Forest Hills-Dedham-Walpole Streetcar Line Questions

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Re: Forest Hills-Dedham-Walpole Streetcar Line Questions

Postby highgreen215 » Wed Oct 31, 2012 3:31 am

Good work, Sherlocks. We're gradually coming to some pretty clear conclusions. I'll have to take all your considerations and do some snooping around for myself. All that's missing is a photo of the barns.
BTW, any of you guys going on the 9:05 am first revenue Downeaster trip to Brunswick on Friday, Nov. 2nd? If so, hope you already got your tickets - it's sold out.
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Re: Forest Hills-Dedham-Walpole Streetcar Line Questions

Postby Leo Sullivan » Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:08 am

Here are pictures from the 1904 O.C.St. Ry. inventory.
The Old Colony didn't employ a photographer or have a
camera as good as the El.
It seems to me, that i posted these before.
LS
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W.Rox. C.H. II-1904-.jpg
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W. Rox. C.H. I -1904-.jpg
W. Rox. C.H. I -1904-.jpg (34.02 KiB) Viewed 4092 times
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Re: Forest Hills-Dedham-Walpole Streetcar Line Questions

Postby highgreen215 » Wed Oct 31, 2012 2:19 pm

Wow! I have never seen these pictures before and it's much easier to visualize them on the property now. Re the 1904 date, why do the barns look so abandoned with boarded up windows at such an early date. Is it because, as I heard from somewhere, that they were used mainly to store open cars in the winter? But still, they look so "old" in the pictures. How did they make it to 1914? When were they decommissioned and when were they torn down? I remember a gas station on that site in the 1950s and the Gypsy trailer park either on that site or beside it in the woods.
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Re: Forest Hills-Dedham-Walpole Streetcar Line Questions

Postby MarkB » Wed Oct 31, 2012 2:58 pm

As a poster above said, that bump in Washington street was always there, due to a rock outcrop. It was taken out by the mid 1920s. Here's an 1896 view:
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Re: Forest Hills-Dedham-Walpole Streetcar Line Questions

Postby MarkB » Wed Oct 31, 2012 3:11 pm

Three maps showing the car barns. 1896, 1905, 1924.
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1924 car barn.jpg
1924
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1905 car barn.jpg
1905
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1896 car barn.jpg
1896
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Re: Forest Hills-Dedham-Walpole Streetcar Line Questions

Postby MBTA3247 » Wed Oct 31, 2012 5:25 pm

Pity those photos are in winter, with snow covering the tracks. Did BERy ever take inventory photos of those barns?
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Re: Forest Hills-Dedham-Walpole Streetcar Line Questions

Postby 3rdrail » Wed Oct 31, 2012 5:54 pm

I'll say it too, WOW !!!! Leo, you never cease to amaze ! Those photos are great ! I have a few observations regarding them if you don't mind. First of all, may I (ahem) point your attention to the first photograph. Look at the profile of the ground at the horizon and the manner which the trees are on a grade. This supports my observation yesterday that the edge of this (2nd) barn was built almost to the edge of the level lot as it stands today. Do you notice the downhill slope ? That exists pretty much the same today as you walk down Boundary Road next to Domino's heading towards High Point Village. The second photo is of the 1st barn. The reason that I know this is that it was the 1st barn which contained a stock room (There's the place to bring your metal detector, Highgreen !). The stock room is that little appendix on the rear.

Mark - Thank you very much for the maps depicting various stages of the barns. They indicate that the 1st barn was slightly forward (towards Wash) than I first believed by virtue of my miscalculation of the 2nd barn to the 1st based upon Cheney's drawing. The 2nd barn's front doors were actually about 50-60 % of the way down an imaginairy line from the 1st barn's midpoint according to these maps. I tend to believe that this element is accurate as the follow-up lead trackwork now fits with Derek's estimate whereas it didn't before. I submit to you however that the drawing of the 2nd barn on your copies of the map above where two barns are drawn appears to be undersized as the above photographs indicate otherwise, and it is documented that both barns were four tracked barns. Whether this is from mistake or based perhaps on a early developmental phase of the 2nd barn, I don't know. For that reason, I am maintaining my original estimate of having both barns about the same size on my drawing. The maps are nice as they give a third dimension to work with. Thanks again !

Derek- Thank you for your apology and complement. I like your work as well which is why I consulted you regarding the backset. Via Mark's maps, it shows that you were right on the money @ 80'. With the new information, I figure about 72' from the edge of Washington Street to the 1st barn doors. By bringing the 1st barn up so that it ends about at 60 % or so down the length of the 2nd barn, I'm able to fit all my access track in (and I didn't need to draw a new map, just a patch job ! :-)) This has been interesting - almost like investigating a crime. You get a little info here, a little there, sometimes being consistant, sometimes not, all the while (if the case is not cold) bringing you closer to the truth.

I did a little refining on my drawing as I made an estimate so as to give a practical map that you can use on site, which should, in my opinion, give you a pretty accurate idea of where these barns stood. I had to do some BEG's "best educated guesses" regarding dimensions of the car barns and the distance between and outside them. I won't bore you with my calculations, but I will tell you that I figured that the four tracked barns would be about 45' wide each. I believe that if you stand pretty much facing the entrance to Dominos in their parking lot, look to the left and the 2nd barn's front doors would be where the Domino's part of that structure ends, running @ 90 degree angle from Domino's. You're standing on (probably literally) the ladder tracks to the 2nd barn. Now, if you turn around 180 degrees, look at the Domino's/Dunkin Donuts parking lot divider - the long thing with plants (or dirt) in it. This is where I believe that the 1st barn's N/E wall aligns, coming up to beyond Dunkin Donuts going towards Washington Street to just about the S/E edge of the larger divider in the Dunkin Donuts parking lot- see map for all seven landmarks. I print this revision out as an aid to enjoying your archeological expedition if you choose to do so- Never leave home without it ! (Get the pizza at the Pleasant Cafe and not Domino's. It's far superior ! However, if the Dominos staff comes outside and wants to know what you're doing - tell them that you're waiting for a huge party for pizza [they'll get all excited and leave you alone]- then, when you're all done, go to the Pleasant ! hahaha!!!) Happy hunting !

By the way, here's a photo of a West Roxbury and Roslindale Street Railway Company "Barrel Car". They were quite the invention and were a full convertible with the entire sides sliding into the roof on rollers. If you looked at one of these head on, they had rounded sides to facilitate the rolling sides into the roof, and appeared barrel like, hence the name. For some reason, they never really caught on. I don't think that the West End or El used them.

Happy Halloween, everyone !
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Last edited by 3rdrail on Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Forest Hills-Dedham-Walpole Streetcar Line Questions

Postby MBTA3247 » Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:49 pm

The barrel cars never caught on because they were too expensive to build, especially the curved glass for the windows.
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Re: Forest Hills-Dedham-Walpole Streetcar Line Questions

Postby 3rdrail » Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:06 pm

Image
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Re: Forest Hills-Dedham-Walpole Streetcar Line Questions

Postby MarkB » Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:33 pm

Here's another map, from another company, showing the site in 1899.
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Re: Forest Hills-Dedham-Walpole Streetcar Line Questions

Postby 3rdrail » Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:30 pm

Yeah, they've got them in different configurations. I wonder if the guy who's job it was to get every building in the city's profile just perfectly just took a little "writer's priveledge" and just thought one up from time to time. You can see a consistancy there, ie. relation of position of one building to the other, and lot enclosure so I just went with what was most likely considering the known tracks inside each barn and bringing the 2nd barn to about the 50-60 degree mark down from the 1st barn. The "yellow" means that it's a wooden building. They look more brick to me in Leo's photos. Brick or stone should be "pink". (??)(I'd say, "city workers !", but so am I !) It's interesting that it isn't until the 1924 map that they seem to indicate Bounday Road on these maps that you have produced, confirming my suspicion that Boundary Road was only included as a public way via common law after being grandfathered in after many use of members of the general public using it as a cut-through to and from the Stony Brook Reservation. Come on over to the "Quiz" thread, Michael. I have a ghastly Quiz over there on this clammy Halloween night that you may know the answers to !
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Re: Forest Hills-Dedham-Walpole Streetcar Line Questions

Postby MarkB » Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:34 pm

At first I thought the buildings were brick, but when I looked with a magnifying glass, it looks like wood. And since these weren't built for horses, wood makes sense.
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Re: Forest Hills-Dedham-Walpole Streetcar Line Questions

Postby 3rdrail » Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:16 pm

By the way folks, the photo of the barrel car's interior has not been taken with a "fish-eye" lense giving it an exaggerated round look. Look at the seats - they're almost perfectly horizontal. That's the way that they really were ! I feel like Jimmy Stewart in "Vertigo" looking at that ! Can you imagine having a few in you and boarding a Barrel Car in Rozzie Square for the Hills ! Even stone sober, one would be on the floor in a matter of seconds. Notice that everyone's seated except the motorman - and even he looks a little quezy ! Another thing that's fun is picking out the people from different times in photos like this. Disregarding their outfits, doesn't everyone on the right side of the photo look like they're from the 1800's and everyone on the left from 2012 ? I'm going to see if I can find a book about the barrel cars.
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Re: Forest Hills-Dedham-Walpole Streetcar Line Questions

Postby highgreen215 » Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:12 pm

Do any of you know about the Gypsy camp that existed on the carhouse site presumably after the barns were gone? I can clearly remember it in the mid to late 1940s and very early 1950s. I think it was seasonal as they came through with their wagons and later motorized vehicles, but it could have been permanent with a lower level of Gypsy activity throughout the year.
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Re: Forest Hills-Dedham-Walpole Streetcar Line Questions

Postby 3rdrail » Thu Nov 01, 2012 5:06 pm

I remember the area in the 60's and it was barren. When they developed High Point, the mall went in above it. I don't think that there was much there from when the car barns came down until that time. Currently, the gypsies have an encampment in neighboring West Roxbury known as "The Grove". Maybe they settled there. Have you had a chance to get up there yet ? Be sure to bring a copy of Leo's pics and my final map drawing. Stand on Washington Street looking inward with Leo's photos. That's where the photographer was. Then go over to Domino's with my drawing. You'll be standing on the ladder tracks to the second barn. Go into the wooded area between Dominos and Washington St. Look for a buried Barrel Car. Let me know if you find it - we'll ride it down the Washington St. hill to the Square !
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