Street Railways
in Maynard

"Riding the Line"

THE BEST available description of a trip over the main line of the Concord, Maynard & Hudson Street Railway from Hudson to Concord is that presented in the advertising brochure, "By the Wayside," several editions of which were issued by the railway in its early years. To quote in part:

Leaving Hudson at Wood Square, we pass down Main Street, leaving the electric light plant of the town of Hudson on the right, and pass the Assabet River , . . to O''Neil's Crossing, then following the Fitchburg Division of the B&M Railroad, under the large iron bridge of the Central Massachusetts Division of the B&M, to Brown's Crossing.

We are now advancing in the direction of a township known to the early settlers as the Pomposetticut Plantation, but for over 200 years as the incorporated township of Stow. The first place to enter is Gleasondale (formerly called Rock Bottom), the business center of the town, and the first structure of importance to attract the traveler's eye is the new Methodist church presented by Charles W. and Alfred D. Gleason as a memorial to their father, the late Hon. B. W. Gleason. The woolen mill owned and operated by the Gleason family for nearly a half century is practically the only manufacluring industry in the town, the inhabitants being for the most part engaged in agriculture . . .

Avoiding the high hills, the track circles around to the right, following the highway a short distance and then enteriing the fields within view of pleasant pastoral homes . . . The cars .again pass out upon the traveled road below the pretty country home of A. J. Smith overshadowed by branches of a wide-spreading elm beneath whose ample shade the directors of the road held their meetings on several occasions. It was known at the 'Treaty Elm' from the fact that when it had virtually been decided to abandon the route through Stow, owing to the persistent opposition of some of the town folk who were desirous that the railway should pass along the highway or nowhere else, several of the public spirited citizens of the town met the board of directors under this tree and presented to the selectmen a petition, signed by nearly all of the legal voters of the town, asking the selectmen to grant the company the right to go through private land, and at that time and place, matters were arranged and the desired franchise granted . . . In five minutes more, we are rounding Clark's corner and come in view of the Common with its stretch of lawn dotted with handsome shade trees, the ancient church and the public library in the background forming a perfect picture of rural beauty.

About a mile distant from here is Stow Lower Common . . . It is a charming residential part of town and is becoming an attractive place to people looking for a quiet country home.

The distance from Stow Lower Common to Maynard is short. After passing the plant of the electric road, we enter the town, the first noticeable building on our right being the large block owned by Harriman Bros. and occupied by their New Method Laundry. This establishment is easily located at night by the two 3,000 candle power gas lights which throw their welcome light from its cupola. . .

Crossing the track of the B&M Railroad, we come to the immense plant of the American Woolen Company, formerly the Assabet Manufacturing Company. The large building opposite the mill is the new boarding house of the American Woolen Company . . . We are now passing the business section of Maynard, the Congregational church on the right; farther along, on the left, at the corner, is the Methodist church. Turning the corner, we see the Paper Mill Falls at the right and another view of the large mills of the woolen company up the river.

Turning to the left, we pass a little village where dwell mostly those employed by the American Powder Company, whose mills are situated at the right, enclosed by the high board fence. The mills extend for quite a distance and are scattered over a large area.
Passing through the woods, we come to the village of Westvale, formerly known as Damondale, in Concord. The mill on the left is that of the Concord Rubber Company.
Passing through Westvale we come to the settlement of Concord Junction. In the distance, at the left, is the Massachusetts Reformatory. At Concord Junction, connections are made with the Fitchburg Division of the B&MRR and the Taunton Division of the NYNH&HRR.

Crossing the tracks of the latter, we skirt along the highway, passing under the B&M tracks just upon entering Concord, and passing along the main street to Thoreau and past the B&M depot, then up Sudbury to Main Street to Monument Square. Here connections are made with the Lexington & Boston Street Railway.

 

Credit:
Concord, Maynard & Hudson Street Railway
O.R. Cummings
Transportation Bulletin No. 74, Jan-Jun 1967
A Publication of the Connecticut Valley Chapter of
the National Railway Historical Society.

 

Copyright 2000, The Maynard Historical Society, Maynard Massachusetts.
This page was revised on: November 18, 2000