TRAIN STATIONS ACROSS THE U.S.
By Beryl Frank
[Photo from the collection of Larry Frasier]
The Waterbury station was modeled after the Torre del Magnia in the public palazzo in Siena, Italy. The station was designed by the well known architects McKim, Mead and White. Historically and architecturally, it has been a significant railroad station.
Native Americans passed through the land which is now Waterbury before the arrival of the explorers and white settlers who came across the 'big pond' in their large ships and settled into what became the town.
Early industries included lumber, baskets, leather products, starch and scythe handles. Agriculture became a major industry.
The Vermont Central Railroad came to Waterbury in 1849. With the railroad came economic growth and tourism. By 1880, the population had increased from a small village to a larger community of 2,200.
According to the railroad station time line, the first train arrived in Waterbury on October 1, 1849. The original depot served Waterbury until it burned down. The present station was begun in 1875.
From 1887 through 1932 the Mount Mansfield Electric Railroad connected Waterbury with Stowe, Vermont, where skiing was king.
By the 1950s, train travel began to decline due to interstate road construction and air travel. The last steam engine locomotive went through in 1957, and in 1995 Amtrak's Vermonter had its inaugural run on May 1. The train station restoration was completed in 2006.
A BIT OF HISTORY ABOUT VERMONT:
Vermont became the 14th state in 1791 and was the first state in the U.S. to abolish slavery. They sent soldiers to every war.
Vermonters restored the 1875 train station making it a downtown centerpiece located next to Rusty Parker Memorial Park. They put up original wood moldings and high sloped ceilings and coffee, carrot cake and showcases to entice the train travelers to pause and rest a bit. That is just a bit of the romance which Waterbury and Vermont have had with the railroad which still stops in their town.