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Western Maryland Railroad Company collection

Identifier: MS 2190


The collection consists of fragments of records from railroads in the Western Maryland Railway Company between 1857-1961.


  • 1857-1961


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

The reproduction of materials in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine and satisfy copyright clearances or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information visit the MCHC’s Rights and Permissions page.

Biographical / Historical

Chartered in 1852, the Western Maryland Railroad Company was largely a freight line linking Western Maryland with Baltimore. It expanded by acquiring various existing railroads in Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. It is now part of the Chesapeake and Ohio rail system.


18.38 Linear Feet (22 full Hollinger boxes; 1 half Hollinger box; 47 volumes)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of the Western Maryland Railway Company, 1973.

Related Materials

PP 72, Western Maryland Railroad Company photograph collection, ca. 1910.

Scope and Contents

Records of the Western Maryland Railroad Company and its nineteen subsidiaries in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia provide detailed information on railroad management, particularly in the 1860s through the 1880s; account books document the twentieth century. Chartered as the Baltimore, Carroll and Frederick Rail Road Company in 1852, it became the Western Maryland Rail Road Company the next year. Largely a freight line, it extended through Western Maryland, terminating at the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal at Williamsport in 1873. Additional records were acquired in its takeover of railroad companies in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

The largest, most cohesive records are those of the Western Maryland Railroad Company itself. They contain correspondence, legal and financial papers, bills and receipts, bond coupons, and a certificate record book for 1858-1919; the collection is strongest in the late 1870s and 1880s.

Correspondence, 1858-1919, includes letters to and from A.K. Syester, Western Maryland Railroad Company attorney for Frederick and Washington counties; George Bokee and William Keyser on delinquent stock payments, rights of way, damage claims and court cases. Financial topics concern leases, costs of new lines, including rail, ties, land, and engine purchases, contractor's claims and bills, funds from Baltimore City, bonds and accounts, salaries and wages, and the building of stations, warehouses, and a water tower.

Legal papers, 1857-1909, consist of construction contracts, settlement proposals for contract disputes, court cases for damages and legal disputes, and powers of attorney and stock transfers from the Hanover Branch Railroad Company.

Financial papers, 1860-1955, cover work estimates for contracts, furniture lists, tonnage classification charts, a record of cash accounts, and a ledger for 1896-1900. Other papers of financial interest include detailed bills and receipts, and bond coupons and bank drafts, mostly for the late 1870s.

Miscellaneous papers of the WMRR contain minutes of an 1869 Board of Directors meeting, a list of stockholders, a report of trains running from 1876, undated track statistics, rough maps of Baltimore, and a topographical map of the Maryland-Pennsylvania border.

Documents (1903-1910) relating to the Western Maryland Railroad Company's 1910 takeover of the Baltimore Fidelity Warehouse Company include by-laws, certificate of incorporation, land deeds, an insurance policy, improvement contracts, and a mortgage agreement. A certificate of incorporation and title abstract relate to its predecessor, the Hazard Wharf Company.

Correspondence and documents of the smaller railroads are more varied, covering the same range as Western Maryland Railroad Company records. West Virginia Central and Pittsburg Railway Co. has monthly ledgers of agents and conductors, 1892-1902, and a complete set of vouchers for 1892. George's Creek and Cumberland Railroad Company records contain cash accounts, 1916-1917, a monthly record of vouchers 1880-1882; wage records 1880-1881, vouchers bills, promisary notes, checks, 1879-1880; documents on accounts for 1906-1907, and correspondence and security reports of the company's sinking fund, 1885-1910.

The Bachman Valley Railroad Company records, mostly financial, date from the early 1870s, and include bills, receipts, accounts, payroll lists and wages, stock certificates, and correspondence.

Extensive construction vouchers, 1910-1917, form the bulk of the Connellsville and State Line Railway Company, along with correspondence, 1907-1910, a 1906 report and cost estimate, a 1906-1907 right of way report, and cash accounts for 1916-1917.

Finally, the Piedmont and Cumberland Railway Company contributes payroll vouchers, 1886, and construction payrolls for 1887.

Forty-seven volumes of record books are also of importance; thirty-three are for the Western Maryland Railroad Company bill books, 1863-1870; voucher records of motive power, 1866-1870; maintenance of way and cars, 1866-1870, construction accounts 1866-1870; equipment, 1867-1870 and transportation, 1866-1870; and cash boxes 1903-1905, and 1953-1959. Also, record books of invoices and receipts, 1936-1946, and two volumes attributed to the Western Maryland Railroad Company, a rent book, 1901-1904, and a land tax record book, 1907-1910.

Real estate records of four West Virginia coal companies, 1872-1905, are recorded in five volumes.

Guide to the Western Maryland Railroad Company collection
Under Revision
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Revision Statements

  • 2020-01-15: Manually entered into ArchivesSpace by Mallory Herberger.

Repository Details

Part of the H. Furlong Baldwin Library Repository

H. Furlong Baldwin Library
Maryland Center for History and Culture
610 Park Avenue
Baltimore MD 21201 United States