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Vermont Central Railroad Records, 1849-1880.
Vermont Central Railroad Co. (Northfield, Vt.)
Library Call Number Copy Material Location
Vermont Historical Society Library  MSA 182  Manuscript  Vault-Manuscript 

Corporate Author : Vermont Central Railroad Co. (Northfield, Vt.)
Title : Vermont Central Railroad Records, 1849-1880.
Physical Description : .20 linear ft. (1 box).
General Note : Continued in MS Size C and MS Size D.
Summary :

Most of the documents in this collection are freight tonnage records and division allowance reports between 1849-1880. The collection contains an agreement between the Northern Railroad and the Sullivan Railroad stipulating management and competition practices for passengers and freight within Mass. and R.I. There is a legal document selling the capital stock of the Sullivan Co. Railroad to the Vt. Valley Railroad Co. of 1871. There are conductors' waybills, lumber earnings, risk account statements, bills and other financial records.

Biographical or historical data :

The Vermont Central Railroad, initially planned to connect Windsor with Burlington, was built between 1845-1849. Charles Paine, the first president of the Vermont Central, used his political clout to ensure a route through his hometown of Northfield, rather than along a shorter and flatter route through Williamstown. His successful insistence on this route produced great dissension among the board of directors, and consternation from those in Barre and (particularly) Montpelier, which were bypassed by the selected route. The branch line which was to be built into those communities was not viewed as a satisfactory solution, and many former backers of the venture withdrew their financial support.

Construction of the 116 mile line was at a considerable cost; the general contractor, Sewall F. Belknap, eventually defaulted and the construction was completed by other contractors. Charles Paine was personally brought to financial ruin as well. The total cost of constructing and equipping the railroad exceeded $4.1 million.

During construction of the Vermont Central, plans were moving forward for construction of a Vermont link between Burlington and Montreal. John Smith of St. Albans was the president of that railroad, called the Vermont & Canada, and it was completed in 1864 to the Canadian border. Charles Paine was on the board of directors of the Vermont & Canada. By 1853, public disclosure of Paine's financial dealings resulted in his being voted out of office. Troubles occurred within the management of the Vermont & Canada about this time as well. However, John Smith ultimately gained control of both lines, and pursued an aggressive plan of expansion of his holdings. By the time of its name change to the Central Vermont Railroad in 1873, his company (by that time managed by his sons, John Gregory Smith and Worthington C. Smith) controlled 793 miles of track in four states, making it the largest railroad in New England, and seventh largest in the US.

Subject Term : Railroads Vermont Records and correspondence.
Railroads Finance.
Railroads Freight.
Railroads Rates.
Genre/Form : Accounts.
Business records.
Added Author : Vermont and Canada Railroad (Montpelier, Vt.).
Vermont Valley Railroad Co. (Vt.).
Sullivan County Railroad (N.H.).
Hartford and New Haven Railroad (Conn.).
Northern Railroad Co. (N.H.).
Cheshire Railroad Co.
Electronic Resource : Click here for full text of finding aid.