In partnership with the Maine Memory Network Maine Memory Network

Maine History Online

Maine History Online
MHS (Maine Historical Society)
Header Graphic

Electric Railways and the Goodall Mills

This slideshow contains 11 items
1
Thomas Goodall, Sanford

Thomas Goodall, Sanford

Item 21513 info
Sanford Historical Committee

Thomas Goodall (1832-1910), an immigrant from York, England, established a textile mill in Troy, New Hampshire, and became a wealthy entrepreneur when he responded to the enormous market for horse blankets during the American Civil War.


2
Sanford Mills, late 1860s

Sanford Mills, late 1860s

Item 21708 info
Sanford Historical Committee

After the Civil War ended, Goodall founded another textile business in Sanford.

For decades Goodall's three sons, Ernest (1853-1919), Louis B. (1851-1935), and George B. (1851-1927), carried on his industrial enterprise in Sanford.


3
Mousam River Railroad Trolley, Springvale, ca. 1910

Mousam River Railroad Trolley, Springvale, ca. 1910

Item 29150 info
Kennebunkport Historical Society

The Goodall family faced a significant challenge: how to transfer raw goods from the Boston and Maine Railroad's Sanford-Springvale depot to their Sanford mills, and then how to transport the finished textiles back to the railroad depot.

The Portland and Rochester Railroad was unwilling to provide this service, spurring the Goodalls to bridge the gap in 1893 by founding an electric railway, the Mousam River Railroad, later known as the Atlantic Shore Railway.


4
Mousam River Dam at Old Falls, ca. 1905

Mousam River Dam at Old Falls, ca. 1905

Item 9762 info
Sanford Historical Committee

Ernest Goodall also built a dam in Sanford to power the electric railway; he built another dam at Old Falls to power the Sanford and Cape Porpoise Railways, and still another, called New Dam, to power the Atlantic Shore Railway.


5
Shoe factories, Springvale, ca. 1900

Shoe factories, Springvale, ca. 1900

Item 22151 info
Sanford Historical Committee

By 1910, Sanford's population had risen dramatically. Workers migrated to the area to work at mills that produced what were reputed to be some of the finest textiles in the world.


6
Atlantic Shore Railway Trolley, Cape Porpoise, 1915

Atlantic Shore Railway Trolley, Cape Porpoise, 1915

Item 29148 info
Kennebunkport Historical Society

Electric streetcars, or trolleys, provided affordable transportation for mill laborers, some of whom needed to travel long distances to the mills each day with their lunch pails in hand.

In addition to transporting workers, the electric railways provided new job opportunities.

Streetcars and interurbans required motormen and conductors to operate the controls and collect fares.


7
Women employees, Sanford Mills, circa 1910

Women employees, Sanford Mills, circa 1910

Item 9760 info
Sanford Historical Committee

Women comprised a significant percentage of the labor force that migrated from Maine's farming communities into urban centers to work in manufacturing and associated services in the 19th century.

Later, immigrants replaced native-born women from farming communities as the primary workforce in the mills.

Although variable by the community, there often were twice as many women as men working in the mills, making women among the frequent commuters on trolleys.


8
Railroad Car #12, Sanford

Railroad Car #12, Sanford

Item 15929 info
Sanford Historical Committee

Electric railways also employed mechanics and engineers to maintain the associated electrical systems and rail lines, such as this laborer for the Sanford and Cape Porpoise Railway Company who holds a ball pein hammer in his right hand and a monkey wrench and brace and bit in his left.


9
Trolley track work, Kennebunk, 1899

Trolley track work, Kennebunk, 1899

Item 29323 info
Brick Store Museum

Constructing tracks for trolleys created yet another type of employment opportunity, one which attracted large numbers of immigrant workers, particularly from Ireland.


10
Monument Square, Portland, ca. 1910

Monument Square, Portland, ca. 1910

Item 26233 info
Seashore Trolley Museum

Since the relatively rapid travel speeds of electric streetcars allowed people to commute farther to work, Maine’s largest towns began to sprout suburban neighborhoods and the commercial traffic in city centers grew substantially.


11
Boiler Room, Sanford Mills, ca. 1915

Boiler Room, Sanford Mills, ca. 1915

Item 21428 info
Sanford Historical Committee

In addition to hauling raw materials, finished products and workers to and from the textile mills, Atlantic Shore Line Railway's electric locomotives delivered coal to power the mills.

Schooners delivered coal to the pier at Cape Porpoise, where the trolleys picked it up and took it to the mills..

It was also hauled from the Sanford-Springvale depot where it had been deposited by the Boston and Maine Railroad.

Once the coal was at the Sanford Mills, laborers shoveled it by hand into boilers that dwarfed them.


This slideshow contains 11 items
Back to previous page