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Special Collections: Guide to the Railroad Survey Books and Profiles

Arranged and described by Brenda Howitson Steeves
Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Department
June 2004
Introduction and Summary Information
Collection Title: Railroad Survey Books and Profiles
Dates of the Collection: 1871-1892 (inclusive); 1887-1891 (bulk).
Provenance: Unknown.
Collection Number: MS 426.
Box Numbers: 1-3 (formerly Box 275).
Size and Arrangement: The collection consists of two document boxes and one oversized box of material (1 cubic foot).
Conservation Note: The collection has been re-housed in acid-free folders and boxes.
Preferred Citation: Railroad Survey Books and Profiles, 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.
The collection contains records of surveys done prior to building the Penobscot Central Railroad, a street-railroad operating in Bangor, Maine in the early 20th century. It also contains surveys for the Castine & Bangor Railroad, a line projected to run from Bangor to Castine, Maine. The supervisor listed in many of the documents is A.M. Devereux of Bangor; it is possible these records belonged to him.
The Penobscot Central Railroad was approved in 1893 by the Maine legislature. A petition to the Maine Railroad Commissioners in 1896 asks for approval to construct and operate an electric street-railroad from Bangor through the towns of Glenburn, Kenduskeag, Levant, Corinth, Exeter, Charleston and Garland, a distance of some 35 miles. The directors of the railroad were Flavius O. Beal, I.C. Libby, and Amos F. Gerald. The railroad appears to have had financial difficulties from the start. Sometime around 1900 a powerhouse was built at Kenduskeag, and the cars, which had formerly used gasoline motors, began operating with electricity. This expense caused a need for bonds to be issued and by 1905 the bondholders had foreclosed. The report of the Maine Railroad Commissioners for 1905, the last in which this railroad appears, shows an operating deficit and also indicates that the line was now the Penobscot Central Railroad Company of New Haven, Connecticut.
The collection also contains various items which document efforts to develop railroads in Castine, Maine. Included are minutes of meetings held by citizens of Castine in 1871 “to consider and promote such measures as will make Castine the western terminus of the proposed railroad from the St. Croix to the waters of the Penobscot.” Later records include preliminary surveys done for the Castine and Bangor Railroad in 1887 and 1888. This line was projected to run from Castine through the towns of Penobscot, Orland, Dedham, Holden and Brewer to reach the city of Bangor. Parker Spofford, a civil engineer from Bucksport who worked on surveys and construction of various Maine railroads, was responsible for some of the profiles and surveys for the Bangor & Castine. There is no indication that this line was ever built.
A profile of the Bangor and Katahdin Iron Works Railway is also found in the collection. This railroad, some twenty miles in length and running from Milo, Maine to the Katahdin Iron Works site, was built to lower transportation costs for the Iron Works, which operated until 1890.
Scope and Content Note
This small collection is divided into three sections: Records of the Penobscot Central Railroad Company, Records of Castine railroads, and Miscellaneous.
The records of the Penobscot Central include lists of subscribers to stock and delinquent subscribers, 1891-1892. The majority of records, however, are from various surveys done in planning to build the line. Included is a survey notebook of A.M. Devereux, whose name is associated with many of these records; the notebook outlines the field and office work done to provide the surveys and the costs associated with each. Also included are level and transit books, other survey documents, and detailed maps and a profile of the railroad.
The Castine records include a notebook of minutes of the citizens of Castine, 1871-1872, attempting to develop a railroad in that town. This notebook also contains sections labeled: 1872 charges for job printing, charges for advertising, 1872 subscription list for Castine Monthly News (for one year), and Subscriptions to a history of Castine, Penobscot and Brooksville. Most records in this section date from 1887 and 1888 and contain level notes and transit books for a preliminary line to run from Castine to Brewer. One time book for contractors, employers and workmen is included. Several detailed profiles and maps of the preliminary location are also found in this collection.
The collection ends with a profile of the Bangor and Katahdin Iron Works Railway and an account book of a survey done in Sebec by A.M. Devereux.
Box List
Please note: All items listed as oversized are located in Box 3
Records of Penobscot Central Railroad Company
Box 1
1 Subscribers to stock of Penobscot Central Railroad Co., 1891
2 Penobscot Central Railroad Co. delinquent subscribers, Feb. 1, 1892
3 Penobscot Central survey notebook of A.M. Devereux, 1889-1891
4 A.M. Devereux: Bills and receipts for Penobscot Central survey, 1890-1891
5 Penobscot Central R.R. level books no. 1 & 2, 1889; John Ames, leveller, Book no. 2
6 Penobscot Central R.R. level books no. 3 & 4, 1890
7 Penobscot Central transit book no. 1, 1889
8 Penobscot Central transit books no. 2 &. 3, undated
9 Penobscot Central R.R. benchmarks, turning points, 1889-1890; John W. Perkins, Castine, Maine
10 Penobscot Central Division book of pluses, showing distances to adjacent objects, location of fences, brooks, farm roads, highway and railway crossings; W.G. Stevens, Penobscot Central survey party, Nov. 21, 89

Map 1              Map of the Penobscot Central Rail Road, preliminary location, Bangor to Milo, undated
Oversized         Profile of Penobscot Central Rail Road, Bangor to Milo, undated

Map 2              Map of the Penobscot Central Rail Road, Nov. 1889-Jan. 1890
Oversized         Map showing route across Mt. Hope Avenue, undated
Records of Castine railroads
Box 2
1 Records of railroad meetings held by the citizens of Castine, 1871-1872
2 Levels on preliminary line, Castine & Bangor R.R., 1887, F.S.H., locating eng.
3 C. and B. R.R. level notes no. 1, 1887-1888
4 C. and B. R.R. level notes, Book no. 2, 1887-1888
5 Transit book no. 1, Castine & Bangor R.R., for preliminary line, 1887-1888
6 Transit book no. 2, Castine & Bangor R.R., 1887-1888?
7 Level & transit notes, C. & B. R.R., 1889?
8 Notes re surveying, Castine to Bangor
9 Castine monthly time book for contractors, employers and workmen, 1886-1887
10 Level book, East Eddington Branch, Castine & Bangor R.R., 1888; E.E. Greenwood, Bingham, Me., leveler

Map 3-4            Map of Castine and Bangor Railroad, preliminary location, Dec. 1887-Feb. 1888, Frank S. Harrison
Oversized         C. & B. R.R. profile of preliminary location, 1887-8, Frank S. Harrison, Eng’r.

Map 5-6 Map of Castine and Bangor Railroad, preliminary location, 1887, Parker Spofford

Oversized         Profile of Castine and Bangor R.R., preliminary survey, June and July, 1887, No. 1; Parker Spofford, Engineer
Oversized         Castine and Bangor R.R., profile no. 2, 1887; Parker Spofford
Oversized         Approximate location Castine and Bangor Railroad, Feb. 1889, 37.7 miles
Oversized         East Eddington Branch, Castine and Bangor Railroad
Oversized         Hatch’s Cove line, Castine
Oversized         Bangor and Katahdin Iron Works Railway as constructed

11 Sebec survey account book, 1890-1891; A.M. Devereux

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 or (207) 581-1686 for further information.

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