbert M. Heath was the clerk of the corporation. The directors were Mssrs. Haynes and Macomber, John F. Hill, Thomas J. Lynch, Fred G. Kinsman, Henry G. Staples, and Fred S. Thorne.
     There were no changes in the principal officers through June 30, 1906, but on that date, directors were Haynes, Macomber, Lynch, Kinsman, Thorne, John F. Hill, Percy V. Hill, Charles A. Milliken, and M. V. B. Chase.

Proposed Lines
     Construction of the lines northerly from Augusta to Waterville was proposed in July of 1902 when the Augusta & Waterville Railway and the Augusta & Oakland Railway Companies were organized by the same parties.
     The former was to extend from Augusta through East and West Vassalboro to Winslow and Waterville while the latter was to run from Augusta to Oakland via Sidney and Belgrade. At Oakland, it was to connect with the Waterville & Oakland Street Railway, then promoted by Amos F. Gerald.
     Signing the articles of association of both companies were Thomas J. Lynch, Henry G. Staples, Fred G. Kinsman, Charles R. Whitten, and Fred S. Thorne. The Railroad Commissioners approved both charters on July 17th.
     The Augusta & Waterville Railway, known as the "east route" and the Augusta & Oakland Railway, called the "west line," both had their strong partisans; there reportedly was great controversy as to which road should be built. The charter of the Augusta & Waterville Railway Company was renewed for three years on July 25, 1905, but that of the Augusta & Oakland Railway Company was allowed to lapse.

Lewiston, Augusta, & Waterville Street Railway (LA&W)
     Control of the Augusta, Winthrop, & Gardiner Street Railway Company was acquired in late 1906, by a syndicate headed by John R. Graham, president of the Bangor Railway & Electric Company.
     This same syndicate also gained control of the Lewiston, Brunswick, & Bath Street Railway Company, and the charters of the proposed Auburn, Mechanic Falls, & Norway Street Railway Company, and the Augusta & Waterville Railway Company.

Map from O. R. Cummings 1963 book, "Lewiston,
Augusta, & Waterville Street Railway

     4 Companies Consolidated in 1907
     Legislation to permit the consolidation of all four was enacted early in 1907, and on April 3rd of that year, the name of the Auburn, Mechanic Falls, & Norway Street Railway Company was changed to the Lewiston, Augusta, & Waterville Street Railway Company.
     Three weeks later, on April 24th, the Lewiston, Augusta, & Waterville company acquired all the assets, properties, and franchises of the other three roads, the actual merger becoming effective as of May 1st. The former Augusta, Winthrop, & Gardiner lines became the Augusta, Division of the Lewiston, Augusta, & Waterville Street Railway Company, while the former Lewiston, Brunswick, & Bath system became the Lewiston and Bath Divisions.
     Subsequently, in 1910, the Lewiston, Augusta, & Waterville added the Auburn & Turner Railroad to its Lewiston Division and absorbed the Brunswick & Yarmouth Street Railway in 1913 to create the Freeport Division.

LA&W Express No. 506 at the Priscilla Rug Company
siding in Turner. O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_10_047

Superintendents and Managers
     Leander F. Taylor was the first superintendent of the Augusta Division, and others holding that position over the years included Sherman Dunn, Claude C. Cole, Percy E. Weymouth, and George W. Bowie.
     Mr. Bowie was a former general superintendent of the Lewiston, Augusta, & Waterville Street Railway, while Mr. Weymouth became superintendent of the Portland-Lewiston Interurban Railroad, and served until its abandonment in 1933.
     The first general manager of the LA&W was E. D. Reed, and he served until March 1908, when he was succeeded by Harry B. Ivers. In June 1912, he became general manager of the Cumber County Power & Light Company (CCP&L), which had acquired the controlling stock of the Portland Railroad Company (PRR) and the Lewiston, Augusta, & Waterville Street Railway Company (LA&W).

A reprinted map, circa 1910, "Trolleying through the Heart of Maine"
Distributed by the Portland Railroad and the Lewiston, Augusta, &
Waterville Street Railway. Courtesy Seashore Trolley Museum

     Ivers resigned as general manager of the CCP&L and its subsidiaries as of February 14, 1914, and was succeeded by E. T. Munger, former general superintendent of the Hudson & Manhattan Railroad Company of New York. Due to ill health, he relinquished his post in May and his successor was Albert H. Ford, former president of the Birmingham Railway Light and Power Company of Birmingham, Alabama.
     Alfred Sweeney, formerly associated with the Norfolk & Portsmouth  Traction Company of Norfolk, VA, joined the LA&W in 1908, and in the following year was named superintendent of the track.
     Two years later, in 1911, he was named assistant to the general manager of the LA&W, and in late 1917, he became assistant general manager of the LA&W and the PRR. Subsequently, in April of 1918, he was named general manager of the LA&W.

Construction Authenticity Pushed
     Authority to build a 21-mile line northerly from Augusta to Waterville via East and North Vassalboro and Winslow was sought by the LA&W interests, under the charter of the Augusts & Waterville Railway. On March 22, 1907, more than a month prior to the consolidation, a petition for approval of locations was filed with the Railroad Commissioners. the required hearing was held at the State House on May 6th and a favorable decision was rendered the same day.
     The route was to branch from the Togus line at Cony Corner and generally, follow the present (1969) Route 201 to Bangor Road station in the Riverside area of Augusta. From there the line was to run over private right-of-way for about 7 miles through the woods and open country and along the shore of Webber Pond toward East Vassalboro.

Four Corners, East Vassalboro, Maine circa 1910
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_21_151

     Paralleling a narrow dirt road from Pope Avenue into East Vassalboro, the LA&W was to cross the 2-foot gauge Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railroad at grade, just before entering the village.
     From East Vassalboro, the line was to run northerly along present Route 32 through North Vassalboro to Winslow, entering the town via Cushman Road. Curving to the swing north and cross the town bridge over the Sebasticook River, continuing along Bay Street a short distance before coming to a crossing of the MCRR.

Viaduct Avoided Grade Crossing
     To avoid a grade crossing of the railroad, the LA&W purchased a private right-of-way along the side of a clay bank to the east of the MCRR tracks and constructed a 245-foot-long steel viaduct spanning the steam road at a 45-degree angle.

Map from O. R. Cummings 1963 book, "Lewiston,
Augusta, & Waterville Street Railway

     From the viaduct, there was an easy downgrade to the Ticonic Bridge crossing the Kennebec River between Winslow and Waterville.

No 320 on the trestle over Maine Central
tracks in Winslow.
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_21_161

     The Railroad Commissioners refused to allow the trolley line to cross on this highway bridge, which was believed to be too weak, The railway company was forced to build its own crossing of the Kennebec, a 500-foot, four-span, reinforced, concrete bridge being provided.

Constructing the new trolley bridge between Winslow
and Waterville, 1909.
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_21_164

     In Waterville, the LA&W was to connect with the W&F (later the WF&O) at Bridge and Main Streets and the LA&W obtained trackage rights over the W&F along Main Street from Bridge Street to Common Street, near the City Hall.

Common Street, near City Hall, in Waterville. Standing in
the vestibule is Arthur L. Foster of Augusta. 
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_21_175

Gardiner-Sabattus Link
     The same legislation that created the LA&W system, authorized the company to build an approximately 20-mile connecting link between Sabattus, on the Lewiston Division, and Gardiner on the former AW&G.

Sabattus, Maine.
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_21_016

     Locations of this trackage were approved by the Railroad commissioners on June 12, 1907, and called for it to begin at Main and High Streets, Sabattus Village, and run over a winding private right-of-way for about a half-mile, bridging the MCRR's Farmington branch en route, before joining and crossing the main road from Lewiston to Gardiner (the present Route 126) near Sabattus Lake.
     (Later a physical connection between the MCRR and the LAW was established near the east end of the private way.)

Several Private Way Sections
     Running on its own right-of-way at the southerly side of the road but within the legal limits of the highway, the line was to extend on for slightly more than two miles to a point near the Webster-Wales town line.
     There is was to enter a private way again, running to the west of the highway for about three-quarters of a mile before crossing the road and continuing through the woods and fields for roughly 2.5 miles to what later became known as Keenan's.

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

     Along the highway again, the line was to extend for some four miles through South Monmouth to Sand Pond, at the Monmouth-Litchfield boundary.

Map from O. R. Cummings 1963 book, "Lewiston,
Augusta, & Waterville Street Railway

No. 332 at Day's Corner, South Monmouth, ME. Spur to
Heart of Maine Packing Company on the right.
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_21_031

Tacoma Inn
    The Tacoma Inn, on the line between Sabattus and Gardiner, near the intersection of Sand & Woodbury Ponds, was a favorite spot for factory and commercial outings. Only 14 miles from the Lewiston waiting station, there were many charter trips from Lewiston, Auburn, and Gardiner to the Inn. An annual excursion was that of the Healy Asylum, a boys' orphanage in Lewiston. This yearly event was financed by a bequest in the will of W. Scott Libbey, builder of the Portland-Lewiston Interurban, Bates College, and probably Colby College classes and groups held outings and reunions at the inn.

A feature attraction at the Tacoma Inn was the "High Diving White Horses."
The handsome white horses, "King" and "Queen" would jump into the Sand
Pond from a high platform (info provided by

Shortly after passing the pond, it was to enter a private right-of-way once more and continue on for about two miles to Batchelder's Tavern.

Bachelder's Crossing in Litchfield, Maine.
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_21_039

     From Bachelder's, the route was to follow the east side of the Lewiston-Gardiner road to Horseshoe Pond, and on through West Gardiner to the Cobbossee Stream at New Mills Village in Gardiner. Crossing the stream, the line was to run along the northwesterly side of Central Street and then along Water Street to Depot Square.

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

     Construction of the Augusta-Waterville and Sabbatus-Gardiner lines began in mid-1907 and it must be said that both were built to the highest standards of the day.
     The 70-pound "T"-rail was laid in 30-foot lengths, broken-jointed, with Weber joints and twin-terminal bonds. Ties were of cedar, laid on 2-foot centers in gravel ballast. Double ties were used at joints.
     Pressed steel tie plates were used on curves and the track was cross-bonded every 1,000 feet. Grades were light and curved easily. The overhead construction consisted of double-No. 00 trolley wire suspended from side brackets.

New Route Opened in Sections
     The first section of the new Augusta-Waterville route opened for travel was the 7-mile stretch between the Sebasticook River bridge in Winslow and the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railroad (WW& F RR) crossing at East Vassalboro on June 27, 1908.

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

     About five months later, on November 21st, the Railroad Commissioners inspected and granted a certificate of safety for the 12.8 miles of track between Cony Corner and the narrow gauge crossing, and on the last day of the year, the LAW received a certificate of safety for the .031 mile between the Sebasticook River bridge and the east end of the Ticonic bridge.

Two Years to Complete Connections
     It was not until December 15, 1909, that the company was granted a certificate of safety for the 1,100 feet of track from Winslow across the new bridge to the connection with the W&F at the junction of Main and Bridge Streets, Waterville.
     (The grade crossing of the WW&F RR existed for only eight years, being eliminated in 1916 when the narrow gauge line abandoned and removed its track between Weeks Mills and North Vassalboro, the section between North Vassalboro and Winslow having been abandoned and dismantled four years earlier.)

No. 334 on Main Street in North Vassalboro, Maine.
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_21_152

     On the Sabattus-Gardiner link, a certificate of safety for the 1.5 miles of track between Depot Square and New Mills Village was granted on July 13, 1908, and a little more than two months later, on September 15th, a similar certificate was granted for the 19.5 miles between New Mills Village and Sabattus.

Bridge at New Mills, Cobbossee Stream, in Gardiner, Maine.
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_21_043

The "Merrymeeting" parlor car in Sabattus at the siding
numbered 5 in the Sabattus map below.
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_21_022

Map from O. R. Cummings 1963 book, "Lewiston,
Augusta, & Waterville Street Railway

     As completed with the opening of the new Winslow-Waterville bridge across the Kennebec in late 1909, the LA&W's Augusta Division extended from Depot Square, Gardiner, through Farmingdale, Hallowell, Augusta, East and North Vassalboro to Winslow and Waterville; from Augusta to Togus; from Augusta to Winthrop; and along State Street, from Grove Street to Crosby Lane, in Augusta. The new Sabattus-Gardiner link was part of the Lewiston Division.

The "Maranacook," after being numbered No. 108, in a later
paint scheme at the corner of Bowdoin and Summer Streets,
Winthrop, Maine. O. R. Cummings Collection
2009_2_21_125-Courtesy Seashore Trolley Museum Library

Ten Years of Growing Business
      In the early years after the consolidation, the original lines received rehabilitation and upgrades yearly through 1914, then little appears to have been done in 1915 or 1916. The reduction in investment in maintenance coincides with the beginning of the decline.
     From 1907 to 1917, the LA&W was a fairly profitable system. Passenger traffic climbed steadily during the ten-year period and freight and express also showed a healthy annual increase.

Trolley party "Special' open car No. 63 poses at Maranacook
Landing. - O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_21_117

     Riding, much of its pleasure traffic, was very heavy during the summer months and there was a high volume of year-round local patronage in Lewiston, Auburn, Bath, and Augusta.

The "Cobbosseecontee," No. 20 of the AW&G loading
passengers for Winthrop on Western Avenue at State Street,
Augusta. Circa 1903 - O. R. Cummings Collection
2009_2_21_101-Courtesy Seashore Trolley Museum Library

     The high point in passenger traffic and revenue came during the year ended December 31, 1917, when the former totaled 15,499,524 riders and the latter was $752,796.
     The road's fixed charges were very high due to the large funded debt and other obligations - and operating and maintenance costs were by no means low. 1910-1916 the preferred stock did payout 6 percent, but at no time were any dividends paid to common stockholders.

From O. R. Cummings 1963 book, "Lewiston,
Augusta, & Waterville Street Railway

Troubles Pile Up in 1917-18
     The last month in 1917 and the first few in 1918 were a time of trouble for the LA&W. A two-day strike of blue-uniformed men completely paralyzed the system in early December, then came a number of storms, disrupting service for several days at a time.

Possibly No. 334 abandoned in the snow on the private
right-of-way near Webber Pond in Vassalboro.
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_21_150

     Many cars were withdrawn from service due to burned-out motors and power difficulties. The wartime scarcity of parts hampered the company in making repairs.
     Due to rising expenses, the LA&W was able to only pay a 1.5-percent dividend on preferred stock in 1918. An increase in the fare in June helped matters a little, but it soon became apparent that a sizable deficit was in the offing.

1918 Losses Brough Receivership - Reorganization Decided Upon
     With losses approaching $100,000, on December 16, 1918, the line was in receivership. When the financial conditions failed to improve in 1919, the company was reorganized and foreclosed on July 1, 1919. A public auction took place.
     The sale was held on September 5, and the assets, properties, and franchises of the LA&W were conveyed to the protective committee for $50, contingent upon acceptance of the outstanding liabilities and debts totaling $3,100,000.
     The Augusta Division of the former LA&W became the Kennebec Division of the Androscoggin & Kennebec Railway (A&K), and it eventually was expanded to include the Sabattus-Gardiner trackage in addition to that from Gardiner through Augusta to Waterville; from Augusta to Winthrop, and from Augusta to Togus.
     George W. Bowie continued as superintendent of the Kennebec Division, Alfred B. Sweeney being the general manager of the A&K.

Androscoggin & Kennebec Railway (A&K)
     A new operating company, the Androscoggin & Kennebec Railway Company (A&K), was incorporated on September 30, 1919, and the following day it took over the former LA&W system.
     Excluded from the property acquired by A&K was the Auburn & Turner Railroad, which was conveyed to the town of Turner for $30,000.
     The system conveyed to the A&K consisted of 145.97 miles of mainline track, 1.65 miles of secondary mainline track, 7.86 miles of siding and turnouts, and 1.86 miles of carhouse and shop tracks for a total of 157.14 single-track miles.

Off to a Rough Start
     The A&K began operation in one of the most severe winters in New England history - 1919-20. About six feet of snow fell in a month, followed by, the "storm of the century" on March 6. A&K service was suspended throughout the system.

Circa 1920 - "Jenny," possibly No. 006 plow.
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_21_138

Near North Vassalboro. Circa Jan./Feb. 1920
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_21_144

     Despite the poor start, A&K reported a profit in 1920. In 1921, 12,842,576 passengers were carried and the company also reported a profit. A sharp drop in ridership in 1922 became the trend as private automobile competition increased. In 1927, ridership was down to 7,863,810, and the company reported a profit.
     The weak line of the Kennebec Division was the Winthrop route. The last cars ran on the Winthrop line on Thursday, August 23, 1928, and the railway company began removing the rails and overhead shortly thereafter.

Winthrop Village.
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_21_124

     The company's first deficit was reported in 1930, followed by a deficit in 1931, as the Great Depression increased its stranglehold on the American economy.
     Ridership dropped to 4,824,027 in 1931. Then the state announced plans for extensive improvements to the present Route 201 - which the railway paralleled for a few miles out of Augusta towards Waterville. This would require the relocation of the track and overhead.  The anticipated expense to do so dictated the decision to abandon the line. The entire 53 miles of the Kennebec Division were abandoned. The last cars between Lewiston and Waterville, between Gardiner and Augusta, and between Augusta and Togus, ran on Sunday, July 31, 1932.

After its conversion to the "Quick Lunch" car, No. 108,
"Maranacook," spent time in South Hallowell. Here is
how it looked in the late 1930s - photo from L. C. Leighton 
in the O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_22_037

     The abandoned line still had outstanding mortgage bonds of the former Augusta, Hallowell, & Gardiner Railroad Company. Debtors foreclosed on the properties and the properties were liquidated.

1932 scene at the Augusta carbarn. Henry L. C. Leighton
of Augusta, who supplied a number of photos for
the book used for this blog post poses by the receiver's sale sign.
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_25_035

     All that remained of the Lewiston-Waterville route thereafter was the approximately 6 miles between Lewiston and Sabattus and another 1.1 miles from Sabattus Village to Sabattus Lake and a gravel pit a short distance east of Long Beach.

Motorman Charles Mason and conductor Robert Hurley
standing by car no. 40 at the original end-of-the-line, near
cooperative Block, near Sabattus.
O. R. Cummings Collection 2009_2_21_014

     The Lewiston-Bath route and local line in Bath was abandoned in 1937.

Receivership for the A & K
     The A&K went into receivership on August 3, 1940, and on January 10, 1941, the assets, properties, and franchises of the company were sold at a public auction to the H. E. Salzberg interests of New York City.
     Transfer to the new owner took place on April 1, 1941, and on that same date, the Lewiston-Auburn Transit Company came into being.
     Permission to motorize the remaining rail lines of the former A&K was soon obtained from the PUC; buses were ordered from General Motors, and with their arrival, the training of operators began.

Taking down the Lewiston-Waterville overhead after
the abandonment of the line. From O. R. Cummings
1963 book, "Lewiston, Augusta, & Waterville Street Railway

Buses Took Over in September 1941
     By late August, all was in readiness for the changeover, and on September 1, 1941, the Lisbon Falls, Sabattus, and Mechanic Falls route and the three city lines were motorized. Five days later, on September 6th, buses took over the two remaining lines.
     The Lewiston-Auburn Transit Company had a life span of approximately 18 years, with bus service being permanently suspended on February 28, 1959, after a strike by the employees.

We are still in need of funds for creating the interpretation programs that will tell this fascinating 100+-year-old story of the Narcissus. For information on donation options, scroll down this post and find the one that best fits your position. Fund 816 to help with the restoration and Fund 817 (PLI Education-Interpretation programs ) should be noted when making a donation.

Click Here for the post that has the short virtual 3-D video of the digital model of the Narcissus, with components added to the file from earlier this year (the gold leaf file had not been added yet).
Restoration work continues on the Narcissus. The Narcissus is more than 110 years old now and has so many incredible stories to share. The restoration of this majestic icon of Maine's electric railway history is but one of those incredible stories.

     The Narcissus is featured in the national Gold Award-winning novel, Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride. The "Elegant Ride" is the Narcissus. Theodore Roosevelt was a passenger on the Narcissus on August 18, 1914, between Lewiston and Portland, Maine, while campaigning for the Progressive Party candidates.

Independent book publisher, Phil Morse, holding
the Gold Book Award Winner plaque for
 the Middle Reader category for The Eric
Hoffer Book Award. Congratulations to
award-winning Maine author,
Jean M. Flahive

Seashore Trolley Museum Promo Video 
     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. 

Click Here to go to the Museum Store web page to order online

Click Here to go to the Amazon page to order the ebook or audiobook online

Paperback books are available at these local bookstores in Maine:
Center for Maine Crafts, West Gardiner Service Plaza
The Book Review, Falmouth
The Bookworm, Gorham
Nonesuch Books and More, South Portland
Thompson's Orchard, New Gloucester

Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride
by Jean M. Flahive
Illustrations by Amy J. Gagnon

Listen to a 2-minute, 30-second, Retail Audio Sample of 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.

A resource for teachers 

Companion curriculum State-standard-based units,

vocabulary, and reading activities for use in grades 3-8

are available online as downloadable resources through

Seashore Trolley Museum's website


Maine Historical Society has created eight companion lesson units in Social Studies and ELA that were inspired by Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride - These State-standard-based lesson plans for use in grades 6, 7, and 8 are easily adapted for use in grades 3-5.  Vocabulary and Reading activities for grades 3-8 along with the eight lesson plan units are available free and may be downloaded through Seashore Trolley Museum's website www.trolleymuseum.org/elegantride/
Go to the Teacher Resource Page in the pull-down for more details.

A 60-second intro to Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride by author, Jean Flahive
Click Here to watch the video on YouTube 

Award-winning author, Jean M. Flahive

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.

     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, and education programming. In 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, 28.5-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)  Click Here 

Thank You!

Theodore Roosevelt on the Narcissus when addressing
the crowd gathered in Gray, Maine on August 18, 1914.
Image courtesy of Gray Historical Society

The Narcissus as the Sabattus Lake Diner in Sabattus, Maine,
circa 1940. Photo by John Coughlin in the Kevin Farrell
Collection at Seashore Trolley Museum

L. Henri Vallee (right) and family members in the
Narcissus, when it was Vallee's summer camp in
Sabattus, Maine circa 1958. Photo courtesy Daniel Vallee

The Narcissus in the restoration shop in 2022 PWM

   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. 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
is the 501c3 organization that owns and operates the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, ME, and the National Streetcar
The New England Electric Railway Historical Society 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
In the memo: for a donation to the Interpretation programming
please write: PLI Education Fund 817
For a donation to help with the restoration write: Narcissus Fund 816
Mail to: Seashore Trolley Museum
              P. O. Box A
              Kennebunkport, ME 04046

Credit Card ***** donations can be one-time donations or you
may choose to have a specific amount charged to your card
automatically on a monthly basis. Please contact the Museum bookkeeper, via email at finance@trolleymuseum.org or by phone, at 207-967-2800 ext. 3.

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 Narcissus, then continue filling in the required information.

Click Here for PayPal - to make an online donation: you can use email: finance@trolleymuseum.org and in the message box write:
For "Narcissus Fund 816" - if supporting the restoration
For "PLI Education Fund 817" - if supporting Interpretation programs

Donation of Securities ***** We also accept donations of
securities. You can contact the Museum bookkeeper, via email at finance@trolleymuseum.org or by phone, at 207-967-2800 ext. 3,
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 sponsor:
Phil Morse, narcissus@gmail.org or call 207-985-9723 - cell.

Thank You :)

Thank You for our Current Funding Partners
* 20th Century Electric Railway Foundation - 2020/2018 - 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 is 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 advance the restoration and 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.
Photo by Patricia Pierce Erikson

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
National Historic Treasure at
Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine.

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