Woodsville in 1871 had about 25 houses, two stores … C. A. Weeks Depot Store (so called), and A. H. Butson’s store, a school house where Fred St. Claire now lives, two blacksmith shops, a saw mill - box shop - shovel handles shop … all in one building on the site where the station now is.
The railroad had a round house north-east of the station for the engines, a car house to hold four passenger cars, and a side track from the railroad bridge to about where the Armour building stands. A short time before this date Henry Ramsay and Henry Sly built two story houses on the corners of Maple and Central streets, and James Sawyer and Curt Chamberlain built each a cottage house near the south end of the long coal shed.
In the spring of 1871 Henry Ramsay and L. K. George bought th land east of the railroad, known as the “Buck-wheat field”, which took in the land from the Armour building along the side of the railroad, including the fir, then along the Woodman farm to the Charles Whitcher house, and then to the starting point. They had a crossing put in and layed out. Hyland street, staking out building lots before winter.
A year or two later a large number of houses were built on this side of the railroad, including the brick store, and also Ira Whitcher and Louis Pattee built a steam mill and it was operated for about 25 years.
About this time the “Y” (Wye) was excavated to improve summer travel and the underpass put in.
Then the school house was built where Chas. Davison’s building now stands, and Mann’s Drug store was in use and a barber shop was also fitted up.
As late as 1872 there had not been much building on the big plot of land that C. B. Smith owned west of the railroad, from the Ed Cummings house to King street and to the Cheney house.
Now the land is mostly taken up with fine houses, and some elegant ones. The writer remembers of reaping rye with a grai sickle on the land where Randall house now is.
As time went on the land of Willie Buchanan and Bob Nelson between the railroad and the old Brock house was taken up to build on, and also the knoll taken from the Woodman farm was built up. As more house lots were needed they began to move south to Stoneville and Mrs. Kings plain.
Other things were necessary besides houses. A water plant was put in for fire protection and also electric lights, but later more service was needed and this was afforded in 1925.
The railroad business increased so the company had to look for more room, so they got land of the Kimball’s and made what is called the “lower yards”. Also at the south end of the village was built a new big coal shed and new engine house, with a good number of pits or stalls, and a small machine shop close by.
Now they have an up-to-date bridge, depot, and offices. The old wooden bridge was removed some years ago.
Woodsville should feel proud of having such things as a concrete street, water and electric system, a new steel bridge, court house, opera block, a good number of churches, 2 large school houses, a library, banks, the wholesale plants of Holbrook and Armour, hotels, halls, and offices and also many stores of all kinds, as well as a community playground fot the village.
This is some different from what it was in 1871, a little over half a century ago.
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