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Cochecho Rail Road Company


SKU: 1746
Product Details


Beautifully engraved antique stock certificate from the Cocheco Railroad Company dating back to the 1850's. This document, which has been signed by the company President and Treasurer, measures approximately 9" (w) by 5" (h).


The vignette features a train steaming down the tracks. Nice, red company seal in the lower left corner.


You will receive the exact certificate pictured.

    Historical Context

    The Cocheco Rail Road Company was incorporated in New Hampshire on July 2, 1847.


    The company started service from Dover to Farmington in 1849, and from Farmington to Alton Bay in 1851.


    On April 22, 1863, the company was reorganized as the Dover and Winnipiseogee Railroad Company before being absorbed into the Boston and Maine system.


    The company also operated steamships that served the southern part of Lake Winnipesaukee - which resulted in a competitive battle with the Concord and Montreal system.


    The rivalry that resulted from the launching of the Chocorua by the Cocheco Railroad Company was a long and bitter one. The Chocorua was immediately forbidden docking facilities at the Weirs, home territory of the Concord and Montreal system; in counter-measure, the Cocheco added Meredith to the ports-of-call for their ship. The fight was on, and the lake was divided into two domains, each actually going under a different name. One end of the lake was called “Winnipesaukee” - the name that was legally adopted by the state legislature in 1931 - while the other half went under the more tongue-twisting title of “Winnipeseogee.” The captains of the rival steamers were loyal company men, and they usually gave the “full ahead” signal when the two boats met on their parallel runs from Center Harbor to Wolfeboro. The smoke-stacks belched and the boilers hissed, while passengers and crew cheered on their favorites.

    The railroad rivalry had been under way for only a few years before a new and more luxurious steamer was put into operation on the lake. Privately-owned and so attractive that she took quite a chunk of business away from the company boats, the Jim Bell was outfitted even to the extent of window blinds for comfort and wooden roller bearings for silent operation. Not caring for this type of competition, the Boston and Maine company - which by this time had absorbed the Cocheco system - purchased the Jim Bell and retired her from active use as a passenger-carrier. The fast-growing company received two benefits from this move: the Jim Bell was stationed at The Weirs, where it could encroach on the home territory of the Concord and Montreal, and the ship also turned in a neat profit from excursion trips and moonlight cruises. So, although the Jim Bell never had a fair chance in the commercial competition, she did have the distinction of becoming the Lakes Region’s first tourist boat, and pioneer in an industry that would completely displace commercial lake boating before too many years had passed.