Early Mass. railroad maps have been digitized by the Mass. State Library.
The first railroad in Massachusetts was chartered in 1826 and since that time the commonwealth has seen dozens of operators expand and contract their operations. By 1836 railroad corporations had to submit reports of their activities to the Secretary of the Commonwealth and in 1871 a Railroad Commission was established to oversee these companies. This wonderful digital collection from the Massachusetts State library brings together dozens of maps, manuscripts, and annual reports related to the operations of these companies. The Maps area is remarkable as it features over 270 maps that document various railroad surveys from the mid 19th century to the early 20th century. The Annual Reports area includes over 50 reports from the Public Service Commission that provide valuable insights into railroad operations. The Manuscripts area contains a range of acts that document the potential and realized ambitions of a range of small, medium, and large railroad companies, including the Dorchester and Milton Extension Railroad Company. [from Scout Report, by KMG]