Carol McCracken (Post # 2,673)
A former ticket booth for the Maine Narrow Gauge Museum & Railroad is expected to be converted into an ice cream stand – if not by the end of this summer then certainly next summer according to the two sons of Doug Hassan, of Connecticut. Located on Commercial Street, the City asked that the round red building be moved about 100 ft. east to lessen congestion in the area. Chretien Construction, Inc. spent most of today relocating the ice cream stand and securing it.
The ticket booth has not been used by the Museum for years so it was time to get rid of it. Hassan, who has a summer home on Peaks Island approached the Museum about buying it from them much earlier this year. A deal was struck.
The former ticket booth was originally a guard booth for the Pepperall Mill in Biddeford. It was donated to the Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum when the Mill had no use for it.
The Narrow Gauge Railroad was established in the early 1990s by Phin Sprague, Jr., then owner of 58 Fore Street. Since that time, CPB2 a development company led by Jim Brady, has purchased the property with is development in mind. The mini-railroad plans to move most of its equipment and build a comparable Museum on land behind the Gray Plaza, in Gray. The non-profit is fund-raising for that and hopes to break ground next year according to Donnie Carroll, its executive director. The entire move is expected to cost about $10 M.
In the meantime, they are in negotiations with CPB2 about extending its current lease to occupy the building and land at its current location at 58 Fore Street, Portland. It has an agreement with Maine DOT to use the tracks in exchange for their maintenance for the indefinite future.
Currently, the Hassan family is negotiating with Gifford’s Ice Cream company to supply the new Casco Bay Creamery with a favorite summer treat.