W.W.&F. Discussion Forum

WW&F Railway Museum Discussion => Museum Discussion => Topic started by: Wayne Laepple on February 20, 2015, 01:35:46 PM

Title: A visit to the National Archives
Post by: Wayne Laepple on February 20, 2015, 01:35:46 PM
On Thursday I made the trip to College Park, Md. to visit the National Archives to view its holdings concerned with the WW&F. In 1914, the Interstate Commerce Commission ordered all common carrier railroads in the country to prepare a valuation statement, and the materials gathered in quest of that valuation are all at the National Archives today. I viewed maps showing the right-of-way of the railroad, a few drawings that illustrated real estate and track layouts at some (but not all) stations, and I also read the valuation notes and the valuation report produced from the notes by the ICC. Interesting stuff, to say the least.

I plan to write an article for the newsletter detailing what I found, but let me offer just a few tidbits here. At the time the field work was done in 1916, there was 2,655 feet of pile and frame trestlework at 13 locations. A great deal of that was probably the trestlework along the Wiscasset waterfront, but what about the other places? This did not include two specific bridges, including the bridge over Trout Brook and another one between Wiscasset and Sheepscot. (I presume that one to be the one located just west of the former crossing of Route 218.) Also interesting is the note that there were three toolhouses in Head Tide, and the railroad had a total of 18 handcars, including nine that were built in the Wiscasset shops. Finally, I was surprised to learn that the engine shed at Albion was 21 X 66 feet, much larger than I would have guessed.

More interesting items to come.....
Title: Re: A visit to the National Archives
Post by: John McNamara on February 20, 2015, 02:36:48 PM
Wayne and I have had some correspondence about this, along with some station area diagrams. I'm looking forward to what he has to say. ;D
-John
Title: Re: A visit to the National Archives
Post by: Mike Fox on February 20, 2015, 05:58:51 PM
Any track diagrams located there?
Title: Re: A visit to the National Archives
Post by: Wayne Laepple on February 20, 2015, 06:21:50 PM
Yes, there were track layouts for some stations, as well as the upper and lower yards at Wiscasset. Most of them were to layout the extra real estate and structures at each of the locations.
Title: Re: A visit to the National Archives
Post by: Allan Fisher on February 20, 2015, 10:42:34 PM
I visited the National Archives four or five years ago and scanned all ICC filings by the WW&F and got digitized maps for all the ICC Valuation drawings filed. They are in the Archives at Sheepscot.
Once our archives is fully computerized and a large format printer is procured, they can be reproduced for researchers.
Title: Re: A visit to the National Archives
Post by: Wayne Laepple on February 20, 2015, 11:05:51 PM
Gee, I wish someone had told me that at least two other folks have visited the National Archives and made copies of everything there for the WW&F's archives. I could have stayed home in bed instead of driving over 200 miles in the cold and snow. Apparently it was a wasted effort. I  guess I'll just forget about an article for the newsletter as well.
Title: Re: A visit to the National Archives
Post by: Philip Marshall on February 21, 2015, 12:09:47 AM
Wayne, please write the article! Those of us who have not had a chance to inspect the ICC records would love to hear more about whatever details and insights they contain.
Title: Re: A visit to the National Archives
Post by: John McNamara on February 21, 2015, 12:32:54 AM
Archives are like a fine restaurant. People need an "appetizer" to know the quality and quantity of what's there. I envision Wayne's article as exactly that - an appetizer.

I've already started enhancing the drawings he sent to make them more readily reproducible by our printer, Lincoln County Publishing.

-John
Title: Re: A visit to the National Archives
Post by: Philip Marshall on February 21, 2015, 01:21:37 AM
Archives are like a fine restaurant. People need an "appetizer" to know the quality and quantity of what's there.

Very well put, John!
Title: Re: A visit to the National Archives
Post by: john d Stone on February 21, 2015, 06:54:05 AM
By all means, please write the article, Wayne! I'm very much interested in reading it.
Title: Re: A visit to the National Archives
Post by: Glenn Christensen on February 21, 2015, 11:07:08 AM
Wayne

Please write your article.  I would very much like to hear what you have found.


Best Regards,
Glenn
Title: Re: A visit to the National Archives
Post by: Gordon Cook on February 21, 2015, 11:36:23 AM
I, too, was unaware of this resource.
I would also speculate that many members aren't aware of them either, so please do tell us about them.
Maybe add enough information so that if someone would like to make the trek to DC or are passing through they would know how where to go
and what to ask for.
I believe that there are other sources of original information at Harvard U. ?

Title: Re: A visit to the National Archives
Post by: Philip Marshall on February 21, 2015, 02:48:10 PM
I was aware of them in the abstract sense that I knew the ICC compiled valuation maps for every railroad in the country, so the WW&F and other Two Footers would have to have been included. I had just never seen them with my own eyes.

The Colorado Railroad Museum has copies of the ICC maps of all the railroads in that state, and these have become a tremendous resource for historians and modelers of the Colorado narrow gauge lines. However that's in no small part due to the CRRM's willingness to advertise that it has them in its archives and wants to make them available: "Hey railfans and modelers, we have these great maps! Come take a look!" We should be doing the same thing.
Title: Re: A visit to the National Archives
Post by: Allan Fisher on February 21, 2015, 08:26:02 PM
Our Archives in Sheepscot has Valuation maps for all the Maine Two-Footers - and a disc of all the Sanborn Maps of the two-footer towns.
Title: Re: A visit to the National Archives
Post by: Allan Fisher on February 22, 2015, 01:08:34 AM
I find I still have the Val Maps for the KC , Monson and WW&F on my computer. If anyone wants copies, please contact me by email. I gave paper copies of the SR&RL & B&SR to the Archives many years ago.