During the nineteenth century there was a need for a railway to link the mines in Albert Mines, the gypsum mill in Hillsborough, and the oil fields of Stoney Creek with the main railway line in Salisbury. During the winter months the Petitcodiac River would fill with winter ice making it impossible to transport by ship any of the valuable minerals mined in the area. The only solution was to build a railway to provide year round transportation.
The Hon. C. A. Peck was elected to the House of Assembly in Fredericton following Confederation in 1867, and he soon began to press to get a railroad built in Albert County.
Finally in 1875, a grant was given to Thomas McHenry, Hon. John Lewis, and others for the building and operation of a railway to Riverside-Albert from Salisbury.
The firm of McDonald and Co. was awarded a contract for the building of the railway. Construction started in 1875, but the McDonald and Co. firm soon stopped construction and gave up the contract. The railway was then completed in 1876 by another firm.
In 1888, the railway was foreclosed by the English bond-holders who had put up most of the money to build the railway. The railway was ordered to be sold and a man from New York, C. H.. Harman, who owned a manganese mine in Dawson Settlement, Albert County bought the railway for $50,000. He wanted to ensure that there would be year round transportation available for materials mined in the area.
In 1900 Abram Sherwood became the railway manager. He managed the railway until 1913. Mr. Sherwood’s good business skills soon had the railway operating with average yearly earnings of between $17,000 to $25,000. The railroad was taken over by the Government in 1911 and made part of the Canadian National Railway. The railway station is now a residence.
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