The Hopkinton Town Library Presents:

The Contoocook Village Quilt

A Digital Library
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The Contoocook Railroad Station

by Mrs. Francis Blanchard

 

In 1844 the town of Hopkinton was having great controversy over the construction of a railroad. There was a deep social agitation throughout the town. This was partly due to the "right of eminent domain." There were many arguments about "What is eminent domain?", and whether or not railroads were legally such that the government could take over private property for public use.

 

This was not a local controversy. Many town in New Hampshire felt the same way. At this time it was not conceivable that within a period of five years options would change.

 

In 1848, the large group of people in the town of Hopkinton who were so strongly opposed to the railroad, were equally earnest in promoting the advancement of the railroad. In 1848 the Concord to Claremont Railroad was chartered and the first train went through Contoocook early in 1849. For about three years the train went only as far as Bradford, due to the hardships of laying the rails through Newbury Cut.

 

Contoocook Railroad Station was constructed at this time as was Tyler and West Hopkinton, making three stations in the town of Hopkinton. It is interesting to note that at this time Contoocook was still known as Contoocookville, and this is the name which was put on the station when first built.

 

In the fall of 1850, when trains were running regularly through Contoocookville, a day of great festivity was held. Railroad officials extended the favor of free rides to and from Concord. Needless to say trains were filled to capacity.

 

Contoocook decided to show its appreciation. Money was raised by public subscription. A public dinner was provided. A bad was hired, the artillery called out, and speeches were made by celebrities. About one thousand people were fed on the station platform, the food costing about $300.

 

For many years four or five trains and two freights ran daily until the early 1900's. As cars and trucks became more popular the trains became less popular. By 1950 only one train and one freight were running.

 

Contoocook Railroad Station was finally closed in the spring of 1954. The building was purchased by Dodd Insurance Agency. This company occupied one side of the station and the Contoocook Library was housed in the other side until 1959.

 

Dodd Insurance Agency renovated the interior of the station, painted the outside red with white trim, and it still occupying this old building.

 

Mrs. Francis Blanchard

Maple Street

 

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LOC Subject Headings

Railroad stations -- New Hampshire -- Hopkinton -- Pictorial works

Railroad stations -- New Hampshire -- Contoocook -- Pictorial works

Businesses -- New Hampshire -- Hopkinton -- Pictorial works

Businesses -- New Hampshire -- Contoocook -- Pictorial works

Public libraries -- New Hampshire -- Hopkinton -- Pictorial works

Public libraries -- New Hampshire -- Contoocook -- Pictorial works

Historic buildings -- New Hampshire -- Hopkinton -- Pictorial works

Historic buildings -- New Hampshire -- Contoocook -- Pictorial works