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Old 03-19-2005, 02:02 PM   #1
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Default Wolfeboro Railroad - 1872-1985


WOLFEBORO RAILROAD - 1872-1985

The Wolfeboro Railroad changed a sleepy village to a bustling commercial center and tourist resort. Before the railroad arrived, most visitors arrived at the lake by train at either Alton Bay or the Weirs and then took a steamer to Wolfeboro. Overland travel was difficult. The state road from Alton Bay to Wolfeboro wasn't even paved until the 1920s!

In the 1860s plans were being made for a railroad line to be pushed through from the coast up to Conway. The citizens of Wolfeboro hoped that the new line would pass through Wolfeboro. That was not to be the case.

“...the inhabitants of the more densely populated portion of the town became greatly interested in securing direct railroad connection with the outside world......the construction of the (Portsmouth to) Conway (Rail) road rendered the construction of the line to Wolfeborough, from any point, quite problematic. (*Townspeople had hoped the line to Conway would come through, or at least closer, to town) Subsequently, however, Hon. John W. Sanborn, who held official relations with the Conway road, suggested to some leading citizens that a branch from that road to Wolfeborough might be secured, provided that a sum equal to one-fifth of the town’s ratable valuation could be raised. This amount would equal thirty-five thousand dollars. The people of Wolfeborough were favorably impressed with the idea and soon made application to the legislature for a charter. By an enactment of July 1, 1868, the Wolfeborough Railroad Company was incorporated, to extend from Wolfeborough Junction (also called Sanbornville) to Wolfeborough, a distance of twelve miles. At a town meeting held September 20, 1869, it was voted (three hundred in favor to one hundred and twenty-two against) to appropriate thirty-five thousand dollars to aid in constructing the road and Elisha Goodwin, Jr., Blake Folsom and John L. Goldsmith were appointed a committee to represent the town in all negotiations with the railroad company......Considerable time elapsed before active operations were begun....Work was commenced on the road November 1871, ground being broken near Mast Landing by Lyford Shorey, then aged eighty-seven years. A band discoursed string music, and the occasion was made one of rejoicing at the propitious beginning of a long desired work. August 19, 1872 the first locomotive, hauling five passenger coaches, triumphantly whistled its’ was into town, and all who wished were given free rides to the Junction during that day. Regular trains were put on as soon as the stations could be completed, and the service has been maintained without a single fatal accident”(1901) History of the Town of Wolfeborough, New Hampshire - Benjamin Franklin Parker - 1901 - pp.511-512 - Reprinted in 1988 - American Offset Printers - Los Angeles






Click here to view a topographical map of the area

The Train Meets the Mount at the Lakeside Station. Many of the black and white images in this thread are postcards from the Wolfeboro Historical Society's Wolfborough Railroad Series.

Here's the same postcard in color. It shows the Wolfeboro Dock Station about 1910. B&M train meets the Mt. Washington at the new station which replaced the original three story building that burned in 1899.

“The road was not built without engineering difficulties. Deep cuts had to made on either side of the Wolfeborough Falls station and long dumps across Lake Wentworth, Crooked Pond (now Crescent Lake) and the Back Bay. The route is an attractive one, bordering as it does for a long distance on a mountain-hemmed lake. All things considered, the one adopted is the best of the plans suggested for a railroad to the lake. To one gifted with the prophetic instinct, the idea of some future connection with the westerly side of Lake Winnipesaukee might suggest itself. The lay of the land would make such an undertaking comparatively easy of an accomplishment.” History of the Town of Wolfeborough, New Hampshire - Benjamin Franklin Parker - 1901 - p. 512 - Reprinted in 1988 - American Offset Printers - Los Angeles


Postcard from the Rattlesnake Gal collection.

This view shows the original three story steamship and railroad station.


Note the sidewheel of the Mount Washington in the distance at the end of the tracks.


Last edited by mcdude; 08-06-2005 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 03-19-2005, 02:03 PM   #2
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DOWNTOWN WOLFEBORO STATIONS








Two Views of the Wolfeboro Station from the historical postcard series.



Weathervane on the Wolfeboro Station - Photo by Eric Austin


Click here to SUPER-SIZE this map

Click here to see a 1928 Togographical Map of the train's route.



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Old 03-19-2005, 02:04 PM   #3
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WOLFEBORO FALLS and the CAUSEWAYS at CRESCENT LAKE AND WENTWORTH




Postcard - "Rail Yard at Wolfeboro Falls"

Wolfeboro Historical Society Series No. 16 "The first train to arrive in Wolfeboro on opening day, August 19, 1872, was pulled by Eastern RR No. 66, a wood-burner built by Hinkley& Williams in 1871, here shown at Wolfeboro Falls."

The Crescent Lake Causeway - "WOLFEBORO RAILROAD COMPANY - Railroad Avenue, Wolfeboro, NH. Wolfeboro Railroad Locomotive #250 rolls off Crescent Lake Causeway heading westward into Wolfeboro. Featuring authentically restored steam locomotive and antique coaches. Heated in Winter. This 24 mile round trip is between Wolfeboro and Sanbornville. Fun for all ages. Photo by Mildred A. Beach"

at Crescent Lake - Wolfeboro. "WOLFEBORO RAILROAD COMPANY - Railroad Avenue - Wolfeboro, NH 03894
Wolfeboro Rail Road's unique 1885 Railcar catches a refreshing breeze on Crescent Lake Causeway enroute to Sanbornville in July, 1974". Photo by Abbott W. Lahti



Panoramic Photo by Eric Austin of the view of Lake Wentworth from the tracks. The tracks are now a hiking/biking route.


"Winter Train" a postcard by Dane Malcolm



Click here to SUPER-SIZE this text for easier reading

The Wentworth station was unique in that it could not be reached by land. You'd tie your boat up at the little flagstop and take the train into town or be picked up by boat if arriving!

Last edited by mcdude; 04-09-2006 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 03-19-2005, 02:05 PM   #4
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BEYOND LAKE WENTWORTH


Next stop after the lake is Fernald, followed by Frost Crossing, Cotton Valley, Brookfield, Wakefield (Route 16) and Sanbornville sometimes called Wolfeboro Junction for it is here that the line terminates and meets the coast to Conway line.

Fernald Station photo by Eric Austin

Click here to SUPER-SIZE this text for easier reading.

Brookfield Station (top) and Cotton Valley Station (below) from the Wolfeboro Historical Society's Series. Wolfeboro Railroad Historical Series - Card #10 (Top) "Brookfield Station, 2 miles from Sanbornville, was a flagstop. This picture, taken in the 1930's shows it in a decaying condition. It was originally known as 'Pikes'. Lester Huntington"
Card #9 (bottom) "Cotton Valley Station, about 1900. This station, 6 milesfrom Sanbornville and Wolfeboro, had a full-time agent and a freight building. The Clow Steam Saw Mill is in the background. Wolfeboro Historical Society."





Click here to SUPER-SIZE this schedule


Wakefield Station

Click here for Railroad Map of New Hampshire


Wolfeboro Railroad Historical Series - Card #12 (Top) "Sanbornville Roundhouse about 1880. This 7 stall roundhouse and machine shop burned in 1911, and was replaced by a 3 stall building. Ralph Hanson."
Card #5 (bottom) "Wolfeboro Roundhouse, about 1890, with wood-burning locomotive 'Ossippee' on the turntable. The houses in the rear were owned by the railroad. R.C. Libbey Collection."

Wolfeboro Railroad Historical Series.
#13 (Top) "Sanbornville Station about 1875 with wood-burning train headed toward Conway. The cars at the right are on the Wolfeboro track, which was to the west of the building. Jim Crimmins Collection.
#14 (bottom card) "Sanbornville Station 1895 after considerable enlargement. The offices of the northern division of B&M, plus a large lunch-room took up considerable space. Sanbornville was called 'Wolfeboro Junction' for many years. Ralph Henson"

Sanbornville Car Shops and Paint Shop in the early days of the century. About 60 members of the 'train gang' worked here.



Click here to SUPER-SIZE this brochure

Click here to SUPER-SIZE this brochure

To view any of these images in the SUPER-SIZED mode click here to visit the Wolfeboro Railroad Gallery

The End - Hope you enjoyed the ride. Please share your memories or photos of the Wolfeboro Railroad. McD

REFERENCES and ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

"History of the Town of Wolfeborough, New Hampshire" - Benjamin Franklin Parker - 1901 - p. 512 - Reprinted in 1988 - American Offset Printers - Los Angeles

"Remember When......" A Collection of Old Photographs of Wolfeboro, NH - A Bicentennial Project of the Wolfeboro Chamber of Commerce - Edited by Kathy O'Meara - 1976 - The Village Press, Inc., Concord, NH

"Rails to Wolfeborough - A Condensed History of the Wolfeborough Railroad" - R.C. Libby - 1984 - Published by the Wolfeboro Railroad. No copyright. All scanned text is from this brochure.

"Through the Woods to Winnipesaukee - the Story of the Wolfeborough Railroad" - Part 1 - Copyright 1974 by the Boston and Maine Railroad Society, Inc. Part II - Copyright 1974 by the Railroad Enthusiasts, Inc. Reprinted from the Summer and Autumn issue of "The Railroad Enthusiast"

The B & M Historical Society - CLICK HERE

The Walker Transportation Collection - CLICK HERE

Railroad Photography by DANE MALCOLM can be seen at either the Concord Antique Gallery or the Franklin Antique Gallery or contact him at dhgm@comcast.net

"Wolfeboro Rail Road Historical Series" - postcards by the Wolfeboro Historical Society

Thanks to Eric Austin and Rattlesnake Gal



CLICK HERE to view the Wolfeboro RR Photo GAllery

The Rail Trail Walking, Biking, Snowmobile Path today.

Last edited by mcdude; 05-01-2005 at 10:15 AM.
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Old 03-19-2005, 05:16 PM   #5
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Default Nice Job

Is any part of the current Dock Side from the original station?

Some of the pcitures look like they could have been from Ellis Island near the turn of the century. I guess I need to specify early 1900 not 2000.
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Old 03-19-2005, 09:05 PM   #6
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I really enjoyed that! Thank you!
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Old 03-19-2005, 09:48 PM   #7
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McDude -- another superb job of information gathering and education. Thanks to all who made it possible for you, including Eric and RG. And thanks again for the ride. Now if I could just get into my boat at the Lakeside Station, go over to the West Alton Station, and make my connection to Loon Cove...I could be home in an hour!!!!!! Great job McD.
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Old 03-21-2005, 07:16 AM   #8
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Thanks for taking the time to put this together McDude! It was a very enjoyable ride.
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Old 03-26-2005, 05:28 PM   #9
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Default Some More Pictures

After reading McDude's excellent post about the Wolfeboro RR, I started digging around for some old color slides I had taken years ago of Engine 250. I found several that might be of interest.

The first three photos were taken in 1973:







The following three pictures were taken in 1981:








Here's another photo taken in 1973. Does anyone remember this Wolfeboro cheese shop?

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Old 03-28-2005, 07:15 PM   #10
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Thanks DRH for posting those great old shots! Now that I know you can do that from slides I'll have to dig out a few for you! I received these in e-mail today that I'd like to pass along.

"Mike - My daughter scanned in these pics for me which I send on to you. I cannot remember the name of the man in front of the 250 engine at the moment. It was taken around early 80's by my dad at the Wolfeboro station. But I am sure lots of people in Wolfeboro could tell you his name...he was with the Wolfeboro Railroad for years. I thought this was a nice pic of the engine and coal car. Second pic is of Robert Pigott. Thanks again. M. P."
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Wolfeboro Railroad Historical Society Series #15 - The westbound local on the Wolfeboro Line heads through the rock-cut near Mast Landing about 1915.

Train #6 waiting to depart the victorian Wolfeboro Depot on Railroad Ave. in downtown Wolfeboro.

Decal for your luggage or bumper.

Here's Engine #250 again before departing for Sanbornville. Antique (self-propelled I believe) railcar #10 awaits passengers for her next trip.

thanks again, MP and DRH!!!!
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Old 03-28-2005, 07:53 PM   #11
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Mike,

Another winner of a post. Thanks for all your efforts. Also thanks to DRH & MP for their additions too.
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Old 05-02-2005, 07:01 AM   #12
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Wink News Article

This article appeared in the Laconia Citizen this past Saturday (April 30, 2005) It was written by historian Warren Huse who wrote the "Laconia" and "Weirs" books in Bruce Heald's Arcadia Publisher's Series and details efforts to revive the railroad.
CLICK HERE for article


From Wolfeboro-on-Line




1978 - Back Bay - Photo taken by ART on Photopost - used with permission. Great shot, ART!

__________________________________________________ ___________

Added 9-27-05 Here's a link with many photos to the COTTON VALLEY RAIL TRAIL CLUB who maintains the tracks and runs little rail cars over them! Enjoy! McD

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Old 10-26-2009, 07:25 PM   #13
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The Wolfeboro Branch Railroad Club, Inc
RAILROAD DAYS


CLICK HERE TO VIEW THIS PHOTO IN THE "SUPER-SIZED" MODE
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Old 10-27-2009, 07:00 AM   #14
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Lightbulb For Historic Reasons

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcdude View Post
This article appeared in the Laconia Citizen this past Saturday (April 30, 2005) It was written by historian Warren Huse who wrote the "Laconia" and "Weirs" books in Bruce Heald's Arcadia Publisher's Series and details efforts to revive the railroad.
CLICK HERE for article
In the future I think we are going to have to copy and paste any articles for insertions into threads. It seems most disappear after a time, which is really too bad.

Great picture McDude!
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Old 10-27-2009, 08:10 AM   #15
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Default I worked that line in the 70"s

This brings back many memories. I was able to volunteer in the mid to late 70's with 3-4 others on the line.
We did fire watch behind the steam engine during the summer, replaced rail ties during the spring and even worked on the engine during the winter cleaning the fire box. I recall the front of the engine (nose) off and grinding the black soot off the inner walls.
We stayed over on the privately owned caboose and in one of the smaller stations (do not recall which one).
Thanks for the post it brought back some very good times!
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Old 07-29-2010, 08:22 AM   #16
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Default 2 Questions

Hi

Years ago when I was young I road the railroad there a number of times as my parents were friend with one of the conductors there on the RR.

There are 2 images above and was curious if anyone knows the individuals name as wondering if this is the guy I am referring to but being it's been years since we were there last and I am sure by now they have passed away as it has been along time just wondering if this man is the gentleman I am referring to.

Does anyone know the mans name in the images below

Only one guy in this brochure but the one standing on back of the car

I linked to this first image cause was way to big

http://www.winnipesaukee.com/photopo...rdpamphlet.jpg

And this man (The conductor found out after posting it that there were 2 scanned images on same image so the lower one of the conductor.)



In fact not sure but I am pretty sure I still have my WBRR hat somewhere but being it was bought when I was a kid it no longer fits but think I still have it HE HE

Ah memories
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Old 07-29-2010, 01:14 PM   #17
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That is Bob Piggott in the bottom picture.
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Old 07-29-2010, 03:37 PM   #18
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Never mind up was busy when reply came through and missed that you said bottom. Thanks on clearing that one up.

So only need to know on the top one the one that is at the link as the image was too large to post was scrolling off the right side of screen but is a photo that was posted above.

Thanks!!

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Old 07-29-2010, 07:46 PM   #19
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Default What was old becomes new again

WOW Mike,
This Post is from before my time. What an incredible historical record.
Thanks
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Old 08-12-2010, 05:53 AM   #20
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Wolfboro Railroad hat (Child's) was bought during on of my families trips roughly later part of the 1970's most likely.
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Old 09-08-2010, 08:52 AM   #21
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Default Nice Thread

Cannot believe I finally got around to reading this thread, Excellent Job McDude and all others involved.
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Old 10-30-2011, 07:43 PM   #22
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Wow what a great read for a snowed in October's day

Could someone shed some insight on how the train left from the lakeside station dosn't seem to have enough room to turn around so I guess back up but to where?
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