Author Topic: Franklin, Somerset & Kennebec Railway Presentation August 21,2010  (Read 4503 times)

Glenn Byron

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I have been asked by The Smithfield Maine Historical Society to make a presentation of my research to date regarding the FS&K Railway, especially focusing on Smithfield as we were one of the towns it was to pass through.  This presentation will take place after the regular SMHS meeting August 21,which starts at 9:30 Saturday morning at The Smithfield Grange Hall.  This is the first time I have presented what has essentially been here on the Discussion Forum for the last couple years.  As we have found out along the way, lots of information about this failed venture has never been out and about very well.  What sources there are, seem to be hit and miss, with each putting a little of the story forward, but no one source telling the whole tale.  Most people in the Northern Belgrade Lakes Region have no clue that a narrow gauge railroad "Almost, but not quited" their neighborhood.  In addition, many have not heard of our museum in Alna that is keeping the WW&F dream alive.  My main goal is to put some information out for discussion, make resources available, such as our museum, for further research, perhaps uncover some hidden tid bit in a family history, and maybe even find other individuals interested in digging into this 110+ year old piece of our history.  I would welcome anyone with an interest to attend.  Glenn  Byron,  Smithfield, Maine

Pete "Cosmo" Barrington

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Re: Franklin, Somerset & Kennebec Railway Presentation August 21,2010
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2010, 12:22:51 AM »
I honestly wish I could be there.
I would strongly recommenced video taping the presentation!
Perhaps CD/DVD copies could be sold at the museum? ;)
I would DEFINITELY buy one!  ;D

Glenn Byron

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Re: Franklin, Somerset & Kennebec Railway Presentation August 21,2010
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2010, 03:14:20 PM »
Had a great time last Sat. presenting my FS&K research to the Smithfield Historical Society.  It was very well received and opened some eyes about this forgotten project.  One local, Steve Foster, gave me a copy of a 1944 deed by Sewall Foster from the north side of Hampshire Hill on the Rome/ Mercer line.  Though it does not mention the FS&K, the property is located as mentioned in the Maine Railroad Commissioner's Report-1900, as to a roadway crossing on the Sewall Foster land. Now, Steve Foster can take me to the exact place the FS&K was scheduled to be! I'm real hopeful more of this kind of thing will surface. So very little information is recorded about FS&K activities between the Sandy River in New Sharon and the Kennebec River at Waterville, we must dig for every tidbit.  I'm hoping other organizations would like to see the presentation and maybe pry out something long forgotten.  This Wed. evening at 7pm there is a presentation about The Somerset Railroad in Norridgewock at the brick building next to the grange hall on Rt. 2.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2010, 02:50:43 PM by Glenn Byron »

Glenn Byron

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Re: Franklin, Somerset & Kennebec Railway Presentation August 21,2010
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2010, 02:47:28 PM »
Went for a ride earlier this week with Steve Foster, a Rome/Mercer landowner who grew up in the area.  First we explored what is now called The Rome Road which connects Route 2 from Mercer to Route 225 and 27 in Rome.  Steve owns large tracts in this area and has hunted and worked the land extensively so he is vey familiar with the topography. After listening to me pry for information about possible FS&K routes around Hampshire Hill and then, given the original surveyed road crossings shown in the 1900 Railroad Commissioner's Report, Steve had a good idea where the railbed was projected to be.  He knew several of the landmarks mentioned and showed me much of the route.  Off highway we went, through locked gates and over old abandoned roads to great vistas where we could follow the valley below with eye popping views showing the only possible way the surveyers could get a rail line through this very rugged terrain.  It was certainly no straight line through here, but sure would have been a pretty ride on Mr. Atwood's dream train.  Even talked to a surveyer who was working one of Steve's lines to see if he had ever seen any FS&K references, but to no avail. We must assume everything was deed recorded when land was taken, but hard evidence so far is fleeting.  More exploring ensued as Steve took me to his birth area between Rome Village and Smithfield on the North side of Foss Hill, again off road but right where the FS&K had to go.  We are getting close now to some real answers. Stay tuned.