Keywords: Seashore Trolley Museum
Many different types of trolley cars -- for different weather, different uses, and different locations -- were in use in Maine between 1895-1940. The "field guide" explains what each type looked like and how it was used.
At the heyday of trolleys in Maine, many of the trolley companies developed recreational facilities along or at the end of trolley lines as one further way to encourage ridership. The parks often had walking paths, dance pavilions, and various other entertainments. Cutting-edge technology came together with a thirst for adventure and forever changed social dynamics in the process.
Street railways, whether horse-drawn or electric, required the building of trestles and tracks. The new form of transportation aided industry, workers, vacationers, and other travelers.
Grade Level: 3-5, 6-8
Content Area: Social Studies
These lesson plans were developed by Maine Historical Society for the Seashore Trolley Museum as a companion curriculum for the historical fiction YA novel "Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride" by Jean. M. Flahive (2019). The novel tells the story of Millie Thayer, a young girl who dreams of leaving the family farm, working in the city, and fighting for women's suffrage. Millie's life begins to change when a "flying carpet" shows up in the form of an electric trolley that cuts across her farm and when a fortune-teller predicts that Millie's path will cross that of someone famous. Suddenly, Millie finds herself caught up in events that shake the nation, Maine, and her family. The lesson plans in this companion curriculum explore a variety of topics including the history of the trolley use in early 20th century Maine, farm and rural life at the turn of the century, the story of Theodore Roosevelt and his relationship with Maine, WWI, and the flu pandemic of 1918-1920.