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Messages - Stephen Piwowarski

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Volunteers / Re: September 2023 Work Reports
« on: September 10, 2023, 11:26:11 AM »
If we were to go that route here  or anywhere else at Sheepscot (or elsewhere along the line) we’ve already worked out a great solution which has been adopted at Trout Brook and on the east side of the line at Top of Mountain. Essentially, w the Railway  recreated the historic line side fencing used by the WW&F. It’s easy to install, low maintenance and looks great.

That being said, in the turntable location specifically, we actively invite participants to turn the locomotive, we don’t want to encumber photography, and the TT at Wiscasset (to my knowledge) wasn’t fenced. The pathway has already gone a long way to define safe pathways for visitor access- and they look great!  (thank you Mike!)


I think my neighbor just renovated this house. He and his father are carpenters by trade and did a fair bit of work on what already was a nice house. I had the opportunity to check it out when the work was being done and have to say it’s a great looking house situated on a nice piece of land. It’s also very private from both the main road (218) and neighboring homes.

We’d love to welcome someone else with WW&F ties to the neighborhood (wait, is that a pun?!?)

Museum Discussion / Re: Voices of Midcoast Maine - Sunday June 25th
« on: June 25, 2023, 08:44:34 PM »
Thanks for listening. Sorry you did not get to hear the Alice’s Restaurant Massacreeeeee complete with 8 part harmony and full orchestration  ;)

One more, via email:

“Had a house full of guests last weekend … and we all went for a train ride!! It was a total blast!!  You folks are doing an amazing job out there!”

Also from this weekend, via email:

“ My husband, son, and I went on the train on Saturday and had a blast. The operators of the train did a fantastic job. There were specifically two younger boys (early 20's and early teens?) that did a fabulous job explaining what they were doing to the guests and including the kids in the experience. Just want to tell you how impressed I was!

We would love to come back and certainly will! ”

Volunteers / Re: How (not) to deal with passengers
« on: June 16, 2023, 05:06:06 PM »
Thanks for posting Ed- yikes- certainly this bears further investigation, but NCNG museum has been put in the position where the damage to their reputation has been done. Not an enviable position, for sure! You (obviously!) treat visitors with the utmost respect.

I will also point out that in my visits to NCNG and interactions with their volunteers, this has been far from the experience that I have had. It is hard to understand exactly how such incidents could occur, but if there was training on what not to do (but probably, more specifically what to do!) the museum has recourse in disciplining the offending volunteer. Good training is the hallmark of a quality and consistent experience.

That being said, since our visitors are our reason for existence (by way of our mission statement), we must treat them with the utmost respect and kindness. They are why we can do what we do- and it only takes one news report like this to destroy a reputation that has taken years to build. Unfortunately negative news tends to spread far more effectively (virally, if you will) than positive news, so take heed of that.


Volunteers / Re: June 2023 work reports
« on: June 16, 2023, 02:20:02 PM »
Lunch this Saturday:

Mac and Cheese

Volunteers / Re: Trimming/ Weed Whacking
« on: June 10, 2023, 09:36:43 PM »

Are you specifically thinking of the ROW or around campus. Any specific locations to hit first?


Whimsical Weirdness and Foolery / Re: Am I a Maine Native?
« on: May 03, 2023, 08:24:16 PM »
Both my boys were born in Maine, and I had assumed that made them Mainers.
However, it was just around the time of Johnny’s birth that I first heard the adage ‘just because a cat has kittens in an oven, it doesn’t make them biscuits’.

Volunteers / Re: April 2023 Work reports
« on: May 02, 2023, 10:43:22 AM »
I wanted to take a few minutes to recap and thank everyone who came out to work on the Head Tide Trail on Saturday and also more generally, everyone who joined us during work weekend;

On the trail, we had a great team of young, very young, and enthusiastic folks who made the work easier and fun.

Saturday we finished the regular trail maintenance as far as Head Tide cut, including trimming of small brush and overgrowth.

A large dead, standing White Pine was removed from the ROW close to Trout Brook and used to cut tree biscuits for filling a boggy area just ahead of midcoast's access road. Ultimately, the reason for the boggy area is that the access road was built as a fill over the ROW and doesn't have any culverts for the ditches, so the uphill side fills with water. We can consider adding culverts here to offset this problem. This section of the RoW was completely impassible on foot for several years now, and is now passable on foot for the first time in years.

After lunch, we returned and brought the two remaining bridge frames into their final locations. The bridges will be set in their final position and decked later this week.

Lastly, the remaining unsafe bridge, which crossed the washout adjacent to Fred's Rock was removed and the trail was rerouted to go over the tail of the culvert for Rt. 218.

I'm looking forward to carrying on some additional work to get stairs in at the Head Tide Road end, but Sunday's unpleasant weather meant that work will wait for a later date.

Thanks to all who supported this effort: Jason & Eben, Josh, Ian & Toren, Phillip, Pete, Tucker, Sven & Bowen, Johnny and Artie. Of particular note here is that nearly half of the crew is too young to hold a driver's license. That was a great thing to see and I'm glad we can accomodate that.

Take care,

Volunteers / Re: April 2023 Work reports
« on: April 28, 2023, 08:40:43 PM »
Head Tide Trail work got a little head start today with help from Eric Snyder and the Piwowarski-Baron Clan.

Today the following was done:

Blowdowns were cut and cleared between Trout Brook and Head Tide Road

One of the remaining old trail bridges was dismantled, another had most of its deck removed to make it unusable (but was left in place for now because some birds were nesting under the deck)

New approaches to two new bridge locations were trimmed in and had retaining walls and stairs built in steep areas.

A log retaining wall was constructed to hold the trail across a small washout

Tree cookies were used to build a path across a wet section in the middle of ahead afire cut.

Tomorrow work is planned to include:
Leaving Sheepscot at 8:30 AM- (carpool to Trout Brook if possible)
- string trim/weedwack the trail from TBS to Head Tide
- build either bog bridging or cut tree cookies for a wet section of about 200’ in length
- carry 2 bridge frames to their final locations.

After lunch:
- Removing the last old bridge from the RoW, to be replaced by a trail reroute over the end of the Route 218 culvert.
- Install and deck the 2 new bridges
-build in a set of stairs to reach the crest of the RoW at the Head Tide Road end of the trail.

Whimsical Weirdness and Foolery / Re: Caption This...
« on: April 18, 2023, 04:28:57 PM »
Finally a place to keep all of our puns safe forever!

Volunteers / Remote Volunteering Opportunity
« on: April 08, 2023, 05:37:22 AM »
Hello All,

We have a volunteering opportunity open for anyone who might be interested. There are two places online- the Maine Office of Tourism and the Maine Tourism Association which both operate have events calendars/listings for activities going on in Maine throughout the year.

Creating and updating these listings is fairly straightforward. You basically access the backend of each website through a password protected portal, after which you enter the event information.

It takes a little time and patience, but once they are built out, you are all set.

Helping with this would require basic computer literacy and the ability to work with images. I would provide all of the descriptions, photos and information; you'd only need to take care of the data entry part.

If this sounds like something you might be interested in helping with, please reach out to me at

Thank you!

Hello all,

For several years now, Jason Lamontagne and I have been working, in the background, on an exhibit on narrow gauge theory. This exhibit will be housed in the car barn extension. In the immediate past, this location was used as a staging area for construction materials for the enginehouse. With that project moving towards completion, the enginehouse will soon be able to provide its own weather-tight, secure storage of construction materials, so we plan to utilize the carbarn extension for the narrow gauge theory exihibt and other exhibits.

While the content of the exhibit is essentially ready to go, we need help with the layout and graphic design of these elements- neither of us has the time to move this project forward on the desired timeline, so your help would be much appreciated!

We are looking for someone with a graphic design and/or exhibit design background who would be willing to help us bring this idea to fruition. Before reaching outside of the organization, we thought we'd start here, since this part of the project can be accomplished remotely.

If you would like to help, please contact me at and I will get back to you with more complete details.

Many thanks,
Steve Piwowarski

Volunteers / Re: January 2023 Work Reports
« on: January 31, 2023, 11:17:18 AM »
I want to personally thank each one of you who volunteered your time and energy to help make the WW&F's table at this year's Railroad Hobby Show a success. There were many great conversations with potential visitors and volunteers and a great time was had by all.

Looking forward to next year and bringing some new ideas to fruition that were floated by convention volunteers.

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