Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Lewiston - a Town that Disappeared

A black and white photograph of a cluster of buildings. The roof of one has the words "Norwich Depot" painted on it.Do you ever wonder what can happen to make a town vanish?  Lewiston, VT, started out life as a small community on the Connecticut River.  Founded in the late eighteenth century, the town really came into its own when a more modern railroad station was constructed there in 1884.  The station, which replaced an earlier, smaller freight depot (see image) was used by the towns of Norwich, VT, and Hanover, NH, and provided coal and other necessities to the area. 

In the early twentieth century, the station's importance began to decline and with it the town's.  Most of the area rail commerce became centered in White River Junction, VT, though the station in Lewiston remained open until 1960.  Having barely survived the construction of the Wilder Dam in Wilder, VT, in 1950, which flooded much of the low-lying farm areas near the river, the final blow came in 1967 when most of Lewiston was razed to make way for Interstate 91 and the access roads to Norwich and Hanover.  Today only a few scattered buildings remain of what was once a typical rural community.

A black and white photograph of a long covered bridge over a river. A small cluster of buildings is on the opposite side.
Lewiston ca. 1870

A black and white photograph of a bridge over a river.
Lewiston in 1967 - before the I-91 construction.

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