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Murals: Stamford scenes from yesteryear

Mural: First train to Stamford, click here for next muralFirst train to Stamford

Christmas Day 1848

On Christmas Day, 1848, the last rails were laid over the Cos Cob Bridge, thereby supplying the last link needed to complete the railroad from New Haven to New York. The first trial run was made on that day.

William H. Holly, Esq., founder of the “Stamford Sentinel” was a guest on the first trial run. To quote from Mr. Holly's description of the trip, “The train had to remain at Cos Cob Bridge some three hours for the last rails to be laid over it and the delay gave ample opportunity to the people to come and witness the wonderful feat. The general impression among them seemed to be, that the first train that attempted to cross this pass would also be the last.” And Edgar Hoyt, Esq., then editor of the Stamford Advocate, commented on the great event of the first appearance of the “Iron Horse”. “The citizens of the village as well as the horses, cattle, etc., were nearly frightened out of their such a horrible scream as was never heard to issue from any other than a metallic throat. Animals of every description went careening round the fields, snuffling the air in their terror.”

The year 1849 saw three trains running daily each way between New Haven and New York. This improvement in travel is best emphasized by a postscript in the Stamford Sentinel of June 6, 1836: “Just arrived, Sloop Mary Flower, nine days from New York, via Cow Bay where she was detained by the inspector of the weather.”

Presently many commuters were making daily trips to New York, and the population of the town increased sharply after the New Haven Railroad began operating on regularly scheduled runs.

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Spring of 1642: Settlers observe the Sabbath
About 1655: Setting the boundaries
October 1789: Townfolk greet George Washington
About 1842: Canal to the sound
Christmas Day 1848: First train to Stamford
Atlantic Street 1905
Stanley J. Rowland: About the artist

Photo Selection of the Month: The Railroad

Image © The Stamford Historical Society