Passenger rail service first came to Brooks on November 1, 1870. Regular service ran from Belfast to Burnham and in 1874, the total number of passengers carried was 17,244. The station in the photograph is the second station at Brooks. This Queen Anne style structure was built in 1892 by the Maine Central Railroad. Of note, between 1921 and 1925 an average of 60 tons of potatoes per year were shipped from Brooks. In 1916, the train brought to this station the Honorable Warren G. Harding, U.S. Senator, the only U.S. President to come to Brooks. In addition to potatoes and a president, this station was also the arriving place for the circus animals that came by train.
The building to the left of the station was the Yankee Blade Company building, which published a newspaper. The station was situated across the road from the A.C. Chase Company store (not seen in this photo), which coincidentally was the first station building that had been moved. Depot Square, as that area was known, was the busiest place in town with two round trips daily with passengers, freight and mail.
Point to point passenger service ended March 9, 1960 on the Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroad. The station was staffed by a Station Agent until the 1980s. A well-known railroad historian and author, Mr. Linwood Moody, was Station Agent in the 1950s and 1960s. The station serves as the base of operations for the Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railway. The station is currently owned by Brooks Preservation Society and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Brooks Preservation Society leases the railroad from the State DOT and operates railroad excursions from May through October.
Help from: Betty Littlefield, Belfast Historical Society
Joey Feero, Brooks Preservation Society