Monday, December 4, 2017

CV List of Industries and Facilities Located at Stations

Ten or 15 years ago Jim McFarlane and I were going back and forth by email - I was asking Jim if the railroad maintained a central list of customers. My purpose was to determine what industries were in specific towns along the line. Jim was thinking I wanted a list of all the customers who shipped via the railroad - which would have numbered in the thousands (he was thinking of each less than carload or LCL shipment as a "customer"). No matter, there was no "master list of customers." 
A few weeks later an envelope appeared in my mailbox with three documents and a short note from Jim reading "Marty, is this something that answers your question?" 
What Jim had sent me was three copies of a document called "List of Industries (Served by Private Sidings) and Facilities Located at Stations on the Central Vermont Railway and Montpelier and Barre Railroad." Quite a mouthful! (the exact title apparently changed over the years!)

One was from 1945, one from 1959, and the third from 1965. 

A page from the 1945 book is shown below: 
The 1959 book is a little different. Each page contains a list of individual railroad customers who were responsible for maintaining a siding or some portion thereof. Included was the name of the customer, a brief description of the type of business ("Feed mill", "Manufacturer of xxx" etc ...), and the length of track (right column in view below) that customer was responsible for maintaining. 

Keep in mind when the list reads "Siding length 50-feet" that does not mean there's a dedicated 50-foot long spur off the main - it merely means that particular customer was responsible for paying for the upkeep of that length of track - quite often there would be several customers located along a single siding, with each customer responsible for the maintenance of a certain portion. 
The listing also indicates the customer's name - I believe it's whomever the railroad would bill for the service. In the Enosburg Falls listing above, "Issac Brown" is shown as a Retail Petroleum Dealer with a siding length of 40 feet. 
Look on a map of Enosburg Falls and you'll note there's an oil dealer - Standard Oil Co. of New York - located on the double ended siding across from the depot. The engineering department plats make no reference to "Issac Brown." I'm fairly certain he was the owner, or at least the manager, of the Socony dealership in Enosburg Falls, Vt. 

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