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Lincoln, Maine

A Town of Hearty, Resilient Souls

Railroads

Responses from five students in Mrs. Harris' Social Studies class can be viewed below:

Petey Quintela
"Research your topic and summarize the ‘who, what, when, and where’ in the form of a few paragraphs"

Hometown Boys Win Tournament, Lincoln, 1938
Hometown Boys Win Tournament, Lincoln, 1938

Item Contributed by
Lincoln Historical Society

The history of the railroad in Lincoln started in 1852, when land was bought to construct a railroad. The construction started in 1864, and ended in 1868. However, the passenger railroad service didn't start until the early 1870s. Until then, only cargo was carried on the rails. The railroad was owned by E & N.A. Railroad until 1871. It was then unowned until Maine Central picked up the lease. They later sold it to Guilford Transportation, who still owns it to this day.

The railroads were split into two different rails. One route was for passengers, the other for transporting lumber to the mill. Once, when a house caught fire in Lincoln, the train was used to transport a fire truck. The building burned, but the people were amazed at the speed of the train. Another industry the railroad helped is communication. The train transported mail in and out of town, and the station doubled as a telegraph station.

The train was used to transport passengers, as well. The passenger rail first went from Old Town to Lincoln, and was later expanded to Bangor. The rail was used by sports teams to go to out of town games, and the military used it to transport soldiers to and from World War II. B.J.'s General Store in Mattawamkeag was rented out to the Army to house black soldiers who guarded the rail during that time. Also, a used boxcar was once used as a jail when the police were in dire need.

The railroad was important to Lincoln's history because it connected the town to the rest of the world. It was also important to the economy because without the rail, the mill wouldn't have developed and businesses wouldn't have been attracted to the town. It also helped people communicate with the outside world without leaving.

Train coming to town
Train coming to townDiorama by Kyran Daszkiewicz

Ethan Sibley
"Compare/contrast your topic in the past and in the present"

Railroads then:

  • Railroads ran on coal or wood.
  • They were operated on the spot by a crew.
  • Train tracks were routinely made of wood.
  • In Lincoln, trains were the primary transport method.

Railroads now:

  • Trains now run on fossil fuels or electricity.
  • They are run through computer programming, or managed on board by a handful of staff.
  • Train tracks are now made of steel or other metals.
  • Presently, automobiles have replaced trains for most transportation purposes.


"Dewey" engine in front of pulp mill, ca. 1910

Item Contributed by
Lincoln Historical Society

Both then and now:

  • Tracks became common in Lincoln, due to the paper mill’s business.
  • They are an important part of many mills, as they are less disruptive and expensive than trucks.
  • There are train stations still in Lincoln from the past.
  • Penobscot County is dependent on train tracks to trade with Aroostook and Washington Counties, as well as parts of Canada and New England.

Todd Dill
"How does this topic connect to you in your life today?"

Railroads connect to my life today because I live next to the railroad tracks. When I was younger, I used to walk along the tracks to find spikes and other things. Spikes are the things that hold the railroad track together. The train fell off the tracks in my yard once when I was little, and it rolled over. My grandfather told me about it. Sometimes in the morning I get woken up by the train as it goes by my house and honks its horn. It is very annoying! Many times it carries wood and things to and from the mill. The train that goes by my house no longer carries passengers like it did in the 1870s. I think it would be cool to ride the Lincoln train like people did back then.

Lincoln Center Railroad Station, ca. 1925
Lincoln Center Railroad Station, ca. 1925

Item Contributed by
Lincoln Historical Society

Krysta Cooper
"Using your new found knowledge of this topic, write a creative piece (haiku, cinquain, story, song) about it"

Trains...
Railroad, tracks
Delivering, connecting, shipping
Lincoln people, mail, and goods
Transportation

Works Cited

Train Collision in Lincoln Center, 1946
Train Collision in Lincoln Center, 1946

Item Contributed by
Lincoln Historical Society

Barrett, Marilyn, Marylyn Murphy, and Mary Wallace. "Railroads." All Together Now. Lincoln. Print.

Dickenson, Bev. "Railroad Station." Lincoln News. 12 July 1979. Print.

Fellows, Dana W. "Railroads and Stations." History of the Town of Lincoln. Lewiston: Dingley, 1928. 259-63. Print.