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Call No.: Mss:724 1855-1866 E13
Repository: Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University
Creator: Boston and Providence Railroad
Title: Boston and Providence Railroad Corporation records
Quantity: 10 linear feet (19 volumes, 1 box)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: Collection of business records and correspondences from the Boston and Providence Railroad Corporation and its board of directors, 1831-1900.
Records Relating to Several New England Railroads, 1831-1891. This collection focuses more broadly on railroad companies in New England during the 1800s. Some railroads include the Cape Cod Railroad, Fall River, Warren and Providence Railroad, Old Colony Railroad Company, Taunton Branch Railroad, and others.
Much like the earliest railroad companies that started to take root in the 1820s, the Boston and Providence Railroad Corporation made its business ventures with transportation investments in mind. As industries were developing throughout the early-mid 1800s, transportation difficulties were reduced through the developments in technologies that broadened the possibilities in shipping freight and transporting people. These companies underwent many changes, through opening new branches, absorbing them, re-configuring themselves, and sometimes closing branches. The Boston and Providence Railroad was incorporated in 1831, and started construction in late 1832. The first section of the railroad connected Boston to Canton, with a branch to Dedham which opened in 1834. The Easton Branch was originally constructed to privately aid in the transportation of shovels for Ames Plow Company, part of Oliver Ames & Sons Corp. The Boston and Providence Railroad met the Easton Branch at Stoughton, which increased the distance of the Boston and Providence Branch by 13.78 miles. The Boston Providence Railroad officially opened the Easton Branch in 1855. The Easton Branch was bought by the Old Colony and Newport Railroad in 1865. In 1888, Old Colony Railroad leased the Boston and Providence Railroad for 99 years.
There are two series for the Boston and Providence Railroad Corporation records, 1831-1900. Series one includes a box of correspondence between the founders of the railroad, as well as eight bound volumes: three journals, a letterbook, a ledger, board of directors meeting minutes, reports to the board about decisions regarding the railroad, etc. The letters contain conversations regarding railroad suggestions regarding land purchases and business endeavors ,money transactions, goal discussion, etc. The letters are arranged by the name of the recipient.Series two of the collection includes records that specifically pertain to the Easton Branch of the Boston and Providence Railroad Corporation, which includes journals, ledgers, freight bills, a cash book, way freight, transportation of merchandise, ticket sales and way bills. The bulk of the contents is from 1830s-1860s, with some documents from the 1879s-1880s, and a single document from 1900.