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Friday, February 23, 2007

Zadoc Long's Journal, 1849-50

Source: Alfred Cole and Charles F. Whitman, A History of Buckfield, Oxford County, Maine (Buckfield, Me.: [s.n.], 1915).
[p. 496]
1849.
Jan. 1—Very pleasant.

Jan. 25—Buckfield B. R. R. goes ahead rapidly, ¼ of distance is graded and a contract is made and $5000 advanced for the iron rails, 1000 tons at $34, exclusive of duties, to be delivered at Portland next June. Capt. Horton has the California gold fever.

Feb. 6—Capt. Horton gone to Bath to procure a vessel in which to go to California for gold. He has sold his furniture in this house to Mr. Nathan Morrill, who has agreed to take a lease of the house.

May 7—Zadoc and John commenced study at Hebron Academy. Board with Mr. Fairbanks, the preceptor at 6 shillings each per week.

May 14—A high freshet.

July 4—A Temperance celebration here. Very honorable to the place. 4000 people judged to be present.

Aug. 13—Began to-day to lay the rails for the Buckfield Branch R. R. at Mechanic Falls.

Aug. 18—Sold a house lot to Ira Ames, 25 rods square for $50. Land in east corner of the pasture lately conveyed to me opposite Allen's, Parris' and Thomes's land by Sam. B. Perry.

Aug. 23—Railroad nearly graded. It will be in operation this fall if the company can raise a loan of $35,000 which they are in pursuit of.

Aug. 26—Meeting at Union Chapel. 4 ministers present, 2 Baptists and 2 Universalists whose combined ages were 314 years, average 78½ years.

Aug. 27—Annual meeting of the Railroad Company last Sat. Old Board of Directors elected with one exception.

Aug. 28—Sold my shares in the B. B. R. R. to V. D. Parris for 52½ per cent.; 20 shares, $2000 for $1050. Loss $950. I have paid into the


[p. 497]
treasury $900. Mr. P. is to pay the remaining assessment that will be made on me by my paying $50 and then he receives certificates of stock.

Dec. 1—The B. B. R. R. not yet in operation. The rails fail to within 5 miles of the village. The cost when the road is completed will not be less I think than $150,000—$50,000 more than the estimates.

Dec. 2—Very cold. The ground shut up effectually last night. Many of the boarders of the Nezinscot House have left. Mr. Arrowsmith and wife are in N. Y. Parsel and Benson at Portland, Barrett and Stevenson on the line of the Atlantic & St. Lawrence road, Mr. Gregg at Mr. A. F. Cole's and about to be married to Miss Helen Cole. All the foregoing have been connected with the construction of the railroad. Mr. Sullivan Andrews has left because he is not satisfied with his treatment. I am again to take the house the first of May.

Dec. 21—I have bought of Ephraim Atwood an orchard—about ¾ acre, on which there are some 82 apple trees for $100.

1850.
Jan. 1—Good weather. Good sleighing.

Jan. 8—A great multitude assembled at the village to see the first train come in. A dinner prepared at this house for 100 invited guests from other towns. Owing to the snow drifting upon the track, the engine could not get through to the great mortification and disappointment of the people of the place.

Jan. 11—The cars with passengers came into the village for the first time.

Jan. 13—Olive Record buried to-day.

Jan. 20—Jonathan Buck buried to-day.

Jan. 26—Mr. Brown has sold his house and farm to America Farrar.

Jan. 29—Mrs. Ephraim Atwood, our near neighbor, is dying with consumption.

Feb. 6—We are having the coldest weather for the winter. Snow's very deep and travelling difficult. The Railroad is in operation, but meets with much delay and trouble on account of blocking snows.

Apr. 3—Mr. Brown moved from his house and Mrs. B. and Charlotte left the place to reside in Bangor.

Apr. 13—I have let the Sons of Temperance have the use of the hall for the meetings of their Society at $8 per quarter.

Apr. 17—Mr. Morrill moved his goods and family away from our house.

Apr. 27—Mr. America Farrar raising an addition to his house. His business large.

May 6—Mr. America Farrar is building a spacious addition to his house on the side of my garden. Considerable improvement has been made in the buildings and business of the village since the commencement of the R. R. Rents and real estate have advanced very much.

July 3—The town is widening and repairing the bridge in the village.

July 25—Howard, the violinist, here.


[p. 498]
Aug. 3—The Buckfield Brass Band meet this evening. The B. B. R. R. is doing business enough to pay running expenses, but not enough to pay the interest of the company's debt which would be about $20 a day.

Oct. 20—Mr. Small, Preceptor of Hebron Academy, preached at Union Chapel. The Sons of Temperance left my hall and now meet at Farrar's.

Dec. 5—The business of the village has very much increased since the R. R. commenced. Loring, Jewett & Co. are beginning the manufacture of shoes. Atwood & Cresey are also preparing for it. Charles Davis & Co. are doing a considerable business in their flour mill. They have ground with what they now have on hand 8000 bushels of wheat, which they brought from the State of N. Y. last year. 20 dwelling houses have been erected, 3 stores and very many other buildings within two years. The population of the village has been increased by many coming in. The R. R. here is in a bad way. It is believed that it will be an entire loss to shareholders, to the amount they signed for. There seems not to be company funds enough to pay creditors.

Dec. 11—The stockholders much discouraged about our R. R. The Company has not the means to pay its debts. The engine ran off the track to-day at Mechanic Falls, so that passengers were obliged to take sleighs. Mr. White from Bangor is here and talks of buying the farm of the late Jonathan Buck.

Dec. 13—My son, Zadoc, is in the store of William A. Child & Co.

Dec. 15—Our R. R. spending more than it earns.

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