'View Photo' of 25 Model T Fords

1910: Ford Model T Club in Front of Southgate Hotel (Black Point Inn)

1890ca Boston to Maine Train Advertisement

CIRCA 1890: An advertisement for the Boston and Maine Railroad’s train routes from Boston to summer resort locations in New Hampshire and Maine.

1900 Scarborough Train Station

1900: The Scarborough Train Station.

Transportation and Prouts Neck: A History of the Movement of People and Goods from the 1850s

By Caroline W. Willauer, August, 2014

Part of the reason Prouts Neck was able to be transformed from a farm to a popular summer colony is due to the advancements in transportation, which allowed more people to get out to the Neck. From Oak Hill to the Prouts Neck Yacht Club is a full five miles, and the route is quite literally over the (Spurwink) River and through the woods.

The Train

The steam-powered train was a common way for people to get to Maine coming from Boston or Philadelphia, while New Yorkers would often take a steamship. Trains could move people and goods up and down the East Coast in large quantities, and became widely used in the Northeast by the 1840s. The Boston & Maine Railroad had a station at Oak Hill, which trains would stop on their way up to Portland.

Packing for a day trip up to Sebago lake.

CIRCA 1895: Packing for a day trip up to Sebago lake. (Photo by James M. Farr)

500 K Version to test  You can read the name on the side of the buckboard!  This was also called a 'barge' and would take groups to Station, Golf, outings, etc..

CIRCA 1895: You can read the name on the side of the buckboard! This was also called a ‘barge’ and would take groups to Station, Golf, outings, etc..

The Horse-drawn Carriage

The horse-drawn carriage allowed for families and their luggage to travel overland from the train station at Oak Hill, through the marsh and down the hill past today’s Scarborough Fire Station, and finally flattening out for the last mile to Prouts. In America, 1850 to 1910 is known as the era of the carriage, and this time coincides with the hotel era at Prouts Neck.

The Checkley House Hotel was at one point the largest hotel at Prouts Neck, and it ran a buckboard carriage from the train station to the Checkley, which many visitors would use. Nearly all of the hotels had stables and carriage houses, which means they also had smaller scale carriages, probably buggies, to move people and goods around the Neck.

The Trolley

1901ca Trolley Scarborough

CIRCA 1901: The electric trolley which ran from Portland to Scarborough.

The electric streetcar, also known as a tram or trolley, was invented in Germany in the 1880s and reached Scarborough by 1900. This was a way for people to get around within urban areas, instead of taking a horse-drawn carriage. The advent of electrified rails allowed for the trolleys to run on tracks powered by electricity.

1912 Trolley Map Portland Maine (Hay's Book) (Becky Buyers)

1912: Trolley Map from Hay’s Guide to Portland Maine

“Some time after Portland became electrified in the 1880s, the horse cars were converted to electrics or “trolleys.” By the early 1900s, electricity came to Scarborough and trolley service soon followed. Like the railroads, trolley lines connected with one another, allowing passengers to travel greater distances. People could live in the smaller towns outside of Portland, yet be able to work or shop in the city. The trolleys also allowed residents to visit area amusement parks and beaches for pleasure at an affordable cost. For a period of thirty years, the Portland Railroad Company provided Scarborough with frequent and convenient rail service to Portland, Old Orchard Beach and Saco following what is now Route 1.”

–Excerpted from Maine Memory Network

1903  Auto owned by John Meeker - Guest Atlantic House

1903: This 1903 Ford automobile belonged to John Meeker, a summer guest at the Atlantic House.

The Car

1912 George Hannaford Chauffeur and Arthur B Homer Auto

1912: Chauffer George Hannaford stands with Arthur Benson Homer’s automobile.

1915ca Arthur B Homer with Boat on Car

CIRCA 1915: Arthur Benson Homer uses his car to bring his canoe down to the boat house (later PNYC).

Henry Ford may have made the car more widely available and affordable after introducing the assembly line in 1913, but automobiles showed up in Prouts much earlier. In 1903, a guest at the Atlantic House showed up in his brand new Ford.

On June 26, 1910, just two years after the first Model T was produced, the Ford Auto Club of Portland held its inaugural caravan from Portland out to Prouts Neck. The club took a photo of its members and their 22 Model T Fords on the lawn of the Southgate Hotel (today’s Black Point Inn), as seen at the top of this page.

The Airplane

As with the automobile, the summer residents of Prouts Neck purchased and used airplanes in the nascent years of the flying age.

This was a very popular form of transport and exercise before automobiles. (Web-MHS)

CIRCA 1895: Bicyclists in front of the Checkley House Hotel. (Photo from the Maine Historical Society website)

2013-07-15 Riding bikes from PNYC (Caroline Willauer)

JULY 2013: Saylor Willauer and Annalisa Kristofferson leaving sailing class on their bikes.

The Bicycle

Perhaps the earliest vehicle used for individual transport and recreation at Prouts Neck was the bicycle, which remains today the easiest and quickest way to go to the beach club for lunch after a tennis lesson, and everywhere in between.

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