W.W.&F. Discussion Forum

The Maine Narrow Gauges (Historic & Preserved) => The Original W&Q and WW&F: 1894-1933 => Topic started by: Russ Nelson on August 13, 2021, 04:37:27 PM

Title: Wiscasset Upper Yard Artifacts
Post by: Russ Nelson on August 13, 2021, 04:37:27 PM
Is this circular clump of greenery in the center of this view the turntable pit? https://www.google.com/maps/place/Wiscasset+Elementary+School/@44.0080369,-69.6615472,146m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x693d14b9e9f02d78!8m2!3d44.0080638!4d-69.6620106
Title: Re: Wiscasset Upper Yard Artifacts
Post by: Keith Taylor on August 13, 2021, 04:49:35 PM
My guess would be no.  I believe the turntable location is a dark gray area behind the school and in between the school building and the river.

But I could be wrong….

Keith

Title: Re: Wiscasset Upper Yard Artifacts
Post by: Benjamin Richards on August 13, 2021, 05:51:11 PM
Per an older thread: https://forum.wwfry.org/index.php/topic,1803.msg13893.html#msg13893

Quote
...you'll see two baseball fields behind the Wiscasset Middle School. The field closest to the water is where the yard and shops were located, and in high summer, when it is quite dry, the outline of the turntable pit becomes visible in the grass in right field.

It also seems to me that a rough overlay map of the Wiscasset yard is floating around somewhere, but I'll be darned if I can find it.
Title: Re: Wiscasset Upper Yard Artifacts
Post by: Bill Reidy on August 13, 2021, 07:03:02 PM
The turntable was along the right field foul line of the ball field closer by the river.  Its foundation ring can (or could 14+ years ago) be seen during drought conditions.  Stewart Rhine provided this photo for the updated book Tours of the Narrow Gauge Railroad in the Sheepscot River Valley (https://giftshop.wwfry.org/product/tours-of-the-ng-rr-in-the-sheepscot-river-valley/44?cs=true&cst=custom) our Museum published in 2007:

(https://i.imgur.com/IAqMAbm.png)
Title: Re: Wiscasset Upper Yard Artifacts
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on August 13, 2021, 07:34:02 PM
Thanks Bill!

Those with Google Earth Pro will find the 9/2015 image shows the pit fairly well. I've attached a screenshot, and a second with the pit highlighted.
Title: Re: Wiscasset Upper Yard Artifacts
Post by: James Patten on August 13, 2021, 08:24:24 PM
I would love to take a chain saw, weed whacker and what not to the area beyond the leftside outfield fence.  Once long ago we were rummaging around in there and ran across concrete pits in line with the engine house tracks.  I would think that there's some interesting stuff to find.
Title: Re: Wiscasset Upper Yard Artifacts
Post by: Stephen Piwowarski on August 13, 2021, 09:31:13 PM
I would love to write a grant for an archeology program on-site at the school for a dig back there. What a great opportunity for the Wiscasset Elementary students, and a great opportunity for us to uncover some potentially interesting artifacts!
Title: Re: Wiscasset Upper Yard Artifacts
Post by: Philip Marshall on August 14, 2021, 01:34:17 AM
A formal archaeological dig would be a great thing to do. (Is there any risk of the property being redeveloped in the future? It's prime waterfront land after all.)

When the SR&RL was being scrapped, various small items of railroad property without scrap value were reportedly dumped in the Phillips turntable pit before it was filled in, and I can imagine something similar happened in Wiscasset.

There could be some really interesting artifacts buried there!
Title: Re: Wiscasset Upper Yard Artifacts
Post by: Gordon Cook on August 14, 2021, 10:56:24 AM
I am guessing that if we started a rumor that something was buried there, like WW&F No. 2, the digging would take care of itself.
 ;) 
Title: Re: Wiscasset Upper Yard Artifacts
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on August 16, 2021, 08:36:17 PM
It also seems to me that a rough overlay map of the Wiscasset yard is floating around somewhere, but I'll be darned if I can find it.

Ben Rockney sent me a GIS data file that rendered the Wiscasset Upper Yard overlaid onto a current photo. I have rendered it and attached it here.
Title: Re: Wiscasset Upper Yard Artifacts
Post by: Mike Fox on August 17, 2021, 05:23:40 AM
(https://i.postimg.cc/Z0txSLTv/Screenshot-20210817-052224.png)
Title: Re: Wiscasset Upper Yard Artifacts
Post by: Bill Sample on August 25, 2021, 10:48:05 AM
A number of years ago Sue and I were slogging through the shore line mud and we saw what sure looked like the top of a rear tank from one of the earlier engines - this was over the left outfield fence.  Being in salt mud I don't know how much is left today.  There had been some discussion on the Forum on this, which IIRC was used as a water tank in or near the car shop.
Title: Re: Wiscasset Upper Yard Artifacts
Post by: Dave Crow on August 26, 2021, 09:27:21 AM
I have wandered through the woods just north of the ball field.  There appeared to be the remains of at least one flatcar, because you could see rotting timbers and smaller metal hardware such as corner J bolts.

Dave Crow
Title: Re: Wiscasset Upper Yard Artifacts
Post by: Russ Nelson on August 26, 2021, 10:19:43 AM
I would love to write a grant for an archeology program on-site at the school for a dig back there. What a great opportunity for the Wiscasset Elementary students, and a great opportunity for us to uncover some potentially interesting artifacts!
That would be an awesome project! I mean, we're a museum, right? We should seek as many artifacts as we can.
Title: Re: Wiscasset Upper Yard Artifacts
Post by: Vincent "Lightning" LeRow on August 27, 2021, 12:13:29 PM
Quote
There appeared to be the remains of at least one flatcar, because you could see rotting timbers and smaller metal hardware such as corner J bolts.

So, for the next restoration project we are going to jack up the corner bolts and put a new flatcar underneath? Right?
Title: Re: Wiscasset Upper Yard Artifacts
Post by: Graham Buxton on June 09, 2022, 12:54:22 AM
Yes, this thread is nearly a year old.  :)

However, there is a newspaper report that one of the  options for upgrading the Wiscasset "sewage treatment plant" is to build a new one. The current plant is almost an island and at risk from the ocean level rising.
Quote
A hired firm’s document Wiscasset released in advance of the June 7 selectmen’s meeting raises the idea of moving the wastewater treatment plant, maybe to Federal Street or Mason Station. The point would be to address sea level rise and to replace rather than upgrade the Water Street plant, according to an executive summary of a report Town Manager Dennis Simmons.

https://www.wiscassetnewspaper.com/article/report-broaches-idea-wiscasset-sewer-plant-move-versus-upgrade/161231 (https://www.wiscassetnewspaper.com/article/report-broaches-idea-wiscasset-sewer-plant-move-versus-upgrade/161231)
and
Quote
Simmons explained in email responses Monday, the Olver report “has been in the works for many months (and) mentions maybe relocating the plant to Federal Street or Mason Station. I think DEP had mentioned Federal Street before because of its close proximity to the current plant. The town owns the land that the school sits on.
There aren't much more details in that article, but looking at a map its pretty clear that they are talking about the Wiscasset Elementary School site that is the focus of this thread.

(https://i.postimg.cc/ZW3KFZ6h/Sewage-Plant-Screenshot-from-2022-06-09-00-43-12.png) (https://postimg.cc/ZW3KFZ6h)
(click image to enlarge)

The school is just north of the current sewage plant "island" center-right in the map shot. With this option, presumably the school would be moved and the site rebuilt into a sewage treatment plant.

This is still all preliminary, and a different option/site may be chosen, but there is a possibility that an archaeological dig at the school might be very real.

As the article notes, there could well be significant opposition to this option.  :-X
Title: Re: Wiscasset Upper Yard Artifacts
Post by: James Patten on June 09, 2022, 06:54:40 AM
A bit late to move the elementary school.  A few years ago the town discussed consolidating 3 schools into one, by moving the mid-grades school (on Federal St) to the elementary school (on Rt 27).  They ended up giving up the Rt 27 school in favor of the Federal St school.

I'm not sure Mason Station is a better solution - it too is right on the water's edge.
Title: Re: Wiscasset Upper Yard Artifacts
Post by: Benjamin Richards on June 09, 2022, 10:28:16 AM
No one asked my opinion, but here goes ...  ;D

Ostensibly, the treatment plant (and nuclear station, for that matter) are near the water because of a need to discharge or exchange a high volume of water into the harbor. Putting the plant in the natural path from high ground to the harbor makes the most sense operationally. Pumping stations are not cheap.

To gain elevation, a plant on Federal Street would necessarily need to be up where the actual school building sits, not down on the ballfield. I agree that would be a tough sell for the residents, not to mention the need to move the school as James already mentioned, and that ship has effectively sailed.

Mason Station would seem to be the better choice; at least there you have a chance of bringing in fill to adjust the elevation, and it's a pleasant distance away from downtown. There's even a rail spur directly onto the point that could be reactivated and used for construction.