NEB&W Guide to Proctor, VT
- 1 Overview
- 2 Sutherland Falls
- 3 Quarries
- 4 The Marble Plant
- 5 The Depot
- 6 Downtown
- 7 The Freight House
- 8 Marble Co. Office
- 9 The Underpass
- 10 Floodgates
- 11 Progress on the Model
- 12 Clarendon & Pittsford Rolling Stock & Locos
- 13 Proctor, Not Modeled
- In this scene we are in the process of modeling Proctor, VT, on the Rutland RR. Proctor was the home of the Vermont Marble Co., which had over 40 quarries, some as far away as Colorado. Most of the local marble was white, while a quarry at Isle LaMotte, VT provided black marble, and a quarry in Rochester, VT supplied green marble. Vermont Marble also had plants in Tacoma, WA, Chicago, IL, Dallas, TX, Houston, TX, Remington, IN, Los Angeles, CA, San Francisco, CA, and elsewhere (See R. W. Nimke's The Rutland, Vol. V, No 1). The marble cutting plant in Proctor was possibly the world's largest. The company went out of business in 1993, but the complex still stands, now the world's largest marble exhibit.
Vermont Marble was the largest importer of marble in the country. About a quarter of the marble was imported, so there was significant traffic of marble being shipped to Proctor as well as marble being shipped out. They also owned three Canadian subsidiaries, and the White Pigment Corp., Vermarco Lime, Vermarco Paving (1954). White Pigment was founded in 1940 to produce pigments from marble used in rubber goods, plastics, paint, linoleum, chewing gum, records, asphalt tile and other items. Vermarco Lime was started in 1916 to find a use for waste marble, such as used in cement blocks, floor tile paints, and for agricultural use. There was also an interchange in Proctor with the Clarendon & Pittsford RR, a short line owned by the marble company and used to serve the many nearby quarries. Will Gill models the C&P in HO scale]
The town of Proctor was originally called Sutherland Falls. Marble quarrying started in 1837, but competition from quarries closer to Rutland limited production until 1854. In that year, the works were rebuilt and reorganized as the Sutherland Falls Marble Company. In 1870, Redfield Proctor from Proctorsville, VT came to town to manage the company. Ten years later, the company merged with the Rutland Marble Co. to form the Vermont Marble Co. Redfield Proctor went on to become Governor of Vermont, Secretary of State in President Harrison's cabinet, and eventually U.S. Senator.
- The town was incorporated in 1886, composed of portions of the towns of Rutland and Pittsford. Obviously, the name chosen reflected pride in its leading citizen, and explains why there is both a town of Proctorsville and Proctor in Vermont.
The site of the depot was originally part of a 30- or 40-foot deep hollow, crossed by the railroad on a long high fill. In the 1870's, this was filled in with enormous amounts of waste material to make a level area for the depot and town park. Up until WWI, the highway crossed at grade just north of the depot, but an overpass was built on the other side of the depot to eliminate the grade crossing. During the great flood of 1927, the highway abutments formed a nozzle to direct the overflow of the Otter Creek down the tracks, washing out the track underneath the milk train sitting on the siding. After another flood in 1947, the Rutland added supports for flood gates in the rock cut just south of the overpass, and these can be seen on our model.
- A topographic map shows the overall area. (The area we are modeled is highlighted.)
- The Otter Creek tumbles down about 122 feet, at a place originally called Sutherland Falls (I believe it is the largest waterfalls in the state). This was the logical place to build a plant to utilize this hydraulic power. (The falls was a favorite of postcard photographers.) At one point there was a suspension bridge across for pedestrians.
- A quarry in Proctor. (Note the water at the bottom.) This was the original quarry in the area, back when it was known as Sutherland Falls. In 2002, the long abandoned quarry is being reopened again.
- The depot was one of those unique Rutland two-story depot. See this section.
- Behind the station was a little park. See this section.
The Freight House
- The freight house was a tiny affair. Our model was scratchbuilt by Andy Clermont.
A later view. Photo courtesy Jim Shaughnessy, from his book, The Rutland Road.
Marble Co. Office
- The office was across the tracks from the depot. (I thought this was the office but now I'm not so sure.) Earlier there had been what looked like a barn or stable.
- The marble yard.
- Apparently the road crossed at grade just north of the depot, but by 1909, an ornate overpass was built south of the freight house.
Looking south just after the flood, 1927. (Note the stairs and the bridge has a slight arch, providing more clearance. Photo courtesy Jim Shaughnessy, from his book, The Rutland Road.
- View from under the overpass.
- Because of the on-going problem of the Otter Creek overflowing and following the track right-of-way through the cut, around 1947, the Rutland added a floodgate post on each side. (In case of a flood, a steel door could be dropped into the groove.)
View from the highway overpass at the height of the 1927 flood. Photo courtesy Jim Shaughnessy, from his book, The Rutland Road.
Progress on the Model