Like Us On
Preserving the History & Heritage of Lake Winnipesaukee & Vicinity



Return to Alton

Return to Main History


Alton Railroad Station circa 1850

The Cocheco Railroad was chartered on July 2, 1847. It's original charter was to reach from Dover, NH to Meredith, NH were it would connect to the Boston, Concord and Montreal Railroad. On June of 1848 construct began. Tracks opened from Dover, NH to Farmington, NH on September 21, 1849 and then opened as far as Alton Bay, NH in September of 1951.

There is one photo at the Alton Historical Society that shows a small "garden-shed" style railroad station at Alton Bay from the 1850's era. This was the first station built at Alton Bay. The Cocheco Railroad never reached it's final destination of Meredith - with Alton Bay being the end of the line. In April of 1863 the Cocheco Railroad reorganized as the Dover and Winnipiseogee Railroad and in November of that same year it was leased to the Boston and Maine Railroad. In June of 1892 the Dover and Winnipiseogee Railroad was absorbed into the Boston and Maine Railroad.

A 1859 photo shows the freight house as a "stand alone" structure that was not connected to any other building. The second station must have been built near by and the covered platform, to connect the two structures, an afterthought.

The earliest photos I can find of the second station built at this site shows a side wheel steam ship, presumably the "Mount Washington", docked at the platform. This steamship was built in 1872 for the Boston and Maine Railroad. The previous steamer "Dover", later named "Cocheco" was not a side wheel steamer. While I can find no records of when this station was built it is my guess that it was in the vicinity of the 1870's. Both the station and the freight house had, at one time, "drive through" service with the tracks leading all the way through the station, under the platform roof and out the freight house. As rolling stock and engines grew larger, it eventually became impossible for equipment to pass under the station and the tracks leading under the station's hood were "stubbed" just short of the station. Tracks to the freight house still allowed for equipment to enter the building from the north end of the yard. This second station is what this kit is modeled after.

The station was destroyed by fire on November 4, 1906.

A third station was built shortly there after just a couple hundred feet down the tracks. Although rail service ended on this branch in 1936, and roadways now pave where tracks use to be the replacement station still stands. And just across the road from this station (at the entrance to the Alton Bay Campgrounds Association) you can still see the cement footings for where the water tower once stood. Pop's Clam Shell is in a close proximity to the were a small 2-3 stall roundhouse stood complete with a turntable.