The Tram

Tram History by Friends of Seguin Island Light Station – 1986

The Tram was built on the island in the year 1895. Prior, oxen had been charged with the hauling of goods and materials up the steep 150′ hill. With the arrival of the steam engine brought the need to haul coal to various parts of the island. Originally 1006′ in length, the tram’s primary responsibility was to feed the fog signals steam engine located at the south end of the island and kerosene oil to fuel the lamp inside the Fresnel lens. Donate today to help keep Maine’s last working tramway clickety-clacking away into the future.

Construction crew of 1895 (FOSILS Archives)

Construction crew of 1895 (FOSILS Archives)

Over the years, as industrious humans developed cutting edge technology, the steam engine was replaced by electricity as a source of power. This changed the characteristics of the equipment used and materials hauled. In the shot to the right you can see how the tram, now shortened 700’+, was used to haul heating oil to the resident USCG keepers. During 1926-1930 the tram was condemned and replaced with the one that exists today. Powered by a “Buddha” diesel engine, the tram continues to aid in the operation and transportation of materials.

Arial Shot 1998 (Times Record)

Arial Shot 1998 (Times Record)

Closed to accommodating people in 1949, a year after a Seguin’s keeper’s wife was seriously injured when the tram cable broke. Milli Jewett was a new born infant that survived the incident and a current member. We are working with Milli to publish her story. F.O.S.I.L.S. still uses the tram at various times throughout the year to transport goods up the steep incline. The tram gets its heaviest use in the spring and fall when we open and close the island. Your involvement as a member or a donor will ensure the continued operation and restoration of Maine’s only tramway in use today.

Working Tram (FOSILS Archives)

Working Tram (FOSILS Archives)