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Welcome to our news and history blog!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

DOESN'T KNOW SITUATION: Milo Mead Talks About the Ridgefield and Port Chester Railroad- Growth of New Lebanon and the Present Outlook

Source: Greenwich Graphic. February 28, 1903. Page 1.

In an interview this week with Milo Mead, the "Sage of New Lebanon" he showed that not much in the Ridgefield Road situation had escaped him. For years Mr. Mead has been urging the building of the Ridgefield Road and is now as much in earnest as ever, although just at present he is not inclined to express his views fully.  "We don't know yet where the land lies," he said, "so we cannot talk much to the point." It is rumored that person in Greenwich holds most of the stock, and another story has it that it belongs to the New Haven road. Who owns it I do not know therefore I do not know how soon the road may be built or why the work has been delayed so long. Judging from the past it is right to suppose the road would never be built as long as the present company could get a time extension from the legislature.

"But there are two sides to the question," says Mr. Mead. "Should the legislature secure an assurance that the road would be built by the present company, before a certain time yet there would be nothing to bind the company to perform the work. If, on the other hand the legislature refuses to extend the charter to this company we have no direct assurance that another company will take up the project and build the road. No one as yet has made a move to secure the charter for building a road over this section, although it is rumored that other companies are ready to do so."

"Whatever course shall be taken the first subject should be to secure a road as quickly as possible. The agitation of the matter is a good thing and I am glad to see it. It should result in an awakening of interest which will eventually push the road through."

"A railroad through the district over which the Ridgefield road was intended to run would open up many beautiful summer sites and would undoubtedly result in an increase in the value of the land along the road. The farmers along the line would be much better able to get their produce to market and would therefore be greatly benefited. There is every need of the road and it ought to be built."

In article written for the Ridgefield Press some years ago Mr. Mead expressed his opinions in regard to the road and they are much the same views he holds at the present time.

In speaking of the growth of New Lebanon, Mr. Mead said:

"The growth of East Port Chester or New Lebanon as now called has been quite rapid in the last few years. In 1886 there were only five houses along the shore, while at the present time this land is almost covered with fine summer houses.

"During the past few years a new church has been erected and an iron foundry has been built and put in operation. This foundry is owned by Taylor and Hanson and employs about twelve men. A new foundry is being put up by Abendroth Brothers of Port Chester on this side of the river and will employee about seventy hands. The village has grown fast and business is increasing. At present the building outlook is not so sharp on account of the demands of the carpenters, which are entering into the construction question all about this section."

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