The Fifth Annual Report of the Railroad, published in May 1850 includes a detailed description (with dimensions) of all of the buildings that then existed on the Northern Railroad. Station houses were located at West Concord, East Andover, Andover, Potter Place, and West Andover; each was divided into passenger and freight rooms. Passenger Stations combining passenger room and ticket office with a tenement for the family were found in Penacook, Boscawen, Danbury, Canaan and Enfield. Franklin and Lebanon had the most extensive facilities including the largest passenger stations with baggage and ticket office and apartments. The smallest station was located at Webster Place and measured just 12’ x 16’. Section houses were found at Penacook, Gerrish, Franklin, East Andover, Danbury, Canaan, Enfield, and East Lebanon. Many of the stations also had wood rooms, wood sheds, and water houses. Freight houses had been built at Penacook, Boscawen, Franklin, West Andover, Danbury, Canaan, Enfield, Lebanon and West Lebanon.25 Several of the stations also had tenements.
At Fisherville (Penacook), Danbury, Canaan, and Enfield there was a tenement “for the family” containing dining and sitting rooms, kitchen, closets, wood room and privy, with four chambers and closets on the floor above.26 West Lebanon had more extensive housing in the form of four tenement blocks. One block containing four tenements measured 24’ x 84’ with two ells measuring 24’ x 30. Each of the other three blocks contained two tenements each. One of these blocks measured 32’ x 30’ with a 24’ x 30’ ell while the other two were 28’ x 30 with a 22’ x 30’ ell.27 In addition to the buildings along the track, the Railroad was also often called upon by local residents or selectmen to build bridges to allow local roads to pass over or under the tracks rather than at grade. In 1859 $1,575 was spent on “bridges over road, and new roads to avoid passing at grade”.28 The bridge over the Connecticut River was replaced in 1870 or 1871.
Other structures and bridges were replaced or repaired as the need arose.29 In 1863 Division #13 of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers was chartered at Lebanon and the Northern became the first New England railroad to have a union. The division later moved to Concord and was resolved in 1876.30 The Northern built most of its locomotives in its own Concord Shops. It also built a few locomotives for other railroads during slack periods.31 Over the years, the Northern Railroad was a profitable freight route, transporting diverse cargo including industrial products, farm produce, timber and minerals. Although the railroad passed by countless farms and agricultural fields, many communities along the route also had flourishing textile and machinery mills. Penacook industries included textile mills and in the mid 20 thcentury a tannery. In Franklin there were paper and woolen mills both of which were later converted to hosiery mills. The Baltic/American Woolen Mills in Enfield were located a short distance from the train tracks. In addition to shipping out its cloths, the railroad also brought in coal to run its steam plant. The Carter Churchill Overall factory, American Excelsior and Everett Knitting were all located in Lebanon. In Andover there was a harness-making shop. Potter Place was the rail access for the Scytheville factories. By the
25. Report of the Committee of Investigation of the Northern Railroad to the Stockholders, May, 1850( Concord: Press of Asa McFarland), 28-30.
26. Ibid, 23.
27. Ibid, 31.
28. Fourteenth Annual Report of the Directors of the Northern Railroad to the Stockholders, May, 1859, (Boston: 1859), 11. An additional $919 was spent for the same purpose the next year.
29. Harry A. Frye, “The Northern Road: A Brief History of the Northern R.R. of N.H.”, The New England States Limited, March 1982, 11.
30. Ibid, 12.
31. Ibid, 12.