Property: Dorchester, Box Car Depot
Transcriber: Janet

----Source: Historical Sketches of Dorchester, Wisconsin (1873-1973)


Dorchester, Box Car Depot (1873-1896)

The Dorchester name traveled West to Wisconsin with Charles L. Colby who brought it with him when he left Dorchester, Massachusetts, which has since become a part of Boston. Gardner Colby was the president of the Phillips and Colby Construction Company of Boston, Massachusetts and he had sent his son, Charles, to clear the right-of-way for the tracks of the Wisconsin Central Railway Company to be laid from Menasha to Ashland in the early 1870's. The first dirt turned in the construction of the Wisconsin Central was June 5, 1871, at Menasha, with rails reaching Steven's Point by November 15th. On March 18, 1872 the construction north from Steven's Point began. That year the road was completed to the Colby, Wisconsin. To the delight of Charles and his father, the Pillips & Colby Construction Company was awarded the contract to build the railroad from Menasha to Ashland. In 1872 the work of clearing, grubbing and grading the right-of-way to about fifty miles north of Colby to what later became the town of Worcester was completed. (Little remains today of Worcester, which was located approximately two mile north of Prentice). On April 15, 1873 the Hooper, Boyle & Seymour Construction Company started laying rail at Colby proceeding northward. Reports have it that several hundred men worked at times who should have arrived at the Dorchester site in a short time. That same year a section house, side track, turntable and a few other buildings were built at Station No. 59 (meaning the number of miles from Steven's Point). The first hamlet with a grocery store was located on the top of a grade approximately one and two thirds mile north of where Dorchester presently stands. Many of the new towns along the Wisconsin Central Railway line were named after towns with similar names in Massachusetts. There being no available lumber at the time, and few workman available in the area, this box car served as the first depot in Dorchester, Wisconsin. It was destroyed by fire in May, 1896. .



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