Are massive stone pillars remnants from Ho-Jack era?

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 October 2013 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers – Stone pillars next to the Oak Orchard River, in front of the Waterport Dam, were used to hold up something, either a bridge or the trestle for the railroad.

A beer can looks tiny compared to one of the stone pillars near the Waterport Dam.

CARLTON – My trip Sunday evening by the Waterport Dam was full of wonder, and not just because of the 30-pound Chinook salmon that were being caught.

The area by the dam includes a row of massive stone pillars. They held up something big back in the day. I’ve heard about the old Waterport trestle that was removed about 20 years ago. I assumed the trestle must have stood on these stone pillars.

But I saw an old postcard of Waterport online today and it appears the trestle wasn’t next to the dam. I think there was a bridge there and these pillars were used to support that span that crossed the Oak Orchard River. (I don’t have permission to use the image or I’d post it on Orleans Hub.)

If anyone has historic photos or more information about the trestle and the old bridge by the dam, please send them to me at or drop them off at the Pennysaver and we’ll scan them in. The address is 170 North Main Street.

The town of Carlton web site gives some background on the “Ho-Jack” Line, which opened in 1876 and carried freight until 1978. (Click here to see that write-up.)

The Waterport Dam was built between 1917 and 1919 and the hydroelectric power station opened in 1920. It continues to be in use today.