The Bangor and Aroostook Railroad was established in 1891. Its purpose was to connect the greater Bangor area to the Aroostook upland, which was a potential center of potato production, as well as to the water power producers of the West and East branches of the Penobscot River. Integrating the Moosehead Lake region as well as the iron ore producers at Ore Mountain in this system was also a priority. The company's birth was an outgrowth of projects that began the pioneering efforts of other railroads that had similar or related visions, such as the Bangor and Piscataquis Railroad, the Bangor and Katahdin Iron Works Railway, the Penobscot and Lake Megantic Railway, the European and North American Railway Company, the Monson Railroad and the Northern Maine Railroad Company. The construction of the railroad's tracks through the northern wilderness is a story of incredible hardship and toil that helped cement the legend of Dick Sutton, a giant of a man whose great strength and determination drove the tracks and teams of men who laid them through mountains, bogs, and dense forests, as well as swarms of mosquitos and black flies. Even rain and sleet and snow fell before the crews of the Bangor and Aroostook.
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