Flashback to the year 1871. It was early August and excitement about the arrival of the first train into the town of Danville was spreading quickly. Finishing touches were being put on the new railroad depot, just a short distance south of the Danville Green. Everyone was a buzz, talking about the railroad finally coming through town.

Danville residents had been waiting many years for this day. Roads of the time were antiquated, rough, rutted, and less than adequate for traveling and transporting heavy loads of cargo by horse and wagon. Finally, after decades of planning, the proposed east-west railroad route that would begin in Portland, Maine, and run to the shores of Lake Champlain was beginning to take shape.

Construction began in April 1870 and before long, the town and surrounding area were bustling with activity. Large numbers of men employed to work on the railroad arrived in the village. They came from other countries and states and stayed in hotels, boarding houses, and private homes.

On Sept. 29, 1871, news spread quickly that the arrival of the train was expected at any minute. Large crowds of people of all ages began flocking to the new depot. The excited onlookers lined both sides of the track and along the entire length of the platform, eagerly waiting to witness the historic event. At exactly 10 minutes before six o’clock, the whistle blew and the hissing and puffing sound of the steam locomotive pulling the construction train could be heard as it chugged its way up to the new Danville depot, greeted by roaring cheers from the crowd.

The first carload of freight rolled into the depot over the P. & O. Railroad in October of 1871. The cargo consisted of a shipment of corn and flour for two local merchants, Warren Estabrooks of Danville and George W. Farrington of West Danville.

Danville was the first town to build a railroad depot along the route of the Vermont Division of the P. & O. Railroad. A short time after, other stations were being constructed along the route in the towns of West Danville, Walden, Hardwick, East Hardwick and Greensboro.