Wolfeboro’s favorite ambassador, Molly the Trolley, begins her twenty-fifth summer season this week doing what she does best -welcoming visitors and introducing them to her favorite town.
“People ask us, ‘How many trolleys do your have?” said Kathy Eaton of Wolfeboro. She and her husband Dick Eaton own the Wolfeboro Trolley Company.
“ ‘Just Molly,’ I tell them. ‘Wolfeboro’s small; we’re just a one-trolley town.’ ”
Molly the Trolley was brought to Wolfeboro by three local businessmen, Gregg Roark, Dave Hemenway and Dick Eaton in 1987 to help alleviate traffic congestion by shuttling people from parking areas outside downtown to the downtown core.
The trolley was such a hit she became an attraction all her own. When the Eatons bought out Roark and Hemenway in 1989, they put the trolley drivers in red and white uniforms, developed an historic narrative for the daily tours, and promoted special events and private charters like weddings.
“Weddings are so much fun,” said Eaton, who is one of Molly’s five drivers. “We help in so many ways, like taking members of the wedding party to the ceremony site in two trips (one for the men and another for the ladies), as well as transportation to the reception and after the reception for everyone.”
Children loved riding Molly from the start and some of her earliest riders are now back on the trolley as brides and grooms. “I get a special kick out of these folks,” said Eaton.
“When we have a bunch of children riding sometimes we’ll sing The Wheels on the Trolley… to the same tune as “The Wheels on the Bus”.
“Well, I had a wedding party on board a couple of years ago, local kids, and sure enough, all dressed up in their tuxes and gowns they started singing, ‘The wheels on the trolley go round and round.’ How much fun is that?”
Fun is what Molly the Trolley is all about. People smile just looking at her all dressed up in red and green and trimmed out with oak seats and shiny brass rails and bells.
“We’re in the business of having fun and keeping people safe,” said Eaton. All the trolley drivers have commercial drivers licenses and special training to carry passengers. The trolley can accommodate thirty-four adults.
In addition to weddings, Molly also does private dinner parties and outings; two weeks ago she took a group to the Verizon Center in Manchester for dinner and a show, and this summer she’ll be going to the Barnstormers Summer Theatre in Tamworth every Wednesday night, beginning July 11.
The new Trolley/Dinner/Theatre package includes a trolley ride from Wolfeboro to Tamworth and back, dinner at the Highland House in Tamworth (byob) followed by the show. The price is $75 per person including tax and gratuity. Reservations may be made by calling the Barnstormers box office at 603-323-8500.
Molly is celebrating her 25th year by launching a new website, a Facebook page and learning to twitter. Her web page, wolfeborotrolley.com is linked to each of her advertisers’ websites and the Wolfeboro Chamber’s Calendar of Events.
“I know she would very much appreciate it if folks would like her on Facebook (MollytheTrolley). She wants to be friends with everyone,” added Eaton.
Molly has a phone number too: 569-1080.