The success of branch railroads in the vicinity of Boston and their benefit to towns, caused the subject of this one to be agitated among a few of the leading and influential citizens of this town early in 1844, especially from the fact, that it required only a mile and a half of road to be built from a point on the Charlestown branch R. R. in Cambridge, to a terminus in West Cambridge, opposite the hotel on Main Street. without crossing it, or creating ally considerable amount of land damages. The stock was likely to be readily taken up in the town, as its whole cost would be very moderate, most of the route being a very level one. The first public meeting held was in response to a printed hand bill, signed ‘A Citizen,’ and dated Sept. 16, 1844, of which the following is a copy. ‘West Cambridge Branch Rail Road.—The citizens of West Cambridge, one and all, are invited to meet at the Parish Hall in said town on Monday evening next, Sept. 23, at 7 o'clock, to consider the expediency of adopting measures for a branch rail road, either from the Fresh Pond or Fitchburg Rail Roads, to the centre of the town. A general attendance is expected, as it is deemed by many a subject of vast importance to the Town.’ Pursuant to this notice a large number attended the meeting, at which Col. Thomas Russell presided and Wm. W. Warren was chosen secretary. The Hon. James Russell, Doctor Wellington, John Schouler, and several others, advocated the building of the road, to terminate near the Unitarian Church, with a view ultimately of having it extended to the upper part of the town, and thence to Lexington. A resolution in its favor was adopted, and a committee of seven was appointed to get information, examine the routes, and report at a future meeting. The secretary of this committee, Mr. Warren, in a printed circular, called a meeting Oct. 12, to hear the report, and adopt measures necessary to the immediate construction of the road. At the meeting, Oct. 14, 1844, Hon. James Russell, who was chosen chairman, read a full report of the Committee, which reported two routes, one east of the Pond, and one crossing the island in Spy Pond, and recommended a survey and estimates by committees, and a subscription to defray the expenses. The report was accepted, and Messrs. Russell, Wellington and Schouler were chosen on survey, and George C. Russell and Henry Whittemore on estimates. The reports of these committees were made at a meeting held Jan. 13, 1845. The Committee on Survey had employed Messrs. Felton and Parker, engineers, to survey, make profiles and give estimates, for which service seventy dollars were paid them. They had consulted the President and Directors of the Charlestown and Fresh Pond roads, who took the matter under favorable advisement as to the proposed connection with their road, and were to have given their reply. The Committee had long waited for it, when it was ascertained that some prominent citizens of Lexington had urged the officers of that road not to commit themselves to the citizens of West Cambridge
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