Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Trains in Brunswick: March 25th at 2:00

Maine Central Railroad engine 1940
A living history of the railroad in Brunswick kicks off a spring schedule of local history presentations at Curtis Memorial Library. Local history enthusiast Chris Gutscher has engineered a four part series on Brunswick-Harpswell history to run through May. Brunswick’s railroad heritage tops the bill Sunday, March 25 at 2 PM in the Morrell Meeting Room.

Over a hundred years of historical experience is stoked by three of Brunswick’s top railroad men: Claude Bonang, Ed Galvin and Jerry Cook. Each segment will be illustrated with rare and seldom seen photos and drawings of Brunswick “railroadiana”. Also on display will be a 5ft. technical drawing of the entire rail system in Brunswick as it was in 1931, and original train schedules from the early 1900s.

Claude Bonang is the author and illustrator of “Memories in Verse” about the early days of Brunswick. He will read several poems about the Brunswick rail yards and life, and he will share his artwork.

Ed Galvin has been a resident of the Pennellville neighborhood of Brunswick for 37 years. Ed is usually identified with railroads, worked for years for the Maine Central Railroad, but in fact his interests include aviation, ships and architecture. He has written extensively on related topics both in the US and in Europe.

Jerry Cook is well known as Brunswick’s foremost Railroad Enthusiast but what isn’t known is the valuable service Jerry provides to the two railroads serving Brunswick.
You may see him in his orange reflective vest any time a train moves through town. For 47 years Jerry has recorded the date, time and number of every rail car that has entered the Brunswick yard. Over the years this information has proven to be extremely useful to the railroad companies. Jerry is held in high regard for his unfailing accuracy and cheerful helpfulness by Maine’s railroads.

The Brunswick history series continues on three Saturdays in April. On April 7th, Frank Connors will give a talk entitled “Walking Down Maine Street in the 1940s”. On April 14th Richard Snow” talk is titled “Birch Island: A Historical Glimpse of One Gem of Middle Bay”. On April 28th Fire Chief Clark Labbe’s talk is titled “What the Blazes: a History of Fires, Firefighters and Equipment in Brunswick” .

All speakers are authorities on their particular topics and the series will be fully illustrated with maps and photos. Each program will be an hour in length and video will be recorded library for broadcast and borrowing from the library. Capturing the presentations on digital video is made possible by a grant to Curtis Memorial Library from the Alfred M. Senter Fund. For more information, please call the library, 725-5242 or visit www.curtislibrarary.com.

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