• Lakewood depot

  • Discussion relating to the pre-1983 B&M and MEC railroads. For current operations, please see the Pan Am Railways Forum.
Discussion relating to the pre-1983 B&M and MEC railroads. For current operations, please see the Pan Am Railways Forum.

Moderator: MEC407

  by Manalishi
Hello All- Recently I bought a photo of the Lakewood depot on the North Conway branch. I decided to see what the same location looked like today and this is the result. For a moment, I didn't think this was the same spot as there is no sign of the station or the switch track. But the common denominator is the steel trestle that crosses the Bearcamp river. The Lakewood station photo was taken around 1928.

LAKEWOOD NH crop.jpg
lalewood today.jpg
  by ThinkNarrow
I love "then and now" shots, and you've posted a great one. Thanks!
  by Mikejf
The biggest problem I have found with doing then andnow shots, is the camera. Todays camera is so much better than the old ones. In your photo, you appear closer than the original photo, but you are in the right spot.
  by jaymac
Differing cameras have differing perspectives and -- even for "normal" lenses -- differing fields of view.
What may also be happening might be a different position for the photographer. The path in the modern photo indicated by the snow is closer to the bottom of the frame than it appears in the historical shot -- at the far end of the station shelter and across not only the main but also the siding. It's possible that Chris took the modern photo from where the switch was once located.
  by Manalishi
Hi Guys, I assume I'm in the right location. Route 16 is only about 20 feet behind me so there really wasn't that much further I could have walked backwards to try and duplicate the distance in both shots. For 150-200 feet or so the ground is level with the tracks on both sides. After that the ground slopes sharply down 20 feet or to a floodplain, I guess, for the Bearcamp river. The original 1928 photo does't seem to indicate a dip in terrain. Off to the right behind the station it looks like a level field.

I'm curious why there was a need for this little station as even today there's not much around it.
  by jaymac
I'm guessing that the stand to the right of the tracks in the foreground was to activate a flag-stop indicator. Even though there wasn't a platform there, the structure is more substantial than a lean-to, so there must have been some traffic base. Also, it's possible -- especially after the switch was removed -- that Rte. 16 was realigned to its present location.
  by b&m 1566
Aside from maybe being widened, I'm not sure that road was ever realigned in the area of that crossing. The road was certainly realigned on both sides (Jewell Hill Rd to the south and Newman Drew Rd/Grizzely Rd to the north).
  by ferroequinarchaeologist
>>I'm curious why there was a need for this little station as even today there's not much around it.

Me too. As noted earlier, that is a pretty substantial structure for a siding in the woods - doors, the traditional agent's bay window, even a foundation. All I have been able to find are records that the location was originally named Bear Camp (two words) in 1893, changed to Ossipee Valley, then changed to Lakewood in 1909 in a station-renaming binge intended to avoid errors in telegraphy. Here's my guess, based on the location and the era: it may have been a summer camp station for a religious denomination. There were quite a few of these around New England in the late 1800s into the pre-WWI period, and the principal means of travel at that time was the railroad. Lemme hear an Amen!

  by trainsinmaine
There seems to be no sign in the new photo that the siding ever existed, which I find curious. What could be seen off to the left?
  by Manalishi
I thought it odd too that there were no visible signs of the spur. Where the spur was is now a dog kennel (you can just make out the edge of a chain link fence in the new photo). Next to the kennel is a house with a back yard. Quite possibly the spur was removed decades ago and when the house was built and the back yard landscaped, the remains of the spur were obliterated.

The Official List of Agents, Stations etc. of July 1923 doesn't list it as a stop so perhaps it was seasonal? Although if it was seasonal, surely July would be part of that season. Or as suggested by ferroequinarchaeologist, perhaps only used for a religious retreat during certain times of the year.

Now that i think of it, it is the closest station to Ossipee Lake so people vacationing there would logically de-train at Lakewood Station.

  by trainsinmaine
The question as to why this little station existed might possibly be definitively answered if we knew where the spur went. Does anyone out there know?
If you go to the historic USGS maps at the Univ of NH there is a Map 1930 showing the B&M RR and a Lakewood Station under the Ossipee Map. I does not show any spur at Lakewood.
  by chesapeake12
I have a Lakewood station photo that I do not know how to load the PX.
The PX is around 1910-1920 shows the station with agent Mr.Knox and other
Men their is a boarding platform and rails around boarding area. I know this area very well
Friends own the property before the bridge on rt 16 side of track . would like to know where the siding
Went also, been trying to figure it out. Maybe track chart for area would. I will be back up this summer
chase it down,...
  by jbvb
The bottomlands around the Bearcamp River are good farmland. The land on either side of the spur was farmed when the photo was taken. If it was still being farmed when the industry it served (sawmill?) closed and the spur was torn up, a couple of years' plowing would have eliminated all evidence.
  by Manalishi
I acquired a photo album recently where at least half of the pictures were personally taken by the former owner from about 1948 to 1972. This album focuses mostly on the old Portsmouth, Great Falls and Conway branch, among others.

Not that I'm obsessed with the Lakewood station but I decided to add to this thread, which I'd already started, as this album had 3 Lakewood station-related pictures.

First picture, an alternate shot of Lakewood circa 1930. Next, 2 shots of the ski train, winter 1972. The first shows the train heading north, crossing Rt. 16 in a cloud of snow, a stone's throw from the Lakewood station site. The second shot shows the train after just after crossing Rt. 16 and heading north to North Conway. Looks like the Lakewood station is gone.

The former owner initialed the photos he personally took so it appears he stood beside Rt. 16 on this cold, snowy day to photograph the train as it passed. It would turn out to be the last winter for ski trains.