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Grand Junction Rail Road and Depot Company (Boston, Massachusetts)

$165.00

SKU: 971
Product Details

 

Beautifully engraved antique bond certificate from the Grand Junction Rail Road and Depot Company dating back to the 1850's. This document, which has been signed by the company President and Treasurer, was printed by Morse & Tuttle Engravers, and measures approximately 14 1/4" (w) by 10 1/2" (h) - including the complete rows of coupons at the bottom. 

 

This certificate features a pair of vignettes - an unbelievably detailed wharf scene at the left and Boston Harbor at the top.

Images

You will receive the exact certificate pictured.

 

Please note close cropping to left side border.

    Historical Context

    The Grand Junction Railroad and Depot Company was chartered April 24, 1847, to connect the railroads entering Boston from the north and west with its wharves in East Boston. This was a rechartering of the Chelsea Branch Railroad, incorporated April 10, 1846.

    The first section to open was from East Boston to the Boston and Maine Railroad in Somerville, opened in 1849. It began at a huge waterfront yard complex on Boston Harbor, occupying the space east of the Eastern Railroad terminal and west of the Boston, Revere Beach and Lynn Railroad terminal. The line headed north with two tracks (minimum) just east of the Eastern Railroad's line, crossing at-grade and splitting to the west just south of Curtis Street, with a crossover track between the two lines south of the crossing (allowing Eastern Railroad trains from their terminal to use the Grand Junction). In 1905, the Grand Junction Railroad in East Boston was rebuilt into a below-grade two-track line, and the Eastern Railroad line was truncated to just north of the split.

    Next the Grand Junction crossed Chelsea Creek into Chelsea. It passed north of downtown Chelsea and through outlying areas of Everett before crossing the Mystic River into Somerville and running along the east side of the Boston and Maine Railroad's main line towards Boston. It soon crossed the border into Charlestown, part of Boston. Just south of Cambridge Street, the Grand Junction junctioned with and crossed the B&M. After crossing the B&M, the extension immediately crossed the Mystic River Branch of the Boston and Lowell Railroad, just before crossing back into Somerville. In Cambridge it crossed under the old B&L mainline (with track connections) and merged with the Fitchburg Railroad.


    In March 1852 the line was leased to the Eastern Railroad between the B&M in Somerville and Salem Turnpike (now called Broadway) in Chelsea. The Eastern Railroad, then ending in East Boston, used the line for downtown Boston access, building a cutoff in 1854 from their main line to the Grand Junction in Chelsea, and building a new line splitting from the Grand Junction just west of the B&M and B&L Mystic River Branch crossing and running just west of the B&M into downtown. The Saugus Branch Railroad, bought by the Eastern April 30, 1852, was realigned in 1855 at its south end to feed into the Grand Junction rather than the B&M.

    The rest of the line was built in 1856, connecting to the Boston and Worcester Railroad in Allston, now part of Boston. Instead of merging with the Fitchburg Railroad, it continued west along its north side for a bit (passing under the Boston and Lowell Railroad's new alignment) before turning south, crossing the Fitchburg Railroad at-grade onto its own alignment through Cambridge. A track connection was provided with the Fitchburg Railroad, connecting the East Boston-bound Grand Junction to the Fitchburg-bound Fitchburg.

    After running through Cambridge along what was once the shore of the Charles River and is now a rough border between the main campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the rest of Cambridge, the line crossed the river diagonally on a bridge under the Essex Street Bridge (now the Boston University Bridge) and joined with the Boston and Worcester Railroad (after 1867, the Boston and Albany Railroad).

    The line was reorganized as the East Boston Freight Railroad in 1862, and the Boston and Albany bought the property in 1869. It passed with the B&A into larger companies - the New York Central Railroad, Penn Central and Conrail. On February 28, 1955, the counterweight fell off the Chelsea Creek drawbridge, taking the bridge permanently out of service; subsequently B&A trains reached East Boston from Chelsea using B&M trackage rights via Revere. B&A service to East Boston ended around 1972.