The Mendon Trolley  --  Its First Tour

    The long awaited maiden voyage of the Milford - Uxbridge Electric Street Railway was
    met with jubilation by the people of Mendon on December 19, 1901. The exuberant
    citizens had waited several  months for the tracks, wires, and bridges to be installed and
    tested. This was in anticipation of the new means of transportation that promised to
    bring change to their economy and way of life. The arrival of the first trolley car created
    joy and enthusiasm, and the excited crowd let the passengers know that they were
    welcome.

    The initial ride began in Milford and traveled through Hopedale, Mendon, and Uxbridge.
    Town officials and dignitaries from each town were invited to board the trolley at
    designated stops at the entrance to the town centers. Each town along the tracks
    greeted the decorated vehicle with warmth and cheers, but it was Mendon's welcome
    that was one to be remembered.

    A large crowd welcomed the trolley. People were dressed in their finest clothing. The
    houses were adorned with bunting. One hundred fifty school children cheered and
    waved flags in front of the Town Hall.  Ladies waved kerchiefs, and men waved flags.
    Bells rang at the Union Evangelical (the present Taft Library) and the Unitarian
    Churches. Surely, the dignitaries had to be impressed with the festive greeting, but
    there was another element  in the celebration that likely left them startled  and ready to
    dive for cover! They were met with gunfire and cannon blasts. After they got over the
    initial reaction of wondering if they might be under attack, they realized that the
    apparent military greeting was simply part of the excitement. The townspeople made it
    extremely clear that the railway would be most welcome.

    The new means of transportation marked the beginning of long term change. Nipmuc
    Park revitalized the economy on weekends, and new occupational opportunities
    became available to Mendon farmers. The trolley provided easy access to factories and
    businesses in neighboring towns. Decisions were made in many families to give up
    farming as a way of life and to sell off the land for housing development. The trolley
    system ended in 1928, being replaced by the popularity of the automobile. Throughout
    the century,  Mendon's population grew as houses replaced farms. The maiden voyage
    of the electric street railway in December of 1901 was met with jubilation. It was a day
    that changed the town forever !

    Richard Grady  --  February 3, 2014

    (Information for this article was obtained from an article of the Milford Daily Journal,  
    December 20, 1901 - "Milford and Uxbridge Cars Now Running").

        
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                       After a period of decline,
the trolley brings recovery to Mendon   

                                          
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