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Maine History Online

Maine History Online
MHS (Maine Historical Society)
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Trolleys Master Maine's Landscape

Million Dollar Bridge, Portland, ca. 1916

Million Dollar Bridge, Portland, ca. 1916

Item 25156 info
Seashore Trolley Museum

Beginning in the colonial era, countless small "flats" or ferries shuttled people and carriages from shore to shore across Maine's numerous waterways.

The invention of trolleys and other rail transportation required the construction of sturdy bridges and trestles across streams and estuaries.

This 1916 postcard image shows two Portland Railroad Company trolley cars crossing what was then the new Million Dollar Bridge that connected Portland and South Portland.

Although electric railway service eliminated the need for ferries in some locations, the interface with schooners, such as the one docked at left, still enabled the efficient transfer of freight.