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the Legislature had chartered the Concord & Claremont and Contoocook Valley roads, and when the Central reached Henniker, the Contoocook having passed that point was open to Hillsborough, and the Concord & Claremont was at Bradford going north. This cut-off and some other causes led to the consolidation by the Legislature of 1853 of the Central and Concord & Claremont, the new corporation taking the name of the Merrimack and Connecticut Rivers Railroad.

Up to this time the total cost of the Central road had been $600,853.24, of which $40,734.68 were for equipment and $54,859.91 for interest and discount on bonds. In the year ending April 30, 1853, it earned $31,261.75, of which it was claimed $12,102.82 were net.

The union of the two corporations did not prove satisfactory, and in 1858 the Central, or so much of it as had been built, was rechartered and permitted to rechristen itself, when it took the name of the Manchester & North Weare. From the beginning there had been great rivalry between the Central and the upper roads, the managers of the former desiring to take the business from Hillsborough and Henniker and points above via Weare to Manchester and Boston, while the two latter aimed to turn this traffic through Concord. The Concord interest prevailed, and secured in 1856 the passage of a general law permitting the abandonment of portions of a railroad in certain cases; and acting under this, Joseph A. Gilmore, who was then superintendent of the Concord and the two upper roads, tore up and carried away the track between Henniker and North Weare. This elimination of the link between Weare and Henniker left the Manchester & North Weare nothing but a feeder of the Concord, and destroyed the hope that it would live as an independent road. It afterwards passed, by a series of trades and arrangements, into the hands of Joseph A. Gilmore and Robert Corning of Concord, who, after operating it for

some time, transferred their interest in it to the Concord road, which has since owned and operated it, though it still maintains an independent paper organization. Of more than $600,000 invested in it by stockholders, bondholders, and other creditors, probably not more than $50,000 ever returned to the original contributors. It has developed little business. There is no more manufacturing upon it than when it was purchased by the present owners, and the only increase in its receipts comes from the summer travel to the charming elevations in Goffstown, Weare, Dunbarton, and New Boston. A new station was built at Goffstown Center last year, and all the others are comparatively new, neat, and attractive. A new windmill was erected at Parker's Station, and supplies an abundance of water at that point, which was greatly needed. The road-bed has been somewhat improved by 42,200 feet of grading between Manchester and Goffstown, and the iron track is in good repair. A new bridge should soon take the place of the old one near North Weare.

NASHUA, ACTON & BOSTON.

Line. From Nashua to Acton, Mass., 20.21 miles.

History and Condition. Only 48 miles of this road are in New Hampshire, but it is essentially a New Hampshire institution. Its victims, among whom were all who contributed the money to build it, were New Hampshire men, and its value consists almost entirely in its being an outlet from New Hampshire to Boston and New York.

It was chartered in this State in 1872, and opened the next year. From the first it was a financial failure. It was deeply in debt when completed. The contracts and arrangements by which its managers expected to give it a business that would rival that of the Boston & Lowell line were never secured, and its receipts did not pay fixed charges and operating expenses. Its stock became value

less and its credit exhausted, when in 1876 it was leased to the Concord at $11,000 per year. Subsequently its securities were obtained by the Concord, which became the real owner. It was operated for a time by the Nashua & Lowell under a contract with the Concord, but is now run by its owners, and extends their line to Concord Junction. It was well built, and has since been well maintained.

MANCHESTER & LAWRENCE.

Line. From Manchester to Lawrence, Mass., 26.14 miles.

History and Condition. The fathers of the Manchester & Lawrence were hampered by none of the financial embarrassments which made the construction of most others in this State a slow and tedious process. It was chartered June 30, 1847. Thirty days later the corporation was organized and its stock offered to the public, and such was the confidence in the enterprise that when the time for receiving subscriptions expired, instead of 5,000 shares, which was the number offered, five times that number had been asked for.

The charter was for a road from Manchester to the state line in Salem, on the easterly side of the Merrimack River, and an extension built and since owned by the Boston & Maine carried it to Lawrence. This extension, known as the Methuen branch, is now operated by the Manchester & Lawrence, the yearly rental being the same dividend upon its cost, which was $110,000, that is paid upon the Manchester & Lawrence stock. The construction of the road was promptly begun and energetically carried forward, but in 1850 it became evident that more than $500,000 would be needed to complete it, and the stock was increased to $750,000. The cost, including equipment and two dividends amounting to $21,402.68, was, up to January 1, 1851, $806,599.42, and at that time

the debt of the corporation was but $50,622.38. To meet this, 500 shares of new stock were issued. Subsequently the stock was increased to meet liabilities, until in 1860 it was fixed at $1,000,000, where it has remained. October 4, 1850, the road was leased to the Concord for five years, the terms being that the joint earnings of the two roads should be divided in the proportion of 4 per cent on the Concord stock, and 3 per cent on the Manchester & Lawrence, until the Concord received 8 per cent, when any balance was to be shared equally.

This arrangement did not meet the expectations of the Manchester & Lawrence, and in June, 1851, an effort was made to secure from the Legislature an act consolidating the two corporations. This failing in the Senate, a business arrangement known as the quintuple contract, by which the Concord, Boston & Maine, Nashua & Lowell, and Lowell & Boston roads were to be operated

harmoniously” and their earnings pooled, was made to take effect April 1, 1852. December 1, 1856, the road was again leased to the Concord for five years. In 1860 this lease was extended twenty years, and in 1864 until December 1, 1911, but after four years of litigation it was held by the court that these extensions were void ; and since that time, while the two roads have been by mutual consent operated together upon the terms of the lease of 1856, there is no legal union between them which cannot be terminated upon the motion of either at any time. Regular dividends were paid by the Manchester & Lawrence up to 1855, when none was declared. The

average to and including that year was 5 per cent. After that it was 74 until 1867, since which time the rate has been 10. The road-bed is a good one, the roadway is well fenced and clean, and the ties are sufficient in number and quality. Seventeen miles of the track are in fifty-seven-pound steel, and the iron portion is in good shape. The stations are fair. Those at Cano

bie Lake, Windham, and Salem have new platforms. The bridges appear sound and safe. A new one was built at Derry last year, those at Wilson's and Methuen were replanked, and the one at Salem was strengthened by new arches, ties, and double floor timbers. A new side track was laid at Londonderry, and 6,810 feet of steel between that place and Manchester.

BOSTON & LOWELL RAILROAD SYSTEM.

Main Line. From Boston to Lowell, 26 miles. The Boston & Lowell Railroad corporation owns no road in New Hampshire except a half interest in the Manchester & Keene, but the courage and dash of its managers carried its line from Lowell to Keene, Claremont, Groveton, and Fabyan’s, and made it for three years one of the greatest forces in our railroad business. It operated in 1886 717 miles of road, of which 421 are in this State. This is nearly two fifths of our entire mileage. The Boston & Lowell, was incorporated June 8, 1830, and opened for business to Lowell June 26, 1835. Its capital stock was divided into shares of $500 each, the only instance in which the par value of railroad shares has ever been fixed in this country at more than $100, to which sum these were afterward reduced. Its first cost with one track was about $1,000,000. Its receipts in 1836 were $165,124, and its expenses $75,326. Its first track, or a portion of it, was laid upon stone ties. The earnings of the roads operated by it last year were $4,628,386. Its capital stock is now $5,129,400, and its funded debt $4,346,400. The New Hampshire roads included in its system last year were the Nashua & Lowell, Wilton, Peterborough, Manchester & Keene, Northern, Concord & Claremont, including the Hillsborough branch, Hillsborough & Peterborough, Boston, Concord & Montreal and branches, and Pemigewasset Valley.

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