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An old map of Rumford, made about 1858, showing the location of houses with the family names.


The major mode of travel during this period of time was the railways, as they were then called.     This 1895 map shows the routes of the railways and their stagecoach connections to area towns.     The railway in red is the Portland and Rumford Falls Railway.     This railway, built in 1849, was originally was known as the Buckfield Branch Railway.     It connected with the Canadian Grand Trunk at Mechanic Falls, and consisted of only 13 miles of track.     In 1856, the Portland and Oxford Central Railroad Company acquired the line, and extended the tracks to Canton.     It was soon abandoned and for many years was in disuse.     In 1878, the Rumford Falls and Buckfield Railroad Company became the new owners, restored the line, and the following year, extended the tracks up to Gilbertville in Canton.     During the Civil War, Gilbertville was the mustering point for the men in the area.     In 1890, this road became the Portland and Rumford Falls Railway, and in 1892, to accommodate the mills up river, extended the tracks 15 miles west to Rumford Falls.     In 1894, the company extended the tracks 12 miles east from Mechanic Falls to the Poland Springs Junction in Auburn, making a connection with the Maine Central Railroad, thus making the line from the junction with the Maine Central Railroad to Rumford Falls, a 53 mile, 2 hour ride.

The doted red lines was the Rumford Falls and Rangeley Lakes Railroad.     This line went from Rumford Falls, up the Swift River valley, through the towns of Roxbury and Byron, to Bemis on the shores of Lake Mooselucmaguntic.     It was organized in 1894, mainly to accommodate the lumber interests, but when completed in 1896, the sportsman and pleasure seekers also took an interest in the line.     It was said that a passenger leaving Boston at 9 o'clock in the morning could partake of a trout supper at Camp Bemis before 7 o'clock the same evening.


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Copyright © 1999 by Craig E. Bryant