Thursday, March 14, 2019

Narcissus Restoration Update - February 28, 2019 - Interesting Finds

One never knows what curious things may turn
up when working on a restoration project like
the 1912 Portland-Lewiston Interurban, No. 14,
Narcissus :) Photo by Ernie Eaton

The above image of two, circa 1952, "Friend or Foe" Trading Cards that were found being used as "shims" on woodwork removed from the Narcissus.

Here Heidi and Seth are working to remove
the long horizontal window sill from the left
side of the Narcissus. Upon inspecting the right
side window sill, Seth noticed there were
several "shims" in places where repairs had
been made to the sill many years ago. 

Photo by Ernie Eaton

Ernie did some online research and found that in the early 1950s, Topps had trading cards series called "Friend or Foe". A card would have clues, a silhouette, and a list of specs. The next card in the series would have the correct answer. There were 200 aviation vehicles in the series. Here are images of what the cards originally looked like that were found in the Narcissus as shims

Portions of box tops from the 1940s biscuit
company, Loose-Wiles, maker of the well-known
baker of the Sunshine Biscuits. Ernie Eaton Photo

"Shims" PWM

"Shims" were found where repairs had been made
in the mid-forties/early fifties. PWM

     The above image: ash board was part of a major order of green ash purchased for the Narcissus and delivered on December 9, 2015. The ash has been stored while it dried and is recently being used for use making various repairs or for making replacement components, like the vertical wall studs. PWM image

The dried ask is being cut
to replace the vertical
studs in the exterior of the
passenger compartment.
There are singles and

Heidi is making cuts to
the interior of one of pieces
needed to make a double.

The interior cuts that Heidi
made were for placing 
other wood components
that make up a double.

Heidi placing a premade 
piece to check the cuts she
has made.

The making of a double,

The holes are there for a metal rod to pass through. One
threaded end of the rod attaches to the roof clerestory
roof edge and the opposite threaded end attaches to the 
side sill. PWM

Here is an original double
in need of replacement. You
see the steel rod.

A couple of the new singles
on the left side have been

And three singleson the right
side have been installed.

Two covers on one of the motors that are in one truck
that is being considered for use in some way as we
work up a plan to build two trucks for the Narcissus
has specs and descriptions in Japanese. We were able to
send the photo to a Thornton Academy student in Saco,
Maine, who is from Japan. She did the translation. 

Volunteers and shop staff were able to locate two Westinghouse HL-15B controllers that were acquired for the Narcissus way back in later 1960s. They will be refurbished.

There are many brass components that need to be cast
for the Narcissus. Here a pair of brass ends for one handrail.
 The wooden rail has the brass ends that attach to the body
on either side of a doorway.

A brass bell was acquired for use on the interior of the car
A rope is attached and is pulled by the conductor to notify
the motorman. 

Seth is cleaning and fine-sanding mahogany trims pieces.

Seth is working on the newly made mahogany
sash for the large leaded stained glass
"eyebrows." One large eyebrow sits over a
pair of passenger windows. These sashes
were made by Lary Shaffer. The process
was tedious and time-consuming.

Spirit Varnish - Clear
the interior mahogany finish continues.

Spirit Varnish - Red
The exterior finish on all the mahogany
trim looked "red" to folks admiring the
majestic coach as it passed. Trim
includes sash of all forty ornated
leaded stained glass, and sash of
all other windows, as well as all

Red indeed

     Theodore Roosevelt received an 8.5-pound trout while on Narcissus in Lewiston on  August 18, 1914. On Thursday, February 21, 2019, I was researching other aspects of the electric railway influence in local towns and in doing so, focused more on the local reporting on the impact of the electric railways.  And happened upon this gem of a story in the August 19, 1914, issue of the Lewiston Evening Journal, page 5, under the "Of Local Interest" column...see above  :)

Researching is like prospecting for gold....every once and a while, you uncover a valuable nugget! πŸ’°
It reads: " No one could appreciate such a gift as was presented by Frank N. Curtiss of New York City to Col. Theodore Roosevelt. It was an 8 1/2 pound Lake Auburn trout, which Curtiss caught early, Tuesday morning. Curtiss made the presentation after the Colonel and party had boarded the Narcissus and they were waiting near the car barn to start. "What do you think of that?" exclaimed Roosevelt. "Isn't that bully?" Doubtless, the ex-President had the trout served for his breakfast, Wednesday, for this was the expressed intention when it was turned over to the private secretary.

How wonderful is this story?

The Narcissus and its TR connections continue to provide amazing stories 

I wonder where the 8.5-pound trout was being kept on the
Narcissus when the picture was taken in Gray, not long after
leaving Lewiston on August 18, 1914

Museum of Mass Transit is celebrating its 81st Birthday year in 2020! 
Special Events are scheduled  - Public operations start on May 2, 2020. 
Click Here for the 2019 Events & Special Activities for the 80th Anniversary Season, with hot links

Click Here for 2019 Special Events 

Check out the new book that features the Narcissus!
Look below to read the many great reviews!

Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride

Three 5-Star Reviews from Readers' Favorite posted on January 6, 2020
Click Here to read the post

"An eye-opening and entertaining ride - you won't want the train to stop!
Highly recommended.
Andrew Vietze, award-winning author of Becoming Teddy Roosevelt.

Books are available at these local bookstores in Maine:
The Book Review, Falmouth
Letterpress Books, Portland
Nonesuch Books and More, South Portland
Nubble Books, Biddeford
Seashore Trolley Museum, Kennebunkport
Sherman's Maine Coast Book Shops - All locations

A resource for teachers. 
     We are working with the Maine Historical Society to create State-standard-based lesson plans for classroom use in grades 4, 5, 6, and 7. We hope to have the vocabulary for the various grades released soon and to unveil the full lesson plans early in 2020. In the meantime, the teacher resource post has a listing of online references for people, places, and events that are referred to throughout the book, Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride - written with a focus on using vocabulary words and sentence structure that might be useful in classroom studies for students and teachers in grades 4 to 7. Though, there are numerous words, sentences, topics, and references that students and teachers in a variety of grades, as well as readers of all ages, will find useful and of interest. 

Click Here for the announcement of the award-winning narrator for the audiobook :) 

     Millie Thayer is a headstrong farmer's daughter who chases her dreams in a way you would expect a little girl nicknamed "Spitfire would-running full tilt and with her eyes on the stars. Dreaming of leaving the farm life, working in the city, and fighting for women's right to vote, Millie imagines flying away on a magic carpet. One day, that flying carpet shows up in the form of an electric trolley that cuts across her farm. A fortune-teller predicts that Millie's path will cross that of someone famous. Suddenly, she finds herself caught up in events that shake the nation, Maine, and her family. Despairing that her dreams may be shattered, Millie learns, in an unexpected way, that dreams can be shared.

The paperback edition of Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride can be purchased online through the Seashore Trolley Museum's store website. Books purchased through the Museum's website directly benefit the Museum and the Narcissus project. Amazon book purchases also benefit the Museum and the Narcissus.

Click Here to go to the Museum Store webpage to order online

Click Here to go to the Amazon page to order the book online

Click Here to go to the ebook Kindle page through Amazon

Click Here for the post on the ebook release video with a guided tour of the Narcissus

Book, ebook, and (soon) audiobook available through Amazon.

Click Here to read January 24, 2020 - Four-Star Clarion Review

Click Here to read January 20, 2020 - Coveted Starred Blueink Review

Click Here to read January 19, 2020 - Theodore Roosevelt Center Blog Post Review

Click Here to read the December 25, 2019 4-Stars out of 4-Stars Review through OnlineBookClub

     In June of 2018, I was very happy to release a blog post announcing that award-winning Maine author, Jean M. Flahive, had agreed to write a young reader historical fiction chapter book that would benefit the Narcissus Project. In October of 2019, I was happy to report, that the book, Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride, had been printed and was available to purchase! Below are some blurbs/reviews from a few individuals who read the manuscript after being professionally edited by Maine Authors Publishing in Thomaston, Maine. 

MUST-READ! - Click Here
Here is an example of how donations to the Narcissus Project now will help with the interpretation portion of the project. The interpretation programming will include exhibits, displays, education programming. During 2019, through generous donations to the Narcissus Project, we were able to conserve, replicate, and have high resolutions digital image files made of the original, 1910, 25.5-foot long, surveyor map of the elevation and grade of the 30-mile private right-of-way of the Portland, Gray, and Lewiston Railroad (Portland-Lewiston Interurban)
MUST-READ! - Click Here  (In case you hadn't "clicked" and read it above :)

Please Consider a Donation to the Narcissus Project
to help us tell the incredible story of the Narcissus through the interpretation portion of the Narcissus Project.
Thank You

   Inside the Donald G. Curry Town House Restoration Shop, the Narcissus is in the midst of major work as we strive to complete its restoration. With our estimate to have the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Narcissus in the fall of 2021, we are now planning the interpretation portion of the Narcissus Project. Donations to the Narcissus Project may be used in the future to help tell the incredible 100-plus-year-old story of the Narcissus. Your donation to the Narcissus is helping to make the dream of the project's success, a reality.

See below for Donation options -
It starts with YOU
Your Donation Matters
Make a Donation TODAY

Please Help the Narcissus. 
Donation Options to Help the Narcissus Project:

The New England Electric Railway Historical Society (NEERHS)
is the 501c3 organization that owns and operates the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, ME and the National Streetcar
The NEERHS is registered with the IRS (EIN# 01-0244457) and was incorporated in Maine in 1941.

Check or Money Order ***** should be made payable to:
New England Electric Railway Historical Society (NEERHS)
In the memo please write: Narcissus Fund 816-A
Mail to: Seashore Trolley Museum
              P. O. Box A
              Kennebunkport, ME 04046

Credit Card ***** donations can be a one-time donation or you
may choose to have a specific amount charged to your card
automatically on a monthly basis. Please contact the Museum bookkeeper, Connie, via email at or by phone, 207-967-2712 ext. 5.

Online Donations - may be made by using a Credit Card: 
Click Here to make an online donation through the Museum's website - When at the Donation page: Fill in donor info, etc., when at "To which fund are you donating? Scroll down to "Other" and type in: 816-A Narcissus, then continue on filling in the required information.

Click Here for PayPal - to make an online donation: you can use email: and in the message box write:
For Narcissus fund 816-A

Donation of Securities ***** We also accept donations of
securities. You can contact the Museum bookkeeper, Connie, via email at or by phone, 207-967-2712 ext. 5,
for brokerage account information for accepting donated securities.

BONUS ***** If you work for a company/corporation that will
"match" an employee's donation to an approved 501c3 non-profit
educational organization, please be sure to complete the necessary paperwork with your employer so that your donation is matched :)

Questions? ***** Please contact Narcissus project manager:
Phil Morse, or call 207-985-9723 - cell.

Thank You :)

Thank You for our Current Funding Partners
20th Century Electric Railway Foundation - 2018 - Major Gift, 2017/2014 Matching Grants
Renaissance Charitable Foundation (LPCT) by Fiduciary Trust Charitable Giving Fund
Mass Bay RRE - 2018 Railroad Preservation Grant 
Thornton Academy (Saco, ME) - Staff & Alumni - Matching Grant Challenge 2014
New England Electric Railway Historical Society (Kennebunkport, ME) - Member Donations
Amherst Railway Society - 2015 Heritage Grant
National Railway Historical Society - 2016 & 2015 Heritage Preservation Grants
Enterprise Holding Foundation - 2015 Community Grant
Theodore Roosevelt Association - Member Donations
John Libby Family Association and Member Donations
* The Conley Family - In Memory of Scott Libbey 2018/2017/2016/2015
* The W. S. Libbey Family - Awalt, Conley, Graf, Holman, Libbey, McAvoy, McLaughlin, Meldrum, O'Halloran, Salto, - 2018/2017
* The Hughes Family 2017/2016/2010
New Gloucester Historical Society and Member Donations
Gray Historical Society and Member Donations
Gray Public Library Association - Pat Barter Speaker Series
* LogMein - Matching Employee Donation
* IBM - Matching Employee/Retiree Donations
* Fidelity Charitable Grant - Matching Employee Donations
* Richard E. Erwin Grant - 2017/2016

The Narcissus, with interior back-lit, stained glass windows are majestic.
Make a donation today to help restore the interior of this Maine gem.
Help Theodore Roosevelt's Maine Ride get back on track! Once restored,
you will be able to ride in luxury on this National Register Treasure at
Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine.
PWM photo

Please Consider Making a Donation to the project of the National Register of Historic Places member, Narcissus. We are currently raising funds to tell the incredible story of this Maine gem.

Various News stories during the summer of 2015 about the
Narcissus and its connection to Theodore Roosevelt. TR
was a passenger on the Narcissus on August 18, 1914.

Click Here to See the list of All Previous Blog Posts - Index

The Narcissus - July 31, 2015. Make a donation today.
Help Theodore Roosevelt's Maine Ride get back on track!
Once restored, you will be able to ride in luxury on this
Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine.

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