19 Grove St. ~ PO Box 58 ~ Peterborough, NH 03458 ~ 603-924-3235 


By June 4, 2019 Read More →

R is for Railroad

R is for Railroad- In the days before the railroad, people and goods moved in and out of the region by stagecoach and

R is for Railroad

Train Depot, Peterborough circa 1900

wagon. When the first railroads were built in the 1840s, the region was connected to the bigger world in new and exciting ways. Freight could move easily from rural factory to urban markets. Passenger service meant people could easily journey into the region- a boon to the growing tourist industry.

Railroads were built as investments and several companies built the first railroads in the region. Four railroads were in  operation across the area by the time of the Civil War. After the war, seven more lines were built. Ultimately, many would be bought out by the Boston and Maine Railroad company.

After the Flood of 1936 and the Hurricane of 1938, many of the region’s rail lines were damaged. Improvements to our state’s highway system and the age of the automobile left passenger lines unprofitable. The railroads began to fade away. Many lines were abandoned and later converted into recreational trails. The Cheshire Recreational Rail Trail runs 42 miles from Fitzwiliam to Walpole, another trail offers 21 miles of hiking and biking from Keene to Winchester. The Hillsborough Recreational Rail Trail follows the Boston & Maine line from Bennington to Hillsborough.

The Historical Society of Cheshire County will be publishing a new book in the fall of 2019, Iron Roads of the Monadnock Region. This two-volume set is a complete history of the region’s railroads and will include 750 historic photographs.


R is for Railroad

Young passengers pose on B & M train, Peterborough about 1950


Monadnock A to Z is a 26 day exploration of the people, places, events, and things that tell the stories of the Monadnock Region. Visit our blog each day or follow us on Facebook for the day’s installment. To find all of the posts on Facebook, search #MonadnockAtoZ.

Monadnock A to Z will feature a new post each day from May 17 through June 11, 2019.

R is for Railroad published on June 3, 2019.