2. A Brief Fake History
As I developed the track plan over the course of a week or so, I couldn't help but invent stories in the back of my mind to justify all of the goofy things I was modeling. So, here's my fake history (sprinkled with a few tiny nuggets of truth*) of the last White River & Northern:
Sometime in the early- to mid-1800s, as was popular in that era, a mineral spring resort popped up in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Developed by James D. Kingsley (a descendant of Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Island), the Bearcamp Springs Resort was a little unusual in that a train, running on part of an abandoned granite quarry branchline, ferried vacationers to and from the nearby town of Augustine, where Kingsley's new White River & Northern Railroad met the Boston, Concord, Montreal and White Mountains (later the Boston & Maine).
By the end of the Nineteenth Century, the resort had fallen on hard times, and the abandoned railroad was purchased by Stephen "Stephy" A. Greene (coincidentally also a descendant of Roger Williams), who established a brewing company in a failed furniture factory at the WR&N Augustine yard. The railroad sat idle until Prohibition, when Mr. Greene put his investment to full use selling mineral spring water and other tonics as a means to help keep his business alive, using the railroad to haul it down from the mountains to his brewery for bottling.
Once Prohibition was lifted, business resumed as before, with the added twist of using the spring water for the brewing process, which improved the flavor and provided a marketing advantage—and also kept the railroad running. As of the 1950s, Greene's grandson, Stephen III, was the owner of the brewery, and was planning to re-open the resort, using a steam train ride as part of the attraction... bringing us to the "present."
*True facts: Roger Williams is the founder of Rhode Island; Stephen A. Greene, a now-deceased resident of Cranston, RI, is a descendant of Roger Williams; James D. Kingsley is my nom de plume, and I am also a descendant of Roger Williams—thus I'm also a distant relative of Stephen A. Greene, a wonderful old gentleman I'd adopted as my grandfather when I was young while vacationing in New Hampshire. How I miss the dear man, taking walks through the woods behind his summer home, looking for wildflowers, listening to his war stories, and devouring his wife Dorothy's fantastic fresh blueberry pie...
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