Amherst Railway Society - meeting - May, 2016
Date: Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Time: 7:30 pm
Place: Amherst Regional Middle School, Amherst, MA
In the mid-1800s, electric railway companies realized they had a revenue problem - Sundays!
Monday through Saturday, the cars were busy moving freight and taking people to and from work. But on Sundays, most of the equipment sat idle.
So the electric railway companies came up with the idea of trolley parks to generate income on Sundays. They would buy land just outside of town, create an attractive, often elaborate destination, and promote the street railway as the means to take advantage of the recreational opportunities they created.
From the 1860s through the 1940s, trolley parks dotted the American landscape. Most had a restaurant, dance hall, game rooms for cards and billiards, and some even had a theater. Outdoors, there were gardens, walking trails, picnic areas, sports fields, playgrounds, often a bandstand, and areas for swimming and boating.
On Tuesday, May 17, Amber Tatnall and Randy Leclair will take us on a tour of the trolley parks of Maine. The presentation will feature postcards, photographs, artifacts, and maps, as well as a look at the amusement and recreational facilities available in the parks. The speakers will also explain the then cutting-edge technology that made the parks work.
Amber Tatnall is the Library Director at York County Community College and a regular volunteer at the Seashore Trolley Museum.
Randy Leclair is the Restoration Shop Manager at the Seashore Trolley Museum.
Together, Amber and Randy co-authored Trolley Parks of Maine.