By late 1963, George McEvoy, just 27 years old, was amassing a significant collection of railroad memorabilia. He had filled the family home in Grafton, Massachusetts and it appeared that their Southport, Maine summer cottage was about to succumb to the same fate. He had to find a place to store his collection.
Teaching school in Bowdoinham at the time, George had befriended Phillip Carr, the station agent at Freeport, on frequent visits on days off. On one such visit a sign was posted on the door that said the station would be closing. When Phillip told George that the station itself would be put up for sale the first idea of having a Museum took hold.
George purchased Freeport Station, was later gifted Thorndike Station from the Belfast & Moosehead Railroad and then found himself and his friends spending the summer of 1964 laying three quarters of a mile of railroad track around what would eventually become the site of today’s Boothbay Railway Village.
On Memorial Day weekend of 1965, the then Boothbay Railway Museum opened to the public for the first time making it the first public railroad museum in Maine. Later that summer when the steam engine arrived and was put into service it was the first narrow gauge train to run in Maine for nearly three decades. All of the historic narrow gauge lines had long been abandoned.
A not-for-profit since 1981, today when you visit the Museum you’ll learn about how technologies like steam engines and the automobile changed life along the coast of Maine between 1850 and 1950. In addition to the opportunity to ride in a vintage coach behind a 100 year old steam locomotive, the Museum also occasionally offers rides in one of our Ford Model Ts. Two of the most popular attractions are the pair of resident goats who delight visitors of all ages with their antics. From a display of hundreds of salt & pepper shakers to a collection of engines that powered everything from small boats to whole factories, there truly is something for everyone in your family here.