Gray Depot

In 1870 the Maine Central Railroad began to run trains through East Gray. Railroad tables listed the station there as “Perley’s (Gray)” until 1878, and indicate that the telegraph station was not opened until 1877; but within a few years Gray Depot, with sidings, an express office, a freight shed, and a water tower, was established; and for the first time there was a better way to move people and commodities between Gray and cities to the north and south than by horse drawn vehicles over the roads.

One or two express companies continued hauling to Portland, but from that time until the Interurban went through in 1914, the bulk of the town’s freight moved through the Depot: lumber, cordwood, pulpwood, and products of all the industries mentioned elsewhere were shipped out; and grains, coal, dry goods, groceries, hardware, and agricultural and other machinery came in. The stores and factories ran two, three, and four horse teams to the Depot, often working long hours to avoid demurrage. For many years there were three passenger trains, two carrying mail, on weekdays, and the fare to Portland was 80¢. Stages that carried both passengers and mail ran between the Depot and various parts of the town, and in 1893 fares were as follows: Gray Corner, 25¢, North Gray, 25¢, West Gray, 50¢; Dry Mills, 50¢; East Raymond via Dry Mills, 75¢. Some of the earlier stage drivers were Warren Vinton, Will Vinton, Robert Allen, George Bailey, Archie Harris, and George O. Stevens; Vinton’s stable became the Odd Fellows Hall, and Bailey’s stable is still standing back of the brick hardware store.

The following men are known to have been stationmasters: C. J. Perley, 1897; E. N. Roundy,1898; R. S. Andrews, 1899-1904, W . B. Holt, 1905-1906; E. L, Patten, 1907-1908; Edwin S. Wood, 1909-1913; Walter W . White, 1914-1920; E. S. Colbath, 1921-1922; >, 1923-1942; and Gerald Humphrey, 1942- 1957. Gray received its last mail from Gray Depot on Saturday, April 27, 1957, when Frank Witham, a carrier for 24 years, met the final passenger and mail train on the Portland to Farmington run.

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