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tered in 1839, but no progress was made towards building it until ten years later, when work was commenced under a new charter granted July 2, 1847, the old one having lapsed. The road was opened in 1851. Its liabilities at that time were $389,000 in stock and $420,000 in bonds. It was understood by the owners of these that the road was to be immediately leased or run in connection and upon favorable terms with the Boston & Maine, but the directors of the two corporations could not agree, and it was operated independently by its own directors and at a loss until August 20, 1862, when it was surrendered to trustees. In that year the Legislature authorized the corporation to reduce the stock to the amount of the indebtedness, amounting to $480,000, to reorganize as the Dover & Winnipesaukee Railroad Corporation, and to extend the road to Portsmouth, where it would connect with the Eastern. This induced the Boston & Maine to lease it for fifty years, at $29,000 a year, and after it had been. operated six months by the new corporation it was transferred to the lessee. It is not a first-class road, but meets the requirements of a small traffic. Considerable money has been spent at Alton Bay to accommodate camp-meetings and other summer gatherings. The stations are passable and the road-bed and track in good repair. One long bridge is to be rebuilt this year. It connects at Alton with the lake steamers owned by the Boston & Maine, and with these forms one of the most attractive lines to the mountains.
WEST AMESBURY BRANCH RAILROAD.
Line. From Newton to Merrimack, Mass., 4.45 miles. History and Condition. Chartered in this State in 1868. Built in 1872. Opened January 9, 1873. Cost $114,000. Leased to the Boston & Maine for $5,700 a year, or 5 per cent upon its cost, one half of which is represented by 7 per cent bonds and the other half by stock. One excel
lent station and two and a third miles of good road constitute the New Hampshire section.
EASTERN & EASTERN NEW HAMPSHIRE RAILROADS.
Main Line. From Boston to Portland, 108.29 miles. History and Condition. The Eastern is a Massachusetts railroad. Its act of incorporation, dated April 14, 1835, gave it the right to build and operate a road from Boston to the New Hampshire line, to which it was opened November 9, 1840. On the same day the Eastern in New Hampshire, which was chartered June 18, 1836, completed its road from the Massachusetts line to Portsmouth. Before it was finished the New Hampshire road was leased to the Massachusetts corporation, and, so far as the public are concerned, has ever since been a part of its road. This lease was for ninety-nine years, and bound the lessee to pay the same dividends on the stock of the leased road as its own received. In 1847 the Eastern joined the Boston & Maine in leasing the Portland, Saco & Portsmouth, and thus secured a through line between Portland and Boston.
In 1875 the report of the directors first revealed in detail to the stockholders in the Eastern the bankruptcy of the corporation, which had been brought about by illadvised attempts to extend its branches and feeders, regardless of cost, mismanagement in other directions, the positive dishonesty of some of its officers, and the fierce competition with the Boston & Maine. That report put the debt of the corporation at $14,859,648.98, and the stock at $4,997,000. The annual interest on the debt was about a million. A table of losses caused by investing in other roads, by accidents, fires, discounts on bonds, and direct competition with the Boston & Maine, aggregated $8,245,980. The earnings of the road for the year 1875 failed to pay operating expenses and fixed charges by nearly $400,000. The discovery of these facts ruined the credit
of the Eastern road. The stock, which in 1873 sold for $109, was quoted at 3 in 1876 and 2 in 1877. Such a collapse, of course, overwhelmed all the dependencies of the Eastern, for its guarantees and other obligations were not only worthless, but from their peculiar character were a crushing weight upon those who held them. The stock of the Eastern New Hampshire fell from $102 in 1873 to 18 in 1875, and that of the Great Falls & Conway from $116 in 1871 and 97 in 1873 to 23 in 1875. Under these circumstances the owners of the Eastern New Hampshire commenced proceedings in court to abrogate the lease of 1840, and out of these grew a new lease in 1879, when the Eastern had been reorganized and had somewhat recovered, under the terms of which they receive 41 per cent upon their capital stock for the use of their road. In 1883 the lease of the Eastern system to the Boston & Maine for fifty years carried with it the Eastern New Hampshire. The Eastern road-bed from Portsmouth to the state line is good enough, so are the rails, ties, and all the elements of the road's physical condition; and its train service satisfies a large and exacting class of patrons. The Portsmouth station was painted and the Portsmouth bridge and coal-pockets extensively repaired last year.
PORTSMOUTH, GREAT FALLS & CONWAY RAILROAD.
Line. From Conway Junction, Me., to North Conway, 72.86 miles.
History and Condition. In 1844 the Legislature chartered the Great Falls & Conway Railroad, and it was built in 1849 as far north as Union village, and mortgaged to secure the bonds of the company to the amount of $100,000. A second issue of bonds for the same amount was guaranteed by the Eastern in New Hampshire, and this was followed by a third one for $60,000. These securities were bought by the Eastern Company for
$307,560. The Great Falls & South Berwick branch was built in 1851-52. It connected Great Falls with the Portland, Saco & Portsmouth road at Conway Junction in Maine, and the Eastern by foreclosing mortgages obtained a title to this also, thus securing an extension from Portsmouth to Great Falls. In 1856 the Portsmouth, Great Falls & Conway road was incorporated, with power to purchase the Great Falls & Conway road, and the South Berwick branch, and the company organized under this charter purchased these roads of the Eastern for $208,173.94, paying for them in stock in the new corporation at par. With this accomplished, the road was pushed toward the mountains, the objective point of its owners at that time being West Ossipee, from which it was proposed to carry passengers to Conway in stages. The rails between Union village and West Ossipee were laid in 1870, and the road opened in July of that year. The cost of this section was $767,200, and was paid for in stock, of which the Eastern Railroad took $168,200. The stock at this time sold in market for $107 a share. It was soon found that the scheme for extending the line to Conway by stages was a failure, and the road to that place was built and commenced business December 8, 1871. It was afterwards extended to North Conway, June, 1872. The cost from West Ossipee to North Conway was $483,400.99, and the money was furnished by the Eastern Corporation, as was $220,000 more spent in completing the road below. Union village. This made the entire cost of the road $2,105,689.50. When the road was completed the Eastern held of its securities $1,000,000 in bonds and $551,000 in stock. September 12, 1870, the Portsmouth, Great Falls & Conway road was leased to the Eastern in New Hampshire for sixty-nine years, the rental being the same dividend per share upon the stock as is paid to the Eastern stockholders, and 4 per cent upon the bonded debt of $1,000,000. The disasters that befell the Eastern between
1870 and 1875 paralyzed the Portsmouth, Great Falls & Conway. In 1878 its resources consisted mainly of the courage, industry, and tact of a Wakefield farmer, to whose efforts its extension above Union village was largely due, and who had been appointed its superintendent a short time before. At this date it did not pay operating expenses. Its track was a menace to life and property, its decrepit rolling stock was in the hands of a sheriff, and its credit was so poor that the superintendent was obliged to buy upon his individual credit fuel for its locomotives, and swap the old spikes for a few tools with which to repair its broken and battered rails, while its stock was quoted at 14. He proceeded to create a business for it by making it for the advantage of manufacturers and landlords to locate upon it, and by coaxing tourists over it, and was steadily increasing its receipts. when the lease of the Eastern to the Boston & Maine grafted it upon a strong corporation, and gave the man who had demonstrated his ability to run it with nothing. an opportunity to show what he could accomplish when he had the means to do with. Its business has quadrupled in ten years, its stock sells for $118, and it is rapidly being put in excellent condition. Twenty-two miles of the track are in steel, thirteen and one third miles having been laid last year. The ballast is fair and steadily being bettered. The improvements for 1886 include a new culvert at Brown's brook, new masonry and eye-beams for the bridge at Union, stone culverts and a substantial pile bridge at Milton, a new turn-table at North Conway, extensive repairs upon the coal-sheds at Wolfeborough Junction, and general repairs upon the bridges and structures of the whole line. The stations at Center, Ossipee, Conway, Woodbury Junction, and East Wakefield have been painted and renovated, and, like the others on the road, are attractive and neat. For the joint use of the roads doing business there an elegant brick structure