Lion, The (locomotive)

Maine State Museum in Augusta


1846 Lion Locomotive; Maine State Museum, Augusta, Maine

Photo taken by Brian Bartlett

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The locomotive Lion was built in 1846 by Isaac Hinkley in Boston. It operated on the Whitneyville & Machiasport Railroad, carrying lumber from 1846 to 1890. In 1897 it was sold to Thomas Towle of Portland, Maine, for scrap and was then purchased by the city of Portland where it appeared in the Fourth of July parade in 1898. It was accepted by the trustees of the University of Maine around 1905 and in 1928 was housed in the newly-constructed Crosby Hall on campus. Professor W.J. Sweetser of the Department of Mechanical Engineering took an interest in it and researched its history and construction. The locomotive remained in Crosby Hall until 1967 when it was removed during a renovation of the building. It was transported to the University of Maine at Machias in 1975 as part of a bicentennial celebration and in 1986 became part of the collection of the Maine State Museum in Augusta.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on December 15, 1976
Reference number
Areas of significance
Commerce; Engineering; Transportation
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event
Property type
Historic function
Current function
Period of significance
Significant year

Update Log 

  • February 7, 2015: Photo imported by Brian Bartlett
  • March 2, 2014: Updated by Brian Bartlett: Updated location