125 years ago, today ~ Jumping from Iron Horse to Horse

A daring wild-west event on the narrow gauge:

HIRAM: While the Mount Cutler House team was at Bridgton Junction, Thursday, awaiting passengers, the horse became frightened and ran away. At the same time the narrow gauge engine started and overtook the team at the intersection of the highway and railroad, about half a mile away and the fireman jumped from his engine and caught the horse before any damage had been done.

Published in the Bridgton News on May 11, 1894.

125 Years Ago ~ January 19, 1894

The snow train kept the railroad open in good shape during the storm and blow, Friday and Saturday, so that the passenger trains were not delayed, so far as this road was concerned, they even making quicker time than usual. But the log train business was thereby lessened, so that it has been a stern chase to try and keep up with the daily demands.

Originally published by the Bridgton News on January 19, 1894.

125 Years Ago ~ A Busy Road

The snow train has several times this season been brought into play, to keep the road-bed clear of superfluous snow, while the section men have much to do to keep crossings and switches in good condition.

Long and heavy freight trains on our R. R., independent of log train. A busy road.

Among the recent freight arrivals was that of nearly one hundred tons of pressed hay, belonging to J. K. Martin. It goes to his “Sunny Crest” farm, where he has a handsome stock of high-grade cattle–about forty-five head. The hay comes from Mr. Martin’s farm in Deering–though by no means the whole quantity cut there–and is of fine quality and well-cured.

Originally published by the Bridgton News, Dec 22, 1893, on Pages 2 & 3.

125 Years Ago ~ The Logging Train Runs

The log train began running this week, and it has a big job on its hands–and wheels. M. M. Caswell is engineer; Charles Bertwell, fireman; George Emery, brakeman; Wm. H. Morrison, Fred Sanborn, and John Hibbard, loaders. The Moulton & Bradley timber, from the Col. Perley Nathaniel Hale lot, about 800,000, and the timber, almost a million feet, from another of the Col. Perley lots (already spoken of in this paper) is taken aboard at the Darwin Ingalls meadow and Perley’s Mills, respectively, and goes to the Junction. young Bros have about 250,000 feet of hard wood in Denmark, Sebago, and Hiram, which is to go to their mills; and a considerable quantity of poplar, birch, hardwood, etc., owned by D. P. Chaplin and Geo-Newcomb, from the Nehemiah Choate lot, is also to be transported by rail. The road, in fact, has all the freight business it well can attend to, now and for some time to come. The regular passenger train is run by its customary crew—John Marcque, engineer; Oscar Ham, fireman; Paul Lord, brakeman; Will Crosby, conductor.

Originally published by the Bridgton News, 15 December 1893.

125 Years Ago; Locomotives 1 & 3 Return!

The two locomotives, No. 1 and No. 3, so badly demoralized by the fire which destroyed the engine house Sept. 6th, have been put in nice trim, and are at the Bridgton station, ready for business. Soon after the fire, they were taken to the Portland Company’s Works, where they been thoroughly overhauled, and repaired, under the special direction of Mr. M. M. Caswell, who now and even since opening of the road, over ten years ago, has been its Master Mechanic and Purchasing Agent, and who has visited Portland twice every week to superintend the renovation. The locomotives look brand-new-fresh as a daisy. New cabs have been built, finished in ash, natural color; the exterior finished in black, with silver lettering; new numbering of plate in front boiler, with circular, guilt letter legend “Bridgton & Saco River Rail Road Co.;” while an improvement has been introduced by Mr. Caswell in the manner of sight-feed lubricators, for self-oiling the cilinder [sic],–an ingenious device whereby lubrication can be adjusted to a nicety. Each machine is provided with a chime-whistle, the same used on the Main [sic] Central.

Originally published by the Bridgton News on December 1st, 1893.

125 Years Ago, Today ~ Additional Logging

Besides the prospective winter job of freighting nearly a million feet of timber from the Col. Perley lot to Hiram, as mentioned last week, the railroad has still another and similar performance in store. This is the carrying of almost a million feet of timber from the Col. Perley domain the same route, which the Saco Lumber Company have bought. There are some three million feet on their purchase, and it is proposed to cut off and freight it for three winters.

Originally published in the Bridgton News, November 17, 1893.

125 Years Ago, Today ~ 1892-1893 Annual Meeting


A Successful Year for Our Little Railroad.
The Annual Meeting of the Bridgton & Saco River Railroad Co. was held at the Bridgton depot Wednesday, President Wm. F. Perry in the chair. Some 1588 shares were voted, several being represented by proxies. The following Board of Directors were chosen:

Wm. F. Perry.
A. H. Burnham.
Samuel S. Fuller.
Wm. A. Stevens.
J. A. Bennett.
W. M. Staples.
Almon Young.

David Chaplin also received 722 votes.

The Board of Directors also organized and chose the same officers to serve for the ensuing year:

Wm. F. Perry, President.
Perley P. Burnham, Treasurer.
Joseph A. Bennett, Secretary.

The reports for the year, a brief summary of which has been given were most encouraging. President Perry submitted the following report of the Financial Operations of the Road for twelve months ending June 30, 1893:

Earnings from Freight Traffic, $15,832.50
” ” Passenger ” $11,828.13
” ” Express, $3,181.95
” ” U. S. Mail, $807.32
” ” Excess Baggage, $160.78
” ” Miscellaneous Sources, $387.00
Total Earnings, $32,197.68
Less Operating Expenses, $18,464.80
Net Earnings, $13,732.88

From which has been paid,
One years’ interest on First Mortgage Bonds, $4,800.00
One years’ interest on Second Mortgage Bonds, $1,590.00
Interest on Floating Debt, $328.41
Taxes, $116.41
Total Expenses, $6,834.82
Surplus for the year, $6898.06

The earnings for the year ending June 30th increased $5,058.07 over preceding year, while the expense of operating has been reduced $1,362.47 making the net earnings $6,898.06 more.

The new station at Bridgton Junction was built by the Maine Central and B. & S. R. R. conjointly, our proportion being $1,084.95. The accrued interest account has been reduced $6,348 and all interest charges due have been paid.

The rolling stock has been increased by the addition of 7 flat cars, 2 box cars and a locomotive at an expense of $7,000 all of which was paid from the earnings, and the floating debt incurred on account of the new station etc has been reduced $450. Over 3000 pine cross ties and about 300 hemlock have been put into the track.

During the year 16,097 passengers have been carried and 14,140 tons of freight at an average of $1.11 1/4 per ton.

Some 34 hands were employeed.

The repairs of roadway, bridges, fences and buildings, and renewal of ties have cost $5656.63; repairs on locomotive, passenger and freight cars, $2093.82; the total maintenance of equipment cost $9492.54. Of this amount $7015.05 were wages. The locomotives eat up $1500 worth of coal. Loss and damage was but 18.27 and the small sum of $15 was expended for injury to person. This makes a grand total of operating expenses of $18,464.80. The Treasurer submits the following interesting report:

Cost of Road $170,932.95
Cost of Equipments $33,592.00
Materials and Supplies $346.12
Net Traffic Balances due from other Companies $276.88
Due from Solvent Companies and Individuals $180.74
Cash $3,101.08
Total $208,429.77

Capital Stock $89,554.00
First Mortgage Bonds $80,000.00
Second Mortgage Bonds $26,500.00
Bills Payable $3,700.00
Audited Vouchers and Accounts $579.81
Net Traffic Balances due other Companies $1,088.40
Accrued Interest Acct. $2,091.95
Profit and Loss $4,917.61
Total $208.429.77
P. P. Burnham, Treasurer.

Originally published by the Bridgton News, November 17, 1893.