DEAR SUN SPOTS: I believe Lewiston once had trolleys, when and how did it come to an end? I definitely remember a train station in Danville, we used to go there to greet relatives coming for a visit. Just curious of its history.

Lastly, you had a recent letter about opossums. Growing up in Lewiston we never saw any. Last week I saw a dead one on the side of the road and one ran across the road on another morning. How did they come to migrate here and how long have they been here? I believe they are marsupials, which I didn’t think we had the right climate. — Curious, Lewiston. 

ANSWER: To address your second question first (because it’s easier to answer), you’re right in that opossums are relatively new to Maine. The breed we see here is the Virginia opossum, according to information the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife published on its website. They migrated toward the northeast from the southeastern part of the U.S. earlier in the 1900s, and still tend to be more common in the southern part of the state where winters are a just a tad more mild. They are the only native marsupial in North America.

As for trolleys in Lewiston, Sun Spots could write many columns on the subject, but will attempt to keep it brief. Trolleys hold an esteemed place in Lewiston’s transportation history. Trolleys were one of the first forms of mass public transportation within, and sometimes connecting, urban areas. The first trolleys in the U.S. were horse drawn, and became popular in the last quarter century of the 1800s. By the end of that century, the electric streetcar began taking over. These ran on track systems, much like trains, but instead of running on coal or steam power, they were attached to electric lines that ran above the tracks and provided power to move the trolley cars about the city.

Electric trolleys were actually owned and run by the electric companies. All of the interurban trolleys that passed by stopped at Danville Junction, which was also the site of an electric substation.

Trolleys saw a decline in riders with the increased popularity of the automobile, and the Great Depression was the final nail in the coffin for many of the old trolley companies. Most disappeared completely in the 1940s, with a few lingering on another decade or so in other cities.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Do you have any info regarding the closing of Edward’s Restaurant? A friend and I were very disappointed to find Edward’s closed today. It was our favorite place to go for lunch when in L/A. — No Name, No Town.

ANSWER: Edward’s had been a staple in the L/A community for the last 50 or so years, but changed ownership a couple of years ago. In early May, Edward’s closed its doors for good. There are no current plans to reopen.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: My wife and I look forward to reading Sun Spots every day. I wanted to take a minute to thank Game Warden Brock Clukey for stopping to help me change a tire on my four-wheeler trailer in Mexico this morning. His help was greatly appreciated. —  Butch, Rumford.

Use the QR code to go to Sun Spots online for additional information and links. This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can be emailed to [email protected], tweeted @SJ_SunSpots or posted on the Sun Spots Facebook page at facebook.com/SunJournalSunSpots. This column can also be read online at sunjournal.com/sunspots. We’ve joined Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/sj_sunspots.


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