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- It’s a Tram Shame: A Spotsylvania County Petition


Streetcar traffic jam. Courtesy of BBC News in Pictures.

In 1906, Thomas M. Henry of Sewickley, Pennsylvania, had a grand idea. He would build a road to carry an electric tram from Fredericksburg to Chancellorsville. Henry put this idea in motion by filing a petition with the Circuit Court in Spotsylvania County to get the proper authority to build the “Electric Tram Way,” Petition of Thomas M. Henry 1906-047. Henry assured the court that he could build the road without interfering with existing public transportation and without violating “proprietary” rights of “parties along the proposed tram road.”

Adding strength to his case, citizens along the proposed route petitioned the court in support of a roadway. The proposed tramway was to be “six feet in width along the right of way of said Plank Road from Fredericksburg to Chancellorsville and thence along the right of way of the “Turnpike” from Chancellorsville to the Orange line near the Wilderness Store, where the said turnpike connects with the road leading to Germania Bridge.” To show their support the signers of the petition declared, “the construction of the said tram road will not only prove a convenience to our people but will also increase the value of the land along the route.” They concluded, “We earnestly request that the petition of Mr. Henry be granted.”

The Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors petitioned the court to be party … read more »

Posted in Chancery Court Blog Posts, Local Records Blog Posts
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