The Railroads of Manchester
Local historian G. Murray Campbell wrote in 1961: “There was a time when echoes of the whistles of three separate railroads could be heard in the daily life of Manchester.” First was the Western Vermont Railroad, later known as the Bennington & Rutland. The other two have long since become silent. The Manchester, Dorset & Granville (MD&G) ran five miles of railroad from Manchester Depot to the South Dorset quarries. The Rich Lumber Company, which felled large spruce stands up Lye Brook and around Bourne Pond and Bourne Brook from 1914 – 1919, operated a bustling logging railroad with 16 miles of standard gauge track. Material in the Manchester Historical Society archives has turned up a fourth rail operation. Although not a common carrier railroad, a Manchester lumber mill strung some wire and ran a small electric rail line on their property. Join railroad history expert Bill Badger and curator Shawn Harrington for a look at these important chapters of Manchester history.
Registration is $15 per person.
Shawn Harrington serves as Curator of the Manchester Historical Society and is a lifelong resident of Bennington County. His interest in history began at an early age when -as a second grader – he discovered The Shires of Bennington: A Pictorial History of a Vermont County (edited by Tyler Resch, Bennington Historical Society, 1975) in the library at the Shaftsbury Elementary School. Over the past 8 years, he has been digitizing the thousands of pieces in the MHS collection to use for outreach and education at local schools, as well as in print and social media. He has worked for the past two decades in the financial services industry with a tenure as a member of the New York Stock Exchange and resides in Manchester Center with his two sons.
Bill Badger is a 1970 magna cum laude graduate of Dartmouth College (B.A. Art History, Phi Beta Kappa) and a 1974 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Fine Arts (M. Architecture). He received a summer fellowship in Early American Arts and Decorative Arts from Historic Deerfield and a Dales Traveling Fellowship from the University of Pennsylvania. For several summers he worked as an architectural historian for the Historic American Building Survey (U.S. Department of Interior). He is a founding member and current Membership Chair of the Rutland Railroad Historical Society. Bill has been a dedicated board member of MHS for several decades. He and his wife, Pam, live in Manchester.