Author Topic: Monson's "long slate shed"  (Read 5263 times)

Cliff Olson

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Monson's "long slate shed"
« on: November 27, 2009, 07:17:35 PM »
One building that has received little attention in publications about the Monson RR is the so-called "long slate shed".  This was a 500-foot-long bulding that was owned by the Monson Maine Slate Company and used primarily to store slate shingles prior to shipment.  It was located a short distance across Chapin Avenue from the Monson yard on the branch to the Hebron (Pond) Quarry.

I have seen only one photo and two drawings of the long slate shed.  The photo appears in both the 150th and 175th anniversary books of the Town of Monson.  No spur to the shed appears in the photo, which shows the east side and north end of the building.

One drawing of the shed is part of the c. 1900 "bird's-eye view of Monson" poster.  On that poster, the tangent track crossing Chapin Avenue extends to form a spur on the west side of the shed just beyond the point where the main track curves further to the west.  Another view of the shed appears in an inset to the main poster.

The second drawing of the shed appears in the booklet advertising Monson as "the Switzerland of Maine".  This drawing reflects some artistic license in that the building itself is depicted as paralleling the main track and Lake Hebron, which is not actually visible from the building site, is shown in the distance.  This drawing also shows large identifying lettering painted on the end of the shed, which seems atypical of MMSC practice.

I have no information on how the long slate shed was utilized after the Hebron Quarry Branch was cut back to the east side of Chapin Avenue.  However, the building existed at least until the August 1944 auction of the MMSC's assets, the flyer for which lists "SLATE SHED Just off Chapin Avenue, 500 ft. long, 40 ft. wide, with slate roof.  This shed is sold to be removed hence no land is included".

Bill Fortier

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Re: Monson's "long slate shed"
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2009, 04:18:15 AM »
Here's a page of old photos of Monson <http://www.kynd.net/monson/MonsonHistory/MHSphotos08.html> including views of the quarry and the railroad station.

For context and armchair exploring it's good to have aerial views of the area in question.

Google Maps: http://maps.google.com/maps?ie=UTF8&t=h&ll=45.287735,-69.501314&spn=0.008952,0.016372&z=16

Bing Maps: http://www.bing.com/maps/default.aspx?v=2&cp=45.2874539903984~-69.50202323854828&lvl=16&sty=h

The fun part is trying to match buildings in the photos with their bird's-eye counterparts.

Cliff Olson

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Re: Monson's "long slate shed"
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2009, 01:49:11 PM »
On the Google map, the location of the long slate shed would be to the left of the mislabeled "Moosehead Furniture" shown on Chapin Ave.  If you visually follow the roadbed to the east from between the two 6's on Upper Main Street, you will go between two quarries (Underground, also called Imperial, and Pine Tree) and eventually reach a fork, about half-way from the quarries to Chapin Ave.  The sharp left at the fork would be the spur, which is now a path to the west end of Eureka Quarry.  According to the scale, the long slate shed would have extended more than half of the distance from the fork to Eureka. Please note that all the relevant land is private property, most of which is currently owned by Carl Vainio d/b/a Kennedy Slate (or Monson Maine Slate).
« Last Edit: November 28, 2009, 07:47:10 PM by Cliff Olson »

Mike Fox

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Re: Monson's "long slate shed"
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2009, 12:59:39 AM »
I really like the way the long fill south of town stands out. No vegetation on it at all.
Mike
Doing way too much to list...

Cliff Olson

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Re: Monson's "long slate shed"
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2009, 02:08:51 PM »
The Monson ROW is more visible south of the station because that portion is owned and maintained as a power ROW by CMP.  North of the station, the CMP ROW veers to the east of the Monson yard and then crosses the Monson Pond Quarry Branch.  The quarry branches are visible on the Google map but less so than the CMP ROW.

For many years, Farrin Brothers, the Town of Monson plowing contractor, had a garage located just northeast of the station between the Monson yard and the CMP ROW.  Post-abandonment visitors often confused that garage, which was removed sometime in the 1990's, with the Monson RR engine house, which was removed 30 or 40 years earlier.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2009, 11:24:25 PM by Cliff Olson »