The Brownville-Brownville Junction Historical Society is dedicated to the collection, preservation and presentation of the unique history of this area’s unique place in Maine’s History

Our Parish House Museum was built in 1839 as the Methodist Episcopal Church. It was located near the Crocker Quarry, but in 1850 it was moved on to logs and rolled to its present location at 72 Church Street.

For years it was the Fellowship Hall of the Brownville Community Church, a gathering place for the community. In 1996, the Brownville-Brownville Junction Historical Society purchased the building from the Church and it has been home to the Society ever since.


We would love your help!
We are always looking for volunteers for a variety of tasks from “house cleaning” to copying information to greeting visitors and helping raise funds.
Drop in to visit, call Susan at 965-8070 or email us: brownvillehistorical@trcmaine.org

 

 

 

WE CAN USE YOUR HELP.....Do you have memories of the CPR Station and "Old" Brownville Junction?

Hello everyone,

A few notes regarding the Brownville Junction/CPR History project.

A few weeks ago the Historical Society announced that in mid-summer 2016 a project related to the impact of the CPR on the Town of Brownville was expected to begin. Well, it did. On Wednesday June 22, 2016 the historical Society officially kicked off the project. Several people have graciously dropped off family histories, scrap books, photographs, railroad experiences, train orders, and all kinds of period keepsakes and artifacts that will be used as reference material for the project. A huge thank you for those that had time to drop off this material. However, there are several mysteries that still need resolving. Before the new mysteries are exposed the old ones need to be revealed. Old and new issues are listed below.

---Donated photographs have located the water towers and in the train yard. As shown on several photos the first water tower was mounted about 10 feet above ground elevation and was constructed of wood and covered in clapboards painted CPR Maroon and more than likely the clapboards held the tank insulation in place to prevent freezing. The tank most of us remember was the large cylindrical steel tank painted engine black that held several thousand gallons when filled and was mounted on structural steel legs several tens of feet above grade. Mounted on the top was a level indicator that showed the amount of water in the tank and was visible throughout the town until it was destroyed by a wind storm around 1959 I think.

---The bunk house location mystery was solved by old photographs as well. Several calls and emails were placed to well-connected people in the Junction asking if any knew the location of the original Bunk house that was used by train crews and in transient employees prior to the existence of the YMCA. Most people didn’t know the house existed and some found old photographs in scrap book collections. The answer to this riddle was shown in a photograph of the old station that was in service prior to the existing block and brick building still standing. In the station photo taken while looking east down the platform shows the unusual hip roof shape of the bunk house located where the watch maker/jeweler shop existed. So it appears that the bunk house was repurposed and used as the watch makers shop and was located just west of the siding used by the pay car when it visited the junction.

---The holy grail of this project was located in an engineering drawing drawer in the society museum. This document is a custom size (looks like a half E size drawing by today’s standards) blue print that depicts the as-built plot plan of the train yard and assigned company housing CIRCA 1927. There are other details that show underground utility mains and tie-ins such as potable water, steam heating lines, tender water fill stations and back-up water tank storage supplies. Also shown are CPR shops, engine shed and auxiliary buildings. The drawing was transported to Bangor where it was electronically scanned and reproduced. Fitch Engineering performed this task on a pro bono work order for the benefit of the Historical Society. Thank you, Fitch Engineering.

---One mystery: How many track stalls were there in the CPR round house at the Junction? I remember 11 or 13. Some photos show 13 stalls and several newspaper accounts list 22.

Someone has to know. Did the round house undergo expansion or contraction over the years? We need your informed response. One feature most remember are the repairs to the brick walls in front of each stall where locomotives with bad brakes failed to make the stop. Tongue in cheek.

Additional mysteries: Type of boilers in the power house; water tube or fire tube. Type of draft employed?

     Where was the office spaces located in the shops building adjacent to the roundhouse?

     Was there a second floor above the machine and wheel shop?

     Verify Coal Pocket loading. Were there in track conveying systems and a moving bucket conveyor?

     Verify Sand house filling and servicing: Was this a pneumatic conveying system?

     There were two Lunch/wash/rest room structures. One was located near the B&B shop. Where was the location of the second structure?

     Was the oil storage and distribution building located on the east side of the Sores building or was it located at another location?

Thanks for your help.

Ken Hatchette/Volunteer in training

If you have information to share, you can email us at brownvillehistorical@trcmaine.org.