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Call No.: Mss:724 1831-1891 B747
Repository: Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University
Title: Records relating to several New England railroads
Quantity: 2.5 linear feet (2 boxes)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: A small collection of letters, reports, and other records from the Boston & Providence Railroad Corporation, Taunton branch, Stoughton Branch, Pawtucket Branch, the New Bedford & Taunton Railroad, Old Colony Railroad Company, Fall Rivers Railroad, Warren & Providence Railroad, and the Cape Cod Railroad Company, 1831 to 1891.
Related material to this collection can be found in the Boston and Providence Railroad Corporation Records, 1831-1900.
In the midst of the technological developments during the 19th century, many corporations attempted ventures in railroad transportation. Over time, railroad branches and even entire corporations faded from existence, or were absorbed into more successful railroads. The Boston & Providence Railroad Corporation, Taunton branch, Stoughton Branch, Pawtucket Branch, the New Bedford & Taunton Railroad, Old Colony Railroad Company, Fall Rivers Railroad, Warren & Providence Railroad, and the Cape Cod Railroad Company provide a view of railroad corporations in New England as they adapted from the 1830s to the 1890s. The Boston and Providence Railroad was incorporated in 1831 and was chartered to build a railroad between Boston Massachusetts and Providence Rhode Island. The Stoughton Branch Railroad was incorporated in 1844 as a Boston and Providence branch from Canton Junction to Stoughton. The Taunton Branch Railroad was incorporated in 1835 as an extension of the Boston and providence Railroad from Mansfield to Taunton. In 1840 the Taunton Branch Railroad line was continued past Taunton by the New Bedford and Taunton Railroad. Originally, Old Colony Railroad had incorporated the Bedford and Taunton Railroad. The Old Colony Railroad operated from 1845 to 1853. The Fall River line worked in conduction with the Old Company Railroad as an extension from Boston to its wharf in Fall River where passenger would then board a ferry too New York City. In 1862 the Newport and Fall railroad company merged which ran from Providence, Warren and the Boston railroad. The Cape Cod railroad was incorporated in 1846. The Fall river connected the Old Colony Railroad in the 1870s.
The records provide information about financial statements and financial decisions, expenses and appraisals of the railroad, reports from the treasurers, superintendents and presidents of the railroads, as well as mentions to accident reports, proprietors, bonds and grants. Correspondences focus more on legal discussions, land acquisitions and fares.The records in this series are from various New England railroads. Due to their overall composition the records have been organized chronologically by year, without being separated by company. Included are letters, financial documents, shareholder information, legal issues, collaboration efforts between businesses, leases, etc.