Railroad through Ashland and Windham

Contributed photo

With all the railroad articles I’ve found about the trains in Hunter, I’m happy to share one on the Windham and Ashland areas.

A 1905 Windham Journal article:

Railroad Meeting in Ashland.

A railroad meeting was called for Saturday, April 8, at 10 o’clock, in the town hall (Brazee building), in Ashland. The proposed trolley from Oneonta to Catskill needed various rights of way. “All persons through whose premises the survey crosses, and all interested in the proposed road, are requested to be present.” Come and be curious; it is for your interest, BY ORDER OF COMMISSIONERS.

A later meeting talked favorably about the April 8 meeting run by Mr. Lewis and Mr. Munson All 20+ landowners of beautiful, fertile lands gave their right of way. This meeting proved that Ashland definitely wanted the trolley.

Three cheers for Ashland!

On April 13, 1905, the Windham Journal’s editor wrote the following:

Shall We Have a Railroad?

It is up to the people. “If the right of way is received, and the survey paid for, the road will be in operation on or before October 1, 1908.” If the road is not in operation by then the deed granting a right of way becomes void. Windham and Ashland are financing the “right of way,” without cost, until after the road is in operation.

The projector, Mr. Herbert T. Jennings, told those attending the trolley meeting at Stamford that if he has the “Right of Way” granted at once, he can begin to “throw dirt” within ten days.

“We suggest to our friends in Durham to “get a bustle” on themselves. Durham can secure the same without paying a cent unless they get a road running through that town, - and what will a railroad with over 30 trains a day add to the real prosperity of Durham, and Windham, Ashland, Prattsville, Gilboa, and Conesville. We have been shut in for so long without railroad benefits.”

East Windham is in the Town of Durham. The proposed road passes through the notch and exposes the finest view in the world. Five states can be seen; the Hudson is outlined, and what a fine location for a cottage park. That town will thrive and grow in size and value until she rivals the Tannersville section with its mammoth hotels and parks. “

It went on to say that Durham should not let the trolley slip away from them, “Durham had let one of the first roads in the State slip away from them, and had that road been kept, what a rich township she would have been now!” But there had been a long sleep. The year’s taxes will bring in more than we believe the whole roadbed will cost.

“Prattsville is getting on finely with securing the right of way for the trolley. Won’t it be jolly to ride upon the trolley?”

Mr. Jennings says the trolley will stop on signal to let you on or off cars and will do the same with freight. This will be a great convenience to farmers on this line.

Shall we have a railroad?

YES, if the people want it bad enough!

Being a past Postmaster of Windham, this was very interesting to me. Any relevant information found will be shared in another article.

Any comments or concerns please contact hunterhistorian@gmail.com or call, 518-589-4130.

Until next week, take care, be thankful and be kind. You never know how your act of kindness may change someone’s life.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1


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