Historical Society The Street Railroad 1894

Streetcars couldn't connect with St. Stephen in 1894. Above, the old covered bridge which connected Calais and St. Stephen at Ferry Point in 1894. It had been constructed in 1845 for horses and wagons and was structurally unable to bear the weight of a streetcar. A streetcar may have been able to get to St. Stephen by crossing at Milltown but it would have been a long trip for someone who just wanted to scoot across the border to visit a friend or perhaps buy a bottle of demon rum, legal in St. Stephen but not in Calais.

The original McAllister drug store was a wooden structure which was replaced by the brick block shown above in the 1870's or 80's.That brick block still stands and is the only four story structure in Calais. The Robbins and Sons building to the right of McAllister's was most recently Maineline Studios.

Fortunately even major construction projects like an international bridge were finished quickly in those days and by the summer of 1895 the old covered bridge was gone and the "steel bridge"  was in place over the river allowing  the streetcars to traverse the four towns, Calais, St. Stephen and the two Milltowns.  

The fare was 5 cents but if you purchased the tickets at McAllister's a dollar got you 22 tickets. The photo above shows the laying of the rails for the streetcars in 1893 or 1894 just in front of McAllister's, most recently the Over and Under Pub next to the Calais Bookstore.

McAllister's Drugstore was in business for nearly a century in the same location although not the same building. Back in the 1800's it sold all manner of patent medicines which cured nearly everything. Those with troubling bouts of hysteria was easily and cheaply cured with Dr. Flowers nerve pills. If the medical situation were more serious any number of tonics could be purchased at McAllister's laced with opium which, at the very least, allowed the sufferer to forget how miserable he felt.