FBG Project D-006a
• Source: FBG-System
Power Station for Blue Hill Street Railway
- Canton, MA
- Engineers: Stone & Webster?
- Demolished after 1931, details unknown.
This job is known only from photos and captions in several FBG ads of 1906-07. Photos in Bricklaying System (pp.53-4) may be of this project but cannot be clearly identified.
A detailed amateur history written in 1957 and other records show that the Blue Hill Street Railway was chartered in June, 1899 to run from Stoughton through Sharon, Canton and Milton. Although it was a going concern for a number of years, with the notable Boston engineering firm Stone & Webster among the owners, it was consistently unprofitable, as were many of the small urban railways.
No specific reference to its powerplant or construction of any similar facility can be found. That history of the line notes only that construction (of the actual rail lines) was begun in late 1899, immediately after chartering, and that by November 5, 1900, “nearly a year after operation began,” a carhouse (off Sherman Street) and a “power station […] near the shore of Forge Pond, in the Springdale section of Canton” had been constructed.
That carhouse was destroyed in a fire in 1909, and a replacement was built at Cobb's Corner. A storm in February 1920 left the line without power and the cars stranded at various points on the tracks. They would never run again. Nearly a month passed before they were collected into the carhouse, which again became a victim of fire in 1921, taking most of the railway's cars with it The line was formally dissolved a decade later, in 1931.
With the material and suggestions provided by historian Steven Walton regarding the contemporaneous Houghton County Power Station in Michigan, it was possible to reorganize some of these little-documented jobs into a cluster across 1900-1901, all probably through the engineering firm Stone & Webster, who was a financial and business partner in all of them.
Complete business records are held by Harvard, but are offline, offsite and voluminous. (The authors of the short history note that all records were destroyed and may have been unaware of these holdings.)
- System ad
- Street Railway Journal ad
Unknown. Probably demolished, sometime between 1921 and 1931.
- The Blue Hill Street Railway, O.R. Cummings, Electric Railway History Society Bulletin No. 25 (27pp), 1957