In partnership with the Maine Memory Network Maine Memory Network

Maine Memory Network

Tourism and Changes in Transportation

This slideshow contains 9 items
1
Old Orchard Pier, Old Orchard, ca. 1909

Old Orchard Pier, Old Orchard, ca. 1909

Item 25133 info
Seashore Trolley Museum

By the late 19th century, urban workers enjoyed at least some leisure time.

Electric streetcar companies not only transported people to their jobs, but also to favored places for entertainment.

Destinations included popular resort towns such as Old Orchard Beach and York Beach.


2
Old Orchard, ca. 1922

Old Orchard, ca. 1922

Item 25132 info
Seashore Trolley Museum

Traffic to and from resort towns kept trolleys busy during the summer tourist season.

In an interview with Seashore Trolley Museum, Elcye Parker (b. 1914) said, "I remember the open rides up from Old Orchard Beach – the last trolley at midnight – and oh, the motorman was anxious to get home, so he drove like the devil. We’d go real fast forward, we also swayed out. Sometimes I wondered if the trolley wouldn't go off the tracks."


3
After the Theatre, Riverton Park, ca. 1905

After the Theatre, Riverton Park, ca. 1905

Item 25138 info
Seashore Trolley Museum

Streetcar companies also created their own destinations by building amusement parks, known as "trolley parks."

The Portland Railroad, for example, built Riverton Park in 1896 and Cape Cottage Casino in 1898 and then provided the transportation service that tourists needed.

The band concerts, boat rides, and vaudeville shows offered some of the popular amusements that drew large crowds.


4
Cape Porpoise Trestle and Terminal, ca. 1900-1914

Cape Porpoise Trestle and Terminal, ca. 1900-1914

Item 29155 info
Kennebunkport Historical Society

The primary purpose of the Sanford and Cape Porpoise Railway was to shuttle coal from an ocean port to the mills in Sanford.

However, by building a leisure destination at the shore, such as the Cape Porpoise Casino, the electric railway company could entice tourists from the Springvale area to use the railway.


5
Casino, Old Falls Park, ca. 1900

Casino, Old Falls Park, ca. 1900

Item 17230 info
Sanford Historical Committee

The Sanford and Cape Porpoise Railway also built a recreation park at Old Falls on the Mousam River.

Later, this line became the Atlantic Shore Line Railway, also known as the "Sea View Route."


6

"Wave" advertisement for the Kennebunks, 1905

Item 29324 info
Brick Store Museum

Patrons rode the Atlantic Shore Line trolleys for an hour and a half over the 21 miles from Sanford to the casino at Bickford Island.

By the time the casino burned in 1915, patrons were arriving by automobile in far greater numbers than by trolley.


7
Dock Square, Kennebunkport, ca. 1912

Dock Square, Kennebunkport, ca. 1912

Item 29141 info
Kennebunkport Historical Society

The American love of automobiles was one reason for the demise of electric streetcars.

As more and more people relied on automobiles, local and state governments built and improved more roadways, which further promoted auto travel.

Streetcars were operated by private companies that bore the cost of gaining the right-of-way on streets and of building and maintaining expensive infrastructure.

They operated without government subsidies.

New forms of transportation, like gasoline-powered buses could take advantage of the street, road, and bridge construction paid for by government.


8
Harry Carr's Second Jitney, Sanford, ca 1914

Harry Carr's Second Jitney, Sanford, ca 1914

Item 16777 info
Sanford Historical Committee

In 1900, the Mack brothers of New York opened a bus manufacturing plant. They had previously built horse-drawn carriages and wagons, then moved to steam- and electric-powered motor cars.

Their first "motorized wagon" was a 20-passenger, 40-horsepower bus. The development of buses meant public transportation could offer flexible routes without expensive street modifications.

Communities throughout Maine added buses -- often privately operated -- to their transportation systems, even as trolleys continued.


9
Portland Bus Company's No. 5, Portland, ca. 1949

Portland Bus Company's No. 5, Portland, ca. 1949

Item 31587 info
Seashore Trolley Museum

Bus design improved, were more comfortable, and could seat more passengers. Buses for public transportation grew in popularity.

By the time the U.S. entered World War II, Portland’s fleet of Mack and Yellow Coach buses numbered more than 80.

These buses provided transportation for more than 50,000 riders a day, many of whom were commuting to South Portland dry docks where Liberty ships were assembled.


This slideshow contains 9 items