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Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport: Maine’s Transportation Treasure

Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine (HI)
Discover the magic of the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine. Explore over 250 historic trolleys, ride through history, and learn about the nostalgia of transportation.

Exploring the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport: A Ride Through History

Located in the charming coastal town of Kennebunkport, Maine, the Seashore Trolley Museum is a hidden gem that offers a fascinating glimpse into the history of public transportation. As someone who has always been captivated by the nostalgia and romance of trolleys, I couldn’t wait to explore this unique attraction during my recent visit to Kennebunkport.

Seashore Trolley Museum building in Kennebunkport, Maine

The Seashore Trolley Museum is more than just a collection of old vehicles; it’s a testament to the importance of preserving our transportation heritage. With over 250 trolleys and transit vehicles from around the world, the museum is the largest of its kind in the world. It’s no wonder that it has become a must-see destination for visitors to Kennebunkport and the surrounding areas.

Trolley cars at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine

 

History of the Seashore Trolley Museum

The Seashore Trolley Museum was founded in 1939 by a group of trolley enthusiasts who wanted to save some of the country’s rapidly disappearing streetcars. What began as a small collection of just a few vehicles quickly grew into a massive museum with over 250 exhibits.

Historic Trolley at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine

Over the years, the museum has played a vital role in preserving New England’s trolley heritage. Many of the vehicles in the collection were rescued from the scrapyard and lovingly restored by dedicated volunteers. Today, the museum stands as a testament to the hard work and passion of these individuals.

 

Seashore Trolley Museum Exhibits and Collections

One of the things that impressed me most about the Seashore Trolley Museum was the sheer variety of its collection. From horse-drawn streetcars to modern light rail vehicles, the museum has something for everyone.

Classic Pump Car at the Seashore Trolley Museum

Some of the notable exhibits include a beautifully restored 1912 Portland-Lewiston Interurban car, a 1920s-era Boston Elevated Railway Type 5 streetcar, and a rare 1904 Brill semi-convertible car from Philadelphia. The museum also has an impressive collection of international trolleys, including vehicles from Japan, Australia, and Europe.

Golden Chariot Montreal 2 open air trolley car at the Seashore Trolley Museum

What’s even more remarkable is the level of care and attention that goes into restoring and preserving these vehicles. Many of the trolleys in the collection are over a century old, and the museum’s team of skilled craftsmen works tirelessly to keep them in top condition.

 

Visitor Experience

Visiting the Seashore Trolley Museum is like taking a step back in time. As soon as you arrive, you’ll be greeted by the sight of vintage trolleys gliding along the museum’s 1.5-mile track.

Trolley car at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine

One of the highlights of the museum is the opportunity to ride on some of these historic vehicles. During my visit, I had the chance to take a ride on a beautifully restored 1920s-era trolley car. It was an unforgettable experience that gave me a newfound appreciation for the craftsmanship and engineering of these classic vehicles.

Dallas 434 trolley car at the Seashore Trolley Museum

In addition to the trolley rides, the museum also offers guided tours and educational programs. These are a great way to learn more about the history of public transportation and the role that trolleys played in shaping American cities.

Seashore Trolley Museum restoration building in Kennebunkport, Maine

The museum also hosts a variety of special events throughout the year, including holiday-themed rides and a popular “Pumpkin Patch Trolley” event in the fall.

 

Planning Your Visit

If you’re planning a visit to the Seashore Trolley Museum, there are a few things you should know. The museum is located at 195 Log Cabin Road in Kennebunkport, Maine, and is easily accessible from both Portland and Boston.

All aboard at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennbunkport, Maine

The museum is open seasonally from May to October, with varying hours depending on the time of year. Admission prices are reasonable, with discounts available for seniors, children, and families.

I would recommend setting aside at least a few hours to explore the museum and take a trolley ride. If you’re traveling with children, be sure to check out the museum’s “Trolley Camp” program, which offers hands-on activities and crafts.

Trolley car ride at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine

For those looking to make a day of it, there are plenty of other attractions and activities to enjoy in the Kennebunkport area. The town is home to several beautiful beaches, as well as a variety of shops, galleries, and restaurants.

 

Interesting Facts about the Seashore Trolley Museum

  • The museum’s collection includes the world’s oldest operating electric streetcar, a 1887 Brill & Parrish streetcar from Philadelphia.
  • The museum’s volunteers have restored over 100 trolleys and transit vehicles to operating condition.
  • The museum’s 1.5-mile track is the longest electric railway museum track in the world.
  • The museum’s collection includes several trolleys that were used during World War II to transport troops and supplies.
  • The museum’s “Narcissus” project aims to restore a 1912 Portland-Lewiston Interurban car to its former glory, complete with its original stained glass and mahogany interior.

Seashore Trolley Museum restoration building in Kennebunkport, Maine

 

An Unforgettable Journey: Making Memories at the Seashore Trolley Museum

As I boarded the trolley for one last ride before leaving the Seashore Trolley Museum, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of awe and appreciation for the incredible work that this museum does. By preserving these historic vehicles and sharing their stories with visitors, the museum is keeping an important part of our transportation heritage alive.

If you’re planning a trip to Maine, I highly recommend adding the Seashore Trolley Museum to your itinerary. Whether you’re a transportation buff or simply looking for a unique and engaging experience, this museum is sure to delight and inspire you.

Trolley Passenger Boarding Station at the Seashore Trolley Museum

By supporting museums like the Seashore Trolley Museum, we can ensure that future generations will have the opportunity to experience the magic and nostalgia of these classic vehicles. So why not hop aboard and take a ride through history? You won’t regret it.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about the Seashore Trolley Museum

The following are answers to some common questions about the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine.

What are the museum’s operating hours?

The Seashore Trolley Museum is open seasonally from May to October. Hours vary depending on the month, so it’s best to check the museum’s website or call ahead for current operating hours.

How much does admission cost?

As of May 2024, adult admission is $15, while children ages 6-16 are $13, and children ages 3-5 are $7. Children under 3 are admitted for free. Discounts are available for seniors and AAA members.

Are guided tours available?

Yes, guided tours are available and are included with the price of admission. Tours provide visitors with an in-depth look at the museum’s collection and the history of trolleys in New England.

Can I ride on the historic trolleys?

Absolutely! Riding the historic trolleys is one of the highlights of visiting the Seashore Trolley Museum. Trolley rides are included with the price of admission and run throughout the day.

Is the museum accessible for visitors with disabilities?

The museum is partially accessible, with a limited number of wheelchair-accessible trolleys available. However, due to the historic nature of many of the vehicles, not all exhibits are fully accessible. Visitors with mobility concerns are encouraged to contact the museum in advance for more information.

Are there any special events held at the museum?

Yes, the Seashore Trolley Museum hosts a variety of special events throughout the year, including holiday-themed trolley rides, educational programs, and the popular “Pumpkin Patch Trolley” event in the fall. Check the museum’s website or social media pages for upcoming events.

 

Contact Information
Seahore Trolley Museum
195 Log Cabin Road, Kennebunkport, Maine 04046
207-967-2800
https://trolleymuseum.org/

 

 

Picture of Mark Beale - Author Bio

Mark Beale - Author Bio

Mark has an extensive background in the Maine Hospitality Industry, having owned the Ledges By The Bay, a boutique oceanfront hotel property, in Rockport Maine, for 40 years. He sold the property in 2016 but remains well-versed in the Maine Tourism industry and has written a number of Maine travel-related articles for various blogs and publications over the years.

Mark founded the TakeMe2 Travel Guides platform, an online travel guide initiative, designed to promote tourism in Maine, New England and in other key states – by providing in depth, unbiased information to potential tourists and travel consumers. TakeMe2 currently features the TM2Maine.com website.

Mark is also currently a stakeholder in VONT, a digital marketing agency in Westbrook, Maine, where he leads VONT's search engine optimization (SEO) practice.

Mark is versed in a number of digital information technologies including web design and development, digital video, electronic design and digital imaging technologies as well as internet marketing tactics such as blogs, web properties, and other smart media such as AI chatbots for content, image and video enhancement. One of his primary tasks at VONT is to find the successful application of these new information platforms in marketing and then teach VONT's marketers how to use them to create marketing campaigns more efficiently, creatively and cost effectively.

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