By Carol McCracken
The recent rash of vandalism at the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museum on the Hill is nothing new to these volunteers. According to a local newspaper account today, the Museum experienced 100 acts of vandalism in the past three months. The Museum is located on the site of Portland Yacht Services at 58 Fore Street and rents its space from the Portland Complex.
Over Veterans Day weekend during 2002, 47 windows on the rail cars were smashed in the railroad yard. The then glass project coordinator, Bob Cody, since deceased went ino overdrive with his volunteers trying to repair the windows and many of the frames as well. Plans for the Museum’s annual Santa Fest had to be put on hold until some of the more vital windows and frames could be repaired. A watchful Hill resident identified the vandal and the matter was to have been settled in court. Nothing was ever made public regarding the outcome of the case.
According to employees of Portland Yacht Services earlier today no vandalism occurred at the boat yard during this same time period; contrary to the impression left in todays’ account in the same local newspaper. Likewise, SAILMAINE, located on city property adjacent to”PYS” has not been the recipient of any vandalism this year either. “It’s painful and traumatic for the Museum to experience these events. We’ve all experienced some vandalism and some theft at sometime,” said Jeff Cumming, sailing master of SAILMAINE, at his waterfront office.