mss122
Business, Literary, and Local History Manuscripts
Collection ID: mss122

Troy and Rutland Rail Road Company Records, 1814-1919

Collection description

Summary

Creator:
Troy and Rutland Rail Road Company
Abstract:
The Troy & Rutland Rail Road Company Records contain legal and financial papers, board member correspondence, as well as voting certificates, ballot slips, & engineering drawings.
Extent:
1.8 cubic ft.
Language:
English and English
Preferred citation:
Preferred citation for this material is as follows: and Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Troy and Rutland Rail Road Company Records, 1814-1919. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as [shortened name]).

Access and Use

Conditions Governing Access:

Access to this record group is unrestricted.

Terms Of Use:

The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

Background

Scope and Content:

The Troy & Rutland Rail Road collection contains a variety of legal and financial papers as well as correspondence between board members and their colleagues. Legal documents include bond agreements, indentures, mortgage papers, and legal summons. Financial accounts include cost estimates, expenditures, and delivery receipts. There are several folders containing proxy voting certificates and ballot slips as well as one oversize box with engineering drawings. The collection also features miscellaneous items of interest such as a field book and several copies of the Troy Daily Whig. Correspondence has a wide range of senders and recipients including William Law, J.M. Stevenson, Bernard Blair, George Barker (of Barker, Sipperly, & Co.), bankers, and shareholders.

Box 4 is oversized and contains engineering drawings which are undated but would logically be circa 1850. Items are mainly loose papers plus one large, bound book. Drawings include several depot plans as well as land surveys and measurements for abutments and track line. Specifically mentions Foster's Bridge, Prospect Avenue, the Hoosic River, Owl Kill Bridge, the Batten Kill, and stations at Cambridge and White Creek.

The majority of the records in this collection would have been maintained by Troy & Rutland secretary William Law; however, his resignation as secretary in 1853 means that the records did come under the jurisdiction of other board members (including J.M. Stevenson, treasurer) from 1853 to 1855. One other exception is the Rutland Railroad logbook, which was acquired separately from the rest of the collection and deals with the parent company, the Rutland Railroad, in the early 20th century. Its keeper, railroad employee Ernest Reynolds, recorded which engines made trips on various days, where they went, and who the conductors were. Sometimes there are special notes, such as the one regarding the Lester Junction accident in which Reynolds broke his ankle. The log book covers April 1916 to May 1919. A black and white photograph of Reynolds was also acquired with the logbook.

Special Note: Items in Box 1, Folder 4 (Bound materials) are all folded and therefore very fragile-- assistance in handling will be necessary; some records may be unable to be viewed.

Special Note: Box 1, Folder 7 contains three letters that predate the T&R charter, one by thirty-three years and two by sixteen years. Despite the length of time that separates them from the charter in 1849, the letters make reference to the Troy & Rutland Rail Road as well as its president, Bernard Blair. William Law is also named as a letter recipient; uncertainty as to whether it is the same William Law who acted as railroad secretary from 1849-1853.

Biographical / Historical:

The Troy & Rutland Rail Road Company was a division of the much larger Rutland Railroad of Vermont. Although the Rutland operated for more than a century, the Troy & Rutland existed as such for only six of those years. Railroad historians have given detailed accounts of other Rutland rail lines, but extensive background on the Troy & Rutland remains elusive, perhaps due to the brevity of its existence.[1]

The Troy & Rutland was chartered on April 10, 1849, but financial issues prevented the start of construction until the following year, and it was not completed until early 1852. The T&R directors contracted with Barker, Sipperly, & Company to build what would become the southern portion of the Rutland Railroad's domain by connecting Salem Village (near the Vermont state line) to Eagle Bridge in Rensselaer, NY. From its inception, the Troy & Rutland had close ties with the Troy & Boston Co. as well as the Rutland & Washington. The latter played a pivotal role in the completion of the Troy & Rutland by helping to build trackline from Salem north to the Vermont line, resulting in a portion of track shared by the two companies which formed a continuous route up to Rutland. [2]

Upon completion, the railroad served dual purposes by transporting passengers and freight. Although the Troy & Rutland spanned less than 40 miles, it was part of nearly 400 miles of track operated by the Rutland Railroad, extending all the way up to Montreal. [2] The T&R had only just become fully operational when it was leased to the Rutland & Washington Railroad in July 1852 [3], eventually extending the latter's control entirely over the Troy & Rutland's trackline by 1855. Most records of the Troy and Rutland drop off sharply after that year. Although letters from the mid-1850s show interest in T&R track by the Albany Northern Rail Road, sources indicate that after the Rutland & Washington took over the Troy & Rutland, financier Jay Gould purchased many of the Rutland and Washington's bonds in 1857 [3]. The tracklines of both the T&R and the Rutland & Washington eventually became incorporated as the Troy, Salem, & Rutland Railroad by 1865 [4], only to fall under the auspices of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company in the early 1870s [3].

Today, the distinctive green-and-gold livery of the old Rutland Railroad can still be seen via the Green Mountain Railroad, which has ties to the original Rutland & Burlington line. The Green Mountain Railroad offers scenic rides to tourists as well as freight service anywhere from six to seven days per week [5].

Acquisition information:

All items in this record group purchased by the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, fromNew Englandiana on December 23, 1969.

Processing information:

Processed in 2012 by Kerry Lynch.

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Restrictions:
Access to this record group is unrestricted.
Terms of Access:
The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.
Preferred citation:
Preferred citation for this material is as follows: and Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Troy and Rutland Rail Road Company Records, 1814-1919. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as [shortened name]).