Object of the Month

Each month we feature a different object from the museum's collections or exhibitions. 

This month we are featuring a photograph from the museum's collection which links to our winter exhibition: James Fletcher of Rosehaugh: his Black Isle railway























This photograph commemorates a milestone event during the construction of the Black Isle Railway. James Douglas Fletcher (1857-1927) was a significant supporter of the Black Isle railway project. He promised to give land from the Rosehaugh estate for the route of the railway track. He also pledged £5,000 capital towards the costs. His pledged contribution was raised in 1872 to £15,000 which included the value of the land.  However, insufficient contributions were forthcoming and the scheme went into abeyance.

In 1890 new, rival proposals for the Black Isle line came forward from both the Great North and Highland Line companies. Fletcher favoured the Great North proposal but it was the Highland scheme that won the day. It was eventually built linking Muir of Ord and Fortrose.

Fletcher was a great benefactor to the Black Isle communities, especially Avoch. He paid for much needed sanitary improvements there and set up a woollen mill to provide employment for villagers.  The Rosehaugh estate also employed many local people.