New England experienced many changes in the mid-1800's due to the new railroads that seemed to be emerging throughout the region. With the added railroads of the 1800's, New England manufacturers and farmers were now able to ship goods to most other parts of the country more easily.
In 1850, much attention was given to a railroad connection between Portland, Maine and Ogdensburg, New York. Ogdensburg's location along the St. Lawrence River, was an important link with Canada and tradespeople of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine quite eagerly supported the proposed line.
Although the Portland & Ogdensburg Railroad was never completed, the idea of it didn't stop other railroads from connecting the region throughout the later 1800's.
The entire state of Maine was made a dry-state in 1851. It had become apparent that productivity was at an all-time low in Portland, as many "rum-punch" operators had been allowed to set up barrels full of rum along the city streets to entice the public all day long. The law forbidding the sale or possession of alchohol was repealed in 1856 after the much publicized Portland Rum Riot of 1855.
This map published in the 1850's by Hatch & Co. illustrates portions of New England and New York. It shows the railroad network and the progress of construction of the Portland & Ogdensburg Railroad. A reference chart at the upper left provides a key to 36 townships of Vermont.