A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

History: Horse Car Railway Bill in New Jersey (1887)

Robert S Green, Governor of New Jersey (Wikimedia)
According to the 7 May 1887 edition of The Matawan Journal, New Jersey Governor Robert Stockton Green signed a horsecar railway bill on 30 Apr 1887. The article was mostly an opinion piece by the editor, who made vague complaints of unfair competition by Keyport against Matawan's potential interests in the development of a horse-drawn tramway in the Bayshore.

The 9 Apr 1887 edition had reported that the bill passed the Senate 14-0 and the Assembly 35-6. This second page item contained the full text of the bill.

The Horse-Car Railway Bill

     An act relating to the turnpike roads within incorporated towns and boroughs in this state.

    1. Be it enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey, That any street railway company duly organized pursuant to the law may construct and with horses may operate street railways for the transporting of passengers and chattels for hire upon and along such portion of any turnpike road as enters and is located within the limits of any incorporated town or borough in this state, and upon and along such portion of such turnpike as extends outside such limits for the distance of thirteen hundred yards in either direction, after having obtained the consent of the owners of such turnpike so to do; provided that an ordinance or resolution authorizing the construction of such railway shall have been first passed or adopted by the commissioners of any such town or borough, and that the written consents of not less than two-thirds of all the persons owning lands abutting on such portion of such turnpike in each and every incorporated town or borough shall have been first obtained and filed in the office of the clerk of the county wherein such turnpike is situate.

Manchester, New Hampshire added horse car in 1877. (Wikimedia)
     2. And be it enacted, That any turnpike or plank road company may sell, convey, assign and by written instrument of conveyance transfer and set over to any such street railway company any such portion of any such turnpike or plank road, together with all rights, title and interest to and in such turnpike or plank road, together with all franchises and appurtenances thereto pertaining, including the right to impose and collect tolls thereon, whereof such turnpike or plank road company shall be seized, enfranchised or invested, and any such street railway company may purchase, acquire title to and hold and enjoy the same, and may become invested and enfranchised with, and may exercise all such franchises and rights to the same extent and fully and in similar manner as therefore held, enjoyed and exercised by such turnpike or plank road company and subject to the same penalties and liabilities thereto attached for failure to maintain such road in good condition and repair, provided that the provisions of this section shall not take effect until the provisions of the first section shall have been fully complied with.

     3. And be it enacted, That the track and road bed of any such street railway upon such turnpike road shall be constructed in such manner as shall offer no unnecessary obstruction to travel upon such turnpike, and where any repairs thereunto may afterwards become necessary, it shall be the duty of such street railway company to make the same without delay, and if not so made, and after five days' notice shall have been given to such company the commissioners of the town or borough which such repairs may be necessary may cause the same to be made at the expense and charge of such street railway company, and the property of such street railway company shall be liable to distraint therefor; nothing in this act contained shall apply to any street railway within any city of this state.

     4. And be it enacted, That all laws and parts of laws conflicting herewith, in so far as they conflict herewith, are hereby repealed, and that this act shall take effect immediately.


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