This photo puzzled many readers. It’s the Magnolia Train Station, originally the Kettle Cove Station, taken in 1906.
At the time of this photo there were three railroad stations in Manchester, West Manchester, in town Manchester and Magnolia Station. History tells us that magnolias were very common to the north of Manchester and the village of Magnolia in Gloucester.
As the North Shore became a mecca for wealthy families to summer, the Magnolia Station served the purpose of bringing staff and summer visitors to the Oceanside Hotel and the other five hotels established in Magnolia. Coolidge Point was also a likely destination for train passengers. West Manchester and Magnolia Stations were razed in 1942 due to the proliferation of the automobile and receipts did not justify keeping these two stations open.
According to Tom Kehoe, “Many wealthy vacationers came to the Magnolia Station by railcar and then had carriages pick up the family and possessions to take to their vacation homes along the shore. The wealthiest families came in private railroad cars and leave them on the spur at the Magnolia Station until they left on Labor Day to return to NY, Washington or other major East Coast cities.”