The Brookline Railroad Company.
The fourth and last charter for a railroad in this town was granted by the New Hampshire legislature, March 31, 1891, under the name of the Brookline Railroad Company--the road that is in sucessful operation today (1914). The grantees under this charter were William G. Shattuck, Thomas S. Hittinger, George W. Bridges, Walter F. Rockwood, James H. S. Tucker, Gilman P. Huff, David Hobart, Ira Daniels, James H. Hall, Willie A. Hobart, Samuel Swett, Albert W. Corey, Charles E. Shattuck, and Charles A. Stickney, all residents of Brookline except Thomas S. Hittinger, who, at that time, was a resident of Townsend Harbor, Mass.
This charter authorized the construction of a railroad not exceeding 6 rods in width from some point on lake Potanapo to some point on the State line of Massachusetts, in Brookline or Hollis, over such a line as would be passed over in the construction of a railroad in the most feasible route to a point at or near the station on the Worcester, Nashua and Portland railroad in Pepperell, Mass., with a right to connect with the Worcester, Nashua and Portland railroad, and to lease to any railroad corporation in manner and form consistent with the laws of this State. The capital stock was limited to 1000 shares of $100 each and the act was to be void unless the road was completed within ten years from the passage of the bill.
The charter was obtained by the personal and persistent efforts of the citizens of Brookline, aided and assisted by Thomas S. Hittinger, superintendent of the Fresh Pond Ice Company of Cambridge, Mass. To Mr. Hittinger, in a very large measure, belongs the credit of the road's existence. Hon Franklin Worcester of Hollis was also a zealous advocate of the road from its inception; giving freely of his time and money in furtherance of the enterprise; and under his skilful guidance the bill was sucessfully engineered through the legislature, in spite of the strenuous opposition of one or two powerful railroad corporations in this State. Shortly after the road obtained its charter, the railroad commissioners of Massachusetts granted a charter for a new railroad in that State, extending from some point in Groton to the State line in Pepperell. This road was subsequently built and connected with the Brookline road; and at the present time (1914) the entire line of the two roads is being operated under the name of the Brookline and Pepperell railroad.
The road is fourteen miles in length; of which three miles are located in New Hampshire. It connects with the Peterborough and Shirley railroad, a branch of the Fitchburg railroad, at West Groton, Mass. From West Groton it follows down the west side of the Nashua river to Pepperell, Mass.; thence, turning at nearly a right angle, it follows up the west bank of the beautiful Nissitisset river to its terminus in Brookline, on the shores of Muscatanipus pond. From the date of its being opened for traffic to the present time, the road has done a profitable business.
Originally this road was under the management of the Fitchburg railroad, by which corporation it was built. Subsequently, when the Boston and Maine railroad company leased the Fitchburg system, it passed into the control of the former company. At the present time (1914) it is controlled by the N.Y.N.H. & H. under its lease of the B. & M. system of roads.