When planning a trip to Mount Desert Island to do some on-the-ground research, I looked to the web for guidance. I was searching for information about Mt. Washington Cog Railway owner Henry Nelson Teague who was born on Mount Desert Island. (Two replacement engines on Mt. Washington Railway came from the bankrupt Green Mountain Railway on Green — now Cadillac — Mountain in 1895.)

The number of organizations that might provide information about Col. Henry Teague, his sea-faring Captain father, and his life growing up on MDI was daunting. The number of emails to send in hopes of a successful contact looked to be a chore. Then, I clicked on historytrust.org. One email to the Trust collective worked far better than I expected—in fact, better than I could’ve hoped for.

I thank The History Trust for your collective assistance in making my research trip so successful. I was able to find Col. Henry Nelson Teague’s gravesite and the Teague family Manset home that was sold to the president of Dartmouth College. The results form the basis of five new pages in the constantly evolving, crowd-sourced history of the Mount Washington Cog Railway known as the Jitney Years Project: https://coggersofmtwashingtonnh.org .

It was a most pleasant surprise to discover that your network of local history organizations had banded together to give those of us “from away” a one-stop shop to ask our questions about Mount Desert Island. And, each of your detailed answers to my queries was a delightful present to open in my email. This coalition should be replicated in other history-rich areas where many organizations have pieces of a region’s stories.

Thank you – thank you – thank you.

The History Trust has become increasingly recognized as a reliable and friendly source of historical information for researchers in locations far from Frenchman and Blue Hill bays. This is a gratifying recognition of our mission as a collaborative of stewards who are willing to share our historical wealth and expertise with the broader world.” — Bill Horner, Founder

~ Header Image: “Train on the Green Mountain Railway Stereograph,” Mount Desert Island Historical Society …view item

Tim Lewis is a professor at Northern Vermont University in Lyndon. He is researching employees of the Mt. Washington Cog Railway where his father ran steam trains for 18 summers (1950-1967).