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Boothbay Railway Village depicts a turn-of-the-20th-century Maine Village containing railroad memorabilia, antique cars and truck and a general store as well as the 1847 Boothbay Town Hall and the Spruce Point Chapel. Visors can ride on a narrow-gauge, coal-fired steam engine.
Many months ago,
like last year, when we were planing our trip, Chris
wrote to the museum to see if they would be
operating their train rides. So today looked good
for doing just that. Long planned events don't
always mesh to today's circumstance. Due to the fact
that two bus tours switched to the next day, our
visit turned into a no train day. We then were
talking to the Assistant Director of the museum,
Margaret Hoffman. She understood our disappointment
on being unable to take a steam engine train ride.
We told her we traveled across country from the
Pacific Ocean to visit Boothbay Railway Village and
write a story about our train ride and visit.
The gracious lady offered to give Chris and I a
private, one on one, tour of Boothbay Railway
Village. So happily we were off to see the village.
The Village Green:
Village greens or commons were an important aspect of village life, serving as gathering locations for celebrations and debates.
Maine's Merci Car, 40 & 8 Boxcar: 1880.
Presented in 1949 by the people of France to the
people of Maine. 49 cars were filled with gifts and
delivered to each state capital. The "40 & 8"
draws its origin from WWI. Each boxcar carried 40
men or 8 horses.
Freeport Station: 1912.
Octagonal Crossing Shanty: 1908. This unique
structure was the gate tender's quarters at
Woodfords Crossing in Portland, ME.
Before automated crossing gates, crossings were staffed with people to hand operated the gates.
The we meet Phillip from early in the morning and his wife and they joined us on the tour.
With no trains operating today, it was a good time
to catch up on painting.
Crossing Tower: Lewiston, ME.
Crossing towers helped monitor the operation of trains in a train yard. Was used as living quarters of museum founder, Mr. George McEvoy.
Inside the workshop.
The museum operates Henschel
narrow gauge steam engines. These European
locomotives span the years 1913-1938. They are
fired with anthracite hard coal and operate with a
boiler pressure of 100 to 150 pounds per square
inch or psi. The engines were originally used on
short lines for rail yard and construction work.
The engine configuration is 0-4-0, meaning no
pilot wheels (leading wheels) and no trailing
wheels, only four driving wheels. The water for
the boiler is stored in the frame under the boiler
and between the wheels. Each locomotive's
serviceable weight is approximately 10 tons.
Crossing Tower: Bath, ME.
On duty in the Thorndike Station.
Baldwin Steam Locomotive #14283: Built Westbrook, ME, 1895, for S.D.Warren Co.
Boxcar #147: Built Phillips, ME, 1916, for the
Sandy River & Rangely Lakes Railroad.
Combine 11: Built Laconia Car Co., Laconia, NH, 1885, for the Franklin & Megantic Railroad.
Our next stop was a visit to the impressive Model
Railroad Exhibit. One of best things I saw was that
they had mounted a small video camera on a rail car
and broadcasted to big video monitors in the room. A
car level view of the exhibit.
Tompkins's Filling Station: An original service
station in East Boothbay, it now contains a display
of vintage auto parts and catalogs.
Clean and simple dash plus 4 on the floor. I like
that a lot.
One-Room Schoolhouse: A replica of the original,
made famous by the children's nursery rhyme "Mary
Had a Little Lamb," now in Sudbury, Mass.
By late 1963,
George McEvoy, just 27 years old, had amassed a
collection of railroad memorabilia that almost
filled the family home in Grafton, Mass., and
their Southport, ME, summer cottage. He had to
find a place to store his collection.
In his time off
from teaching school in Bowdoinham, George had
made frequent visits to Freeport station
befriending the station agent, Phillip Carr. On
one visit, a posted sign said that the station
would be closing. When Phillip told George that
the station itself would be put up for sale, the
idea of having a Museum took hold.
Freeport Station, was later gifted Thorndike
Station from the Belfast & Moosehead Railroad,
and then found himself and his friends spending
the summer of 1964 laying three quarters of a mile
of railroad track around what would eventually
become the site of today's Boothbay Railway
On Memorial Day
weekend of 1965, the then Boothbay Railway Museum
opened to the public, making it the first public
railroad museum in Maine. Later that summer, when
the stream engine arrived and was put into
service, it was the first narrow gauge train to
run in Maine for nearly three decades. All of the
historic narrow gauge lines had long been
Maine 24-inch or
two foot gauge was developed to lower the cost of
railroad construction and operation, allowing
railroads to be built in areas where it would not
otherwise be economically feasible.
since 1981, today when you visit the Museum you'll
learn about how technologies like steam engines
and the automobile changed life along the coast of
Maine between 1850 and 1950. The Museum also
occasionally offers rides in one of the Ford Model
This summer the
Boothbay Railway Village is celebrating its 50th
anniversary with a series of special events and a
place to visit was Antique Auto Exhibit. The 60+
vehicles on display dates from 1902-1962 and
illustrate technological advances and engineering
feats that helped make cars accessible to the