Intricately engraved antique stock certificate from the Taunton Branch Rail Road Corporation dating back to the 1800's. This document was printed by Hopper, Lewis & Co. of Boston, and measures approximately 10" (w) by 7 3/4" (h).
The vignette on this piece shows a train steaming through the countryside. An eagle on a shield appears at the bottom.
The images presented are representative of the piece(s) you will receive. When representative images are presented for one of our offerings, you will receive a certificate in similar condition as the one pictured; however dating, denomination, certificate number and issuance details may vary.
The Taunton Branch Railroad was one of the earliest railroads to be established in Massachusetts. It was chartered by the state in 1835 as a branch of the Boston and Providence Railroad (which opened in 1835) running between Mansfield and Taunton, Massachusetts. The railroad provided a rapid overland connection between the seat of Bristol County and Boston and Providence.
The Taunton Branch Railroad opened for business in 1836. The overall length of the railroad was about 11.5 miles. Thomas B. Wales served as the company's first president.
In 1840 the Taunton Branch Railroad was extended to New Bedford, Massachusetts by the New Bedford and Taunton Railroad, providing Taunton with a direct link to the whaling port city.
The railroad opened up new markets for Taunton's a notable ironmaking industry, and would lead to the rapid development of new businesses in the coming decades.
In 1845 another branch, known as the Fall River Branch Railroad, would be built between Myricks and the emerging textile town of Fall River. However, in 1846, Fall River trains would bypass Taunton and the Boston & Providence main line with the opening of their own connection, renamed the Fall River Railroad through Middleborough and Bridgewater to the Old Colony Railroad at South Braintree.
In 1856, the Middleboro and Taunton Railroad was opened between Weir Village and the Cape Cod Railroad at Middleborough.
In 1870, an extension of the original Taunton Branch Railroad was opened between Mansfield and Framingham, Massachusetts, known as the Mansfield and Framingham Railroad, and leased by the adjoining Boston, Clinton and Fitchburg Railroad (BC&F).
In 1871, the Taunton Railroad built a new connection to Attleboro, providing a shortcut to Providence.
On February 2, 1874, the Taunton Branch Railroad was merged into the New Bedford Railroad. The following year, the BC&F began leasing the New Beford's line. The two companies would them merge in 1876 to become the Boston, Clinton, Fitchburg and New Bedford Railroad.
In 1879 the Old Colony Railroad leased the combined company, merging it into itself in 1883.