During the Seashore Trolley Museum’s recent Annual Meeting, museum leaders and members recognized one of the museum’s longest serving leaders, President & CEO James D. Schantz by renaming one of the museum’s trolley display carhouses in his honor.
The James D. Schantz Highwood Carhouse is home to 20 preserved and restored transit artifacts on display for the public to enjoy. Schantz has dedicated the majority of his life to the museum’s mission and commitment to transit preservation. It was only fitting that this carhouse was selected to carry his name and honor his legacy.
Schantz has been an active member of the Society for 61 years. He has been a Trustee for 49 years and was named Senior Trustee in 2009. He served as Chairman of the Board for 31 years.
“Jim has tirelessly given his time and resources to Seashore, and by all measures the museum continues to thrive immensely under his watch,” states Katie Orlando, the museum’s Executive Director. “The most meaningful of Jim’s many contributions has been his constant presence behind-the-scenes that has helped position the museum where it is today. He has led several museum strategic planning, fundraising, and outreach initiatives over his 60+ years of service.”
Schantz coordinated the initiation of Seashore’s first strategic planning program, which paved the way for the recruitment of the museum’s first two professional Executive Directors. He has edited and published the museum’s Annual Report since 1986. Schantz has led trolley restoration projects for many decades. He served as the sponsor of the long-term restoration of Wheeling curved-side car 639 and led the rehabilitation of Washington DC PCC car 1304 and Toronto Peter Witt 2890.
Schantz also lends his expertise and talents to external transit initiatives. He is a founding member of the American Public Transportation Association’s Streetcar Committee promoting and developing guidelines for the evolving modern and heritage streetcar movement. He also is an active member of the Community Streetcar Coalition, supporting its mission to encourage government support and funding for the streetcar movement.
“The honor Jim received is not only richly deserved but is an honor for the Museum as a whole. His steadfast dedication to the museum’s mission has been instrumental over so many decades and will continue to be for many years to come,” shares museum volunteer and life member Todd Glickman.
Experience history in motion aboard interactive trolley rides on the museum’s private heritage electric railroad, which once served as a portion of Maine’s Atlantic Shore Line Railway (1902-1927). Subway cars, locomotives, buses, a switching tower and other interesting artifacts are also on display around the museum’s grounds. The Museum Store offers several locally-made gifts to choose from. The campus and trolley rides are dog-friendly.