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Special Collections: Guide to the Maine Central Railroad Company Records

Arranged and described by Brenda Howitson Steeves
Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Department
September 2004
 
Introduction and Summary Information
 
Collection Title: Maine Central Railroad Company Records.
Dates of the Collection: 1850-1963 (inclusive); 1880-1920 (bulk).
Provenance: Gift of Guilford Transportation Industries in 1984; purchases in 2002-2004.
Collection Number: MS 309.
Box Numbers: 1-11 (formerly Ledgers M285, M285a, new accessions 2002-0705e, 2002-0729d, 2002-0801c, 2003-0128c, 2003-0206b, 2004-0421c, 2004-0513d).
Size and Arrangement: The collection consists of 10 archival record cartons and one document box of material (15 cubic feet) + 55.5 linear feet of ledgers.
Conservation Note: The collection has been re-housed in acid-free folders and boxes. Documents have been surface cleaned as needed and metal fasteners removed.
Preferred Citation: Maine Central Railroad Company Records, Special Collections, Raymond H. Fogler Library, University of Maine.
Restrictions on Access and Use: Kept at Fogler Library's offsite storage facility. One week's notice required for retrieval.
 

History
 
The collection contains records of the Maine Central Railroad Company, at one time the largest railroad in New England.
 
The company was chartered in 1856 and began operating in 1862 with the consolidation of the Androscoggin & Kennebec Railroad Company and the Penobscot & Kennebec Railroad Company. Its tracks ran from Danville Junction to Bangor, a distance of about 100 miles. The company continued its expansion by leasing or acquiring track and facilities of other railroads, including the Dexter & Newport in 1869, the Portland & Kennebec and the Somerset & Kennebec in 1870, the Leeds & Farmington in 1871, the European & North American in 1882, and the Portland & Ogdensburg Railroad with its Mountain Subdivision through Crawford Notch, New Hampshire, in 1888. The Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad was acquired in 1911 and the Bridgton and Saco River in 1912. By 1917, when the United States Railway Administration took over operation of U.S. railroads, the Maine Central had a 1,358 mile system, with tracks through the White Mountains of New Hampshire to St. Johnsbury, Vermont and into Quebec.
 
At various times in its history, Maine Central became involved in other ventures that were in some way associated with the railroad business. With its acquisition of the Somerset Railway Company in 1911, it also acquired the Mt. Kineo House on Moosehead Lake, and in 1912 it purchased the capital stock of the Ricker Hotel Company which owned the Hotel SamOset in Rockland. At its peak, the company also had trucking and bus subsidiaries, as well as steamboats and coastal ferries. In 1933 it entered into joint management with the Boston & Maine and started regular air service between Boston and Bangor under the name Boston-Maine Airways Inc.
 
The 1920’s and 1930’s also brought increased competition from trucks and cars and the growth of the Maine Central slowed considerably. It made few additional acquisitions and discontinued many of its routes and services. In 1927 it ended its ferry service and by 1931 had discontinued its steamers. The company razed the main building of the Mt. Kineo House in 1938 due to declining business but continued to operate the SamOset until 1941, when it got out of the hotel business entirely. By 1943 Maine Central had also substantially reduced its holdings in its airline, renamed Northeast Airlines in 1940. In 1956 its bus service was sold to the Greyhound Corporation, and in 1960 it discontinued passenger service on its trains.
 
In 1980 the Maine Central was purchased by U.S. Filter Corporation; in 1981 this company was acquired by Ashland Oil Company which subsequently sold the Maine Central to Guilford Transportation Industries, Inc. Since 1987 the company has continued to operate under Guilford control as the Springfield Terminal Railway’s District No. One.
 
 

Scope and Content Note
 
The collection contains records of the Maine Central Railroad Company and some of its subsidiary companies. The collection is arranged in two series: I. Executive and administrative records and II. Records of subsidiaries and ancillary companies.
 
Series I includes minutes of meetings, correspondence of various company officials, personnel and financial records, and general administrative records. The series begins with minutes of meetings of the Board of Directors, 1872-1927. It continues with incoming and outgoing correspondence of company presidents George E.B. Jackson, Arthur Sewall and Franklin A. Wilson. This correspondence is arranged by date and then alphabetically by correspondent. Also found here is correspondence, 1875-1892, to William Putnam, a Portland attorney, much of it from the president of the company about land and bond purchases. Putnam’s papers concerning the Profile and Franconia Notch Railroad Company and the Coos Railroad are also included.
 
The largest part of this series contains correspondence of the vice president and general manager of the railroad. Incoming correspondence is primarily to George F. Evans and then Morris McDonald. McDonald’s correspondence is arranged in broad subject categories, each of which was assigned a D number, with the largest amount of material concerning fires and fire insurance policies, gas supplies, votes of the board of directors, the company’s steamships, and telephone poles and electric lines on its properties. The copies of outgoing correspondence date from 1875 to 1921. Also included here is incoming correspondence, 1908-1922, to Theo L. Dunn, Assistant to the Vice President and General Manager. Each piece of Dunn’s correspondence has a box and document number assigned by the company; typical correspondents are company officials and customers and subjects include leases, agreements, and building projects.
 
Smaller amounts of correspondence of the general manager, the federal manager, the general superintendent, the superintendent of transportation and the chief engineer are also found in this series. A small group of materials received by the auditor’s department and primarily including memoranda of agreement and information about stocks and contracts is included. Personnel records encompass records of employee exams, 1923-1963, discipline record books, 1897-1914, and lists of discharged employees, 1897-1918. Financial records are primarily from the Maintenance of Way Department and the Engineering Department and report monthly expenditures and bills paid.
 
General administrative records include fire and accident reports, mail train failures, requisitions, and freight receipts.
 
Series II contains ledgers from various subsidiary companies. It includes financial information from the Eastern Maine Railway Company, 1882-1883; an inventory of property, 1882, of the European and North American Railway; and financial information from the Maine Railways Companies. Also included is outgoing correspondence from the Portland and Rumford Falls Railway, the Portland, Mt. Desert and Machias Steamboat Company, the Portland Terminal Company, the Ricker Hotel Company, the Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad, and the Washington County Railroad Company.
 

Box List
 
Please note: All items listed as Ledger(s) are kept in wall storage area.
 
Series I: Executive and administrative records
 
Ledgers Records of the Board of Directors, Vol. 1-8, Oct. 28, 1872- Dec. 30, 1927
 
Records of President
 
Box 1
 
Folder
 
1-6 Incoming correspondence to Geo. E.B. Jackson, Aug., 1883-Apr., 1884
7-21 Incoming correspondence to Arthur Sewall, 1887, 1889-1892
 
Box 2
 
1 Incoming correspondence to Arthur Sewall, 1887-1891, re Portland Union Railway Station Co.
2-18 Incoming correspondence to Franklin A. Wilson, 1894-1898
Ledger President’s letters, May 28, ‘6-June 17, ‘9 [outgoing]
Ledger Franklin A. Wilson, President, July 23, 1896-June 30, 1899 [outgoing]
 
Box 3
 
1-2 General incoming executive correspondence, 1850’s-1926, 1947, undated
3-4 Correspondence to William L. Putnam, 1875-1892
5 Putnam papers re Profile and Franconia Notch Railroad Co., 1883-1890
6 Putnam papers re Coos Railroad, 1890
7 Documents concerning Somerset Railway Co., 1882-1926, undated
8 Correspondence re Allagash Falls land, 1901-1910 + photo of Falls
 
Correspondence of Vice President and General Manager
 
9-10 Correspondence of George F. Evans, General Manager, 1898-1907
11 Legislative matters, correspondence and documents, 1900-1907
12 Indexes to fire insurance correspondence, 1903-1905
13-14 Fire insurance correspondence (spark insurance), 1905-1908
15 Index to fire insurance correspondence, 1908, no. 1-145
16-22 Fire insurance correspondence, 1908, no. 1-119 (D197)

Correspondence of Vice President and General Manager cont.
 
Box 4
 
Folder
 
1-6 Fire insurance correspondence, 1908, no. 120-145 (D197)
7 Index to fire insurance correspondence, 1909, no. 1-123 (D197)
8-19 Fire insurance correspondence, 1909, no. 1-122, unnumbered (D197)
20 Index to fire insurance correspondence, 1910, no. 1-106 (D197)
21-23 Fire insurance correspondence, 1910, no. 1-15 (D197)
 
Box 5
 
1-6 Fire insurance correspondence, 1910-1911, no. 16-106 (D197)
7 Photographs of fire(s), 1909-1910?
8 Correspondence concerning gas, 1908-1910 (D198)
9-13 Correspondence concerning records of votes, Directors’ meetings,
1905, 1908-1911 (D234)
14-19 Correspondence, 1908-1910 (D318-D349)
 
Ledgers Outgoing correspondence from Payson Tucker, Supt., May 1, 1875-June 15, 1882 (6 vols.)
Ledgers Outgoing correspondence from V.P. & General Manager, June 17, 1883-May 6, 1896
Ledgers Outgoing correspondence from V.P. & General Manager, Mar. 17, 1897-June 14, 1897 (3 vols.)
Ledgers Outgoing correspondence from V.P. & General Manager, Mar. 14, 1898-Dec. 3, 1900
Ledgers Outgoing correspondence from V.P. & General Manager, Apr. 3, 1901-Nov. 26, 1901
Ledgers Outgoing correspondence from V.P. & General Manager, Sept. 17, 1902-Mar. 4, 1903
Ledgers Outgoing correspondence from V.P. & General Manager, Oct. 21, 1905-Oct. 10, 1906
Ledgers Outgoing correspondence from V.P. & General Manager, Jan. 8, 1907-Feb. 6, 1907
Ledgers Outgoing correspondence from V.P. & General Manager, July 8, 1907-Jan. 11, 1911
Ledgers Outgoing correspondence from V.P. & General Manager, Mar. 18, 1911-May 12, 1911
Ledgers Outgoing correspondence from V.P. & General Manager, Dec. 12, 1911-May 9, 1913
Ledgers Index to letter books, 1910?-1913 (4 vols.)

Correspondence of Vice President and General Manager cont.
 
Ledgers Outgoing correspondence from V.P. & General Manager, Mar. 2, 1920-Apr. 16, 1920
Ledgers Outgoing correspondence from V.P. & General Manager, June 5, 1920-May 27, 1921
Ledger Clerk’s letters, Dec. 31, 1902-Sept. 20, 1910 (1 vol.)
Ledgers Personal (?) letters of Geo. F. Evans, July, 1897-Sept., 1907 (6 vols.)
Ledger Personal (?) letters of D.C. Douglass, Dec., 1911-Feb., 1921 (1 vol.)
 
Box 6
 
Folder
 
1-2 Incoming correspondence to Theo L. Dunn, Chief Engineer, Mar. 4, 1908-Nov. 19, 1912, no. 1-150
3-20 Incoming correspondence to Theo L. Dunn, Assistant to Vice President and General Manager, Nov. 19, 1912-June 3, 1913, no, 151-1500
 
Box 7
 
1-3 Incoming correspondence to Theo L. Dunn, Aug. 12-Sept. 22, 1913, no. 2101-2400
4-20 Incoming correspondence to Theo L. Dunn, Nov. 7, 1914-July 17, 1915, no. 1-1525
 
Box 8
 
1-9 Incoming correspondence to Theo L. Dunn, July 18-Dec. 14, 1915, no. 1525½-3000
10-15 Incoming correspondence to Theo L. Dunn, July 3-Oct. 16, 1916, no. 3501-4100
16-20 Incoming correspondence to Theo L. Dunn, Dec. 11, 1916-Mar. 30, 1917, no. 4351-4750
 
Box 9
 
1-8 Incoming correspondence to Theo L. Dunn, May 9-Oct. 17, 1917, no. 4930½, 1-500
9-12 Incoming correspondence to Theo L. Dunn, Dec. 20, 1917-Mar. 20, 1918, no. 701-900
13-17 Incoming correspondence to Theo L. Dunn, Oct. 1, 1921-Apr. 28, 1922, no. 323-800

Records of General Manager
 
Ledgers Outgoing correspondence, Aug. 17, 1898-July, 1902 (16 vols.)
Ledger Outgoing correspondence from George S. Hobbs, General Manager, July 22-23, 1913
 
Records of Federal Manager
 
Ledgers Outgoing correspondence, Nov. 23, 1918-July 21, 1919 (9 vols.)
Ledgers Outgoing correspondence, Feb. 24-Mar. 1, 1920
 
Records of Auditor’s Department
 
Box 10
 
Folder
 
1-4 Incoming correspondence and documents, 1860’s-1929, undated
 
Records of General Superintendent
 
Box 11
 
1-23 Incoming correspondence to General Superintendent, 1897-1903,
1906-1908
Ledgers Outgoing correspondence, July 9, 1899-Dec. 31, 1899
Ledgers Outgoing correspondence, Sept. 1, 1900-May 21, 1903
Ledgers Outgoing correspondence, Aug. 29, 1903-Apr. 12, 1904
Ledgers Outgoing correspondence, Dec. 5, 1904-Apr. 24, 1905
Ledgers Outgoing correspondence, Oct. 21, 1905-Apr. 27, 1906
Ledgers Outgoing correspondence, July 27, 1906-June 20, 1907
Ledgers Outgoing correspondence, Oct. 11, 1907-Jan. 17, 1908
Ledger General Superintendent’s Office claims, Apr.-Dec., 1898
 
Records of Superintendent, Transportation
 
Ledgers Outgoing correspondence, Nov. 1, 1910-Nov. 15, 1911 (5 vols.)
Ledgers Outgoing correspondence, May 16, 1912-Oct. 7, 1916 (9 vols.)
 
Records of Engineering Department
 
Ledger Outgoing correspondence from Chief Engineer, 1895?
Ledgers Outgoing correspondence from Chief Engineer, Dec., 1910-Feb., 1916
Ledger Outgoing correspondence from Chief Engineer, Mar., 1920-Dec., 1921
Ledgers Outgoing correspondence from Chief Engineer, Dec., 1924-Feb., 1928
 
Records of Engineering Department cont.
 
Ledger Outgoing correspondence from Engineer of Construction, Aug., 1925-July, 1927
 
Personnel records
 
Ledgers Record of employees, 1897-1909 (3 vols.)
Ledgers Record of employee exams, etc., 1923-1963 (8 vols.)
Ledger Record of employee trip passes, 1895
Ledger M.C. 67, Authority for increases or reductions in payrolls, Oct., 1920-Feb., 1921
Ledgers Discipline record books, 1897-1914 (5 vols.)
Ledgers Lists of discharged employees, 1897-1918 (5 vols.)
 
Financial records
 
Ledgers Maintenance of Way Dept. reports and bills, Book 1-Book 30 + indexes to some volumes, Oct., 1881-Apr., 1913 [Book 11 missing]
Ledgers Engineering Dept. reports and bills, Book 31-38, May, 1913-Dec., 1915
Ledgers Maintenance of Way Dept. invoice books #1-17 + indexes, July, 1901- Aug., 1915
Ledgers Maintenance of Way Dept. bill books + indexes, Nov., 1907-July, 1916 (8 vols.)
 
General administrative records
 
Ledgers Fire reports, May 15, 1900-Nov. 2, 1911 (4 vols.)
Ledger Accident reports, Board of Railroad Commissioners, July, 1912-Feb., 1914
Ledger Accident reports, Public Security Commission, N.H.; Board of Railroad Commissioners for Canada; Industrial Accident Board of Vermont,
July, 1912-July, 1917
Ledgers Railway mail train failures, Feb., 1910-Nov., 1918 (5 vols.)
Ledger Requisitions, Twin Mountain, June 13-Sept. 11, 1889
Ledger Requisitions for material, Vice President and General Manager’s Office, Nov. 14, 1911-Aug. 28, 1914
Ledger Requisitions, Dec. 29, 1914-July 6, 1915
Ledgers Requisitions, Jan. 6, 1919-Mar. 30, 1927 (2 vols.)
Ledger Freight receipts of Maine Central Railroad Co., 1880’s(?)
Ledger Train logbook, 1897-1898

Series II: Records of subsidiaries and ancillary companies
 
Eastern Maine Railway Co.
 
Ledger Journal, 1882-1883; report on stock, 1885
 
European and North American Railway
 
Ledger Inventory of property, 1882
 
Maine Railways Companies
 
Ledger Ledger, 1914-1916
Ledger Coupon record, 5 percent notes, 1914-1919
 
Portland and Rumford Falls Railway
 
Ledger Outgoing correspondence from Chief Engineer, Aug., 1904-May, 1907
 
Portland, Mt. Desert and Machias Steamboat Co.
 
Ledger Outgoing correspondence, Mar., 1888-Oct., 1896
 
Portland Terminal Company
 
Ledgers Outgoing correspondence from General Manager, July 8, 1911-Nov. 23, 1918
Ledgers Outgoing correspondence from General Manager, Apr. 8, 1920-June 4, 1920
Ledgers Outgoing correspondence from General Manager, Dec. 1, 1921-Jan. 9, 1923
 
Ricker Hotel Company
 
Ledgers Outgoing correspondence, Feb., 1912-May, 1914 (2 vols.)
 
Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad
 
Ledger Outgoing correspondence from President & General Manager,
Sept., 1911-June, 1913
 
 
Series II: Records of subsidiaries and ancillary companies cont.
 
Washington County Railroad Company
 
Ledgers Outgoing correspondence from General Manager, Sept, 1898-June, 1908 (4 vols.)
Ledger Washington Co. Railway, Somerset Railway Co. reports to auditors, 1905-1909

Finding Aids for selected manuscript collections in the Special Collections Department at Fogler Library are accessible online in URSUS, in a browsable Guide to Manuscript Collections. Please contact Special Collections at spc@umit.maine.edu or (207) 581-1686 for further information.

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Special Collections Staff: spc@umit.maine.edu | Revised: 01/10/2014
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