Barre Community History Project - In Grateful Memory of Maggie Bensen
What We Learned: Moving People
The student researchers found many materials relating to passenger traffic on the railways from Barre, such as timetables, tickets, advertisements, fare tables. They discovered that people took the train for business and for recreation.
In the course of an oral history interview, they learned which railway lines ran through Depot Square and why there are two stations They also learned that people often took the trains just for short local trips to visit relatives.
The Arthur Tandy dropped freight to the freight house and dropped off passengers. The train went to anywhere the Central Vermont Rail Road tracks would take them. The train was a recreational train. It would bring them to cricket, races, and Canada, St. Albans and New York.
Connecting transportation was available to take passengers and freight to and from the Depot.
This is a trolley in the intersection of Main Street. The cars could seat 28 people. With a ticket on the trolley, you can go to South Main Street, North Main Street, Washington Street, Main Line, Seminary Hill, and Blockade.
The relationship between the railway and the trolleys was not always helpful.
The students were fascinated by the pictures and newspaper accounts of Teddy Rosevelt's campaign stop in Barre in 1912. Although they were not able to find any evidence that he arrived in Barre by train, they were determined to include his visit in their exhibit:
"One Huge Mass of People" This is how the Barre Daily Times described the throng that greeted presidential candidate Theodore Roosevelt when he came to Barre on the campaign trail. According to the newspaper, "Trains and street cars brought large loads of people…," enabling the gathering of the largest audience in Barre's history.
The postcard on the right was a memorial of the day.
Teddy Roosevelt came and made his speech on August 31, 1912 to be reelected for president.
Edith was in the foreground and wrote a postcard. Her little boy Osman was sitting on a cousin's shoulder.
(Click postcard image for a PDF version.)