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Bangor Piscatquis Railroad Handwritten Journal. 1835-1836




Bangor Piscatquis Railroad Handwritten Journal. 1835-1836. An incredibly rare look into the first days of railroading in Maine! With connections to Deerfield. Title: Journal while on the Bangor & Piscataquis Rail Road. August 1, 1835 to December 21, 1836. Unraveling our mystery diarist: Our railroad man (no ownership name is written) records hearing the news from brother Robert of the death of brother Elijah in Jacksonville East Florida who expired the 3rd of November (1835); after extensive researching, I determined this person who died was Capt Elijah Williams (1802-3Nov 1835) who died in Jacksonville. He was the only son of Ebenezer Williams and husband of Isabella Hoyt. The death of Elijah in Florida was also reported in the Colombian Centinel. Isabella (1804-1892) was a daughter of Major General Epaphras Hoyt of Deerfield. Isabella Hoyt’s sister Adeline Hoyt (1798-1841) was married to Robert Williams (1792-1862) who was a son of Solomon Williams (1764-1836) and Miranda Arms (1765-1846). In many families the term “brother” was used lovingly for ‘brother in law’ as in regards to Robert and Elijah. I believe this historic Railroad Journal was penned by Arthur W Hoyt (1811-1899) only son of Epaphras Hoyt. The  journal has several references to Deerfield. Believed Arthur referred to his brother in laws Robert and Elijah as brothers.

Some excerpts; CT Arms arrived from Deerfield to examine land for E Smith Continued the survey to Campbell’s hill continued the line but it proved very bad nothing but swamps and rocks... At Old Town examining land for a depot....Stopped in a barn of a house inhabited by a half starved owl, went to the barn to sleep...passed the night with the feathered tribes, a delicious sleeping place compared with our tents…..George Cooley entered the office and informed us of the death of Miss Bacon [Death of Miss M Bacon of Deerfield on Nov 4, 1835 in Bangor Maine (she was Mariah Bacon born in 1813 Adopted daughter of Mrs. Mary Dickinson be and is buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery Deerfield)]…. Ran a survey for a branch railroad from Orono to Lower Stillwater... Two men killed by the falling of the cut on section 8, President Jackson’s special message arrived by express. Finished a plan profile and report to Maine legislature….very violent snowstorm 24 inches in depth, received a Franklin County Massachusetts paper containing the death of many of my comrades: Ralph Barnard age 40, Frederick Arms age 22, Richard Williams age 28, Jacksonville East Florida Dr. Charles Hoyt age 30, Mrs. Mary Russell daughter of Colonel David Wright…..Commenced blasting the rock, I left Bangor at midnight aboard of the mail coach for Boston where after encountering many difficulties I arrived, thermometer 18 below zero nearly the whole day and I could hardly keep from freezing, stopped at Boston for short time then took the stage for Deerfield and was entirely buried up in a snowstorm horses and all, it was with much difficulty, arrived then remained at Deerfield sometime and purchased a lot of land…returned to Bangor and presented the same to Mr. Jackson Alexander Bielaski my old assistant upon the WRR arrived, he has for sometime past been engaged upon a railroad in Florida and on that survey passed through a swamp which took him 13 days and was the first white person who ever went through it, was shipped wrecked 3 times going and coming from Florida came on a visit to us soon returns to Boston but will if I want come and assist me….Ran the engine Pioneer through to OldTown This is the first time a locomotive engine ever ran in the state of Maine Kept the engine running with empty cars to get them in order for regular running and on the 29th opened the road by inviting 165 gentleman to ride upon it, and ran the whole day to the satisfaction of all and on the next day commenced regular running for passengers. Continually engaged and settling with contractors, Set an agent to Boston and paid away $5000. Williams left for Deerfield. Gave a supper to about 12 of my comrades then bid Bangor a lasting adieu. Entered the mail coach with Stebbins for Boston, stopped in Boston to see my friends and directors then took the last farewell of the President and Directors of the B&PC RR and received from them a letter of recommendation and proceeded direct to Old Deerfield….

Arthur Wellesley Hoyt (1811-1899) son of Epaphras (1765-1850) and Experience Harvey Hoyt (1772-1833) of Deerfield was a surveyor and civil engineer, working in Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, Illinois, Louisiana, and Texas building railroads, canals and roads. He was involved with the Cashier Silver Mine and the Blue Jacket Mining Company both in Colorado. His first wife Elizabeth Henry Hoyt died in 1863 who he married in 1840. In 1865 he married Mary Ann Jones Hoyt (1833-1900). Alexander Bielaski (1811-1861) born in Poland, immigrated to Portland Maine in 1832 and was engaged in building railroads. From 1835-1837 he made surveys in Florida. He worked as a civil engineer with the Baltimore & Ohio RR under its construction, in 1837 he removed to Illinois as a pioneer engineer of the Illinois Central Railroad under the engineer and contractor Arthur Hoyt. Friend of Abraham Lincoln, he was a Captain in the Union Army during the Civil War and was killed in the Battle of Belmont. He married Mary Ann Cary who died in 1887.CT Arms (Christopher Tyler) (1781-1854) of Deerfield; son of Aaron Arms (1749-1806) and Lucy Tyler (1752-1826) He was a surveyor and a farmer, and married Avice Stebbins (1785-1859) daughter of Colonel Joseph Stebbins. Buried at Laurel Hill cemetery Deerfield. Author not stated but believe it was Arthur Hoyt based on research. Removed. Unbound. Left margin trimmed close suggesting it had been removed over 180 years ago. Contains 20 pages of writing (cover page, and 10 loose leaves of writing on both sides). 


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