Trolleys to the Casino: EH&A Receivership

Back to previous section -- Forward to next section -- Return to Table of Contents
Among the assets of the Traction Company taken over by the New Hampshire Electric Railways were $360,000 in capital stock and $23,332 in promissory notes of the Exeter, Hampton & Amesbury. The EH&A's $225,000 in mortgage bonds was held by outside parties, who, as earlier indicated, had regularly received their semi-annual interest payments only through borrowing by the railway.

Late in 1905, the EH&A served notice on its bondholders that it would be unable to meet the interest payment of $5,625 due December 1. The railway didn't have any such amount available in its coffers and the New Hampshire Electric Railways had decided to make no cash advances. There's little doubt that the voluntary association had decided to jettison the EH&A.

Shortly thereafter, a bondholders' protective committee, consisting of Charles H. Tenney and Sylvester C. Dunham, both of Hartford, Conn., and Bernon E. Helme of Kingston, R. I., was organized and early in 1906, this committee, alleging that the railway was insolvent and unable to meet its obligations, petitioned the Rockingham County Superior Court to appoint a receiver for the EH&A.

Such action was taken on May 14, 1906, Atty. Allen Hollis of Concord, a partner in the law firm of Streeter & Hollis, president of the Concord Electric Company, and a man thoroughly conversant with the broad problems of transportation and public utilities, being named to the post. On the same day, by previous arrangement, the receiver contracted with the New Hampshire Electric Railways for the continued operation of the Exeter, Hampton & Amesbury as part of the former's Eastern Division until May 15, 1907, the agreement being terminable on 30 days notice after September 1, 1906.

The EH&A's leases of the Haverhill & Plaistow, the Haverhill, Plaistow & Newton, the Seabrook & Hampton Beach, the Portsmouth & Exeter and the Dover, Somersworth & Rochester Street Railways were cancelled as of June 30, 1905 and the accrued losses of these five companies were written off. The lease of the Amesbury & Hampton was abrogated as of November 1, 1905.

By late 1906. Receiver Hollis had formed an operating organization for the EH&A and he took over responsibility for the railway lines on January 1, 1907. However, it was not until four months later, on May 1, that Hollis regained control of the lighting department of the EH&A from the Rockingham County Light & Power Company.

* * * * * * * * * *

Of the six subsidiaries of the New Hampshire Electric Railways formerly leased to the Exeter, Hampton & Amesbury, one, the Portsmouth & Exeter Street Railway, went into receivership in 1910 and was abandoned on April 22, 1912. Four others, the Haverhill & Plaistow, the Haverhill, Plaistow & Newton, the Amesbury & Hampton and the Seabrook & Hampton Beach Street Railways were merged on April 1, 1913 with the Massachusetts Northeastern Street Railway, which also absorbed the Haverhill & Amesbury and the Citizens' Electric Street Railways. (These two companies had been acquired by the New Hampshire Electric Railways in 1909 and 1911 respectively). Also absorbed by the Northeastern, formerly the Haverhill & Southern New Hampshire Street Railway, were the Hudson, Pelham & Salem, the Lawrence & Methuen and the Lowell &. Pelham Street Railways. Taken over in 1914 from the Granite State Land Company was the Hampton River bridge.

The Massachusetts Northeastern system was controlled by the New Hampshire Electric Railways, other subsidiaries of which after 1913 included the Dover, Somersworth & Rochester Street Railway, the Rockingham County Light & Power Company and the Granite State Land Company. The Rockingham County Light & Power Company became the Portsmouth Power Company in 1924, still later being renamed the New Hamp- shire Gas & Electric Company and then the New Hampshire Electric Company. The last was merged in 1965 with the Public Service Company of New Hampshire. 'I'he Granite State Land Company was dissolved in 1930.

Former Seabrook & Hampton Beach trackage between Smithtown and Salisbury junction was abandoned by the Northeastern effective May 1, 1920. About 31/2 years later, on December 17, 1923, the Northeastern abandoned all of the former Amesbury & Hampton Street Railway - from Smithtown through Amesbury to the state line at Newton - and part of the former HP&N, from the state line to Rowe's Corner, Newton. Abandonment of the Salisbury-Smithtown Square line occurred on January 31, 1928 and a little less than three weeks later, on February 18, all service between Rowe's Corner, Newton, and Dow's Corner, Plaistow, was discontinued. Remaining after these abandonments were 6.07 miles of track of the entire former Haverhill & Plaistow and part of the HP&N from downtown Haverhill to Dow's Corner, Plaistow, and former Seabrook & Hampton Beach trackage along Seabrook Beach from Salisbury junction to and across the Hampton River bridge. Buses took over between Haverhill and Plaistow on September 3, 1930 and the last trolleys to and from Hampton Beach ran on Saturday, September 6, of that same year.

* * * * * * * * * *
Back to previous section -- Forward to next section -- Return to Table of Contents