“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Hamden in Delaware County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

O & W Railroad

O & W Railroad Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Steve Stoessel, August 3, 2019
1. O & W Railroad Marker
Inscription.  The New York & Oswego Midland Railroad was incorporated in 1866.

The route chosen stretched from Oswego on Lake Ontario to Jersey City, NJ. When the panic of 1873 hit, the Midland entered bankruptcy. In 1880, a new group of investors bought the bankrupt railroad and created the

New York, Ontario, & Western Railway.

In March 1957, the O & W became the first US Class I railroad to be abandoned.

The Delhi Branch
The 17-mile Delhi Branch was completed in early 1872. Connecting to the mainline in Walton, it ran through Colchester Station, Hawleys; Hamden, Delancey and Fraser to Delhi. Serving these communities, the branch was vital in providing supplies that the farmers and communities needed and in transporting the farmersí output to city markets. It became the most prolific milk shipping segment of the railroad once milk train service started in the 1880ís.

Over the years, passenger service was provided by up to four trains each way daily (including “mixed trains” – freight or milk trains with a passenger coach or two added). Such frequent service
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was essential in the days of dirt roads, even for travel among the branch villages. Regular passenger service on the branch ended in 1930 and passenger service on the mixed train ceased in 1948.

The O & W ran excursion trains to such destinations as the Thousand Islands, New York City, Coney Island, and Washington D.C. with the Delhi Branch passengers connecting to them at Walton. Excursion trains specific to the Delhi Branch carried passengers to the county fairs in Delhi or Walton, the Ringling Brothers circus, GAR gatherings, Masonic meetings and other events.

O & W Railway in Hamden
Daily mixed trains brought feed and other dry goods, mercantile goods, groceries, fruit, and coal – all at reduced prices and greater variety than was previously available. Initial outbound shipments were butter, select corps and cattle; later years included blue stone and milk.

Hamden was a busy stop for many years. It was one of the few locations on the O & W, and by far the smallest, where the track ran in the street. It did so for nearly a mile on the east side of Route 10, shortly after entering the village from the south. The railroad station, built in 1872 and closed in 1954, was at the south end of the village. In the late 1800ís significant shipments of butter and veal were shipped from the station by firms such as Wm. Lewis &
Looking towards Hamden image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Steve Stoessel, August 3, 2019
2. Looking towards Hamden
Son and Combs Brothers.

The local industries clustered on sidings near the station, consisted of feed business, two creameries, and a storehouse. The feed business, started by Malcolm Crawford in 1895, became Crawford Brothers, a large wholesale feed dealer, which included plants in Walton starting in 1907. Bordenís built a large creamery and ice house in 1900 at the south end of Hamden. The plant did a large business and became a “show plant” in Borden advertising literature. It burned in 1925 and was not rebuilt. The brick wall of the loading ramp that was located in front of the creamery still stands.

A smaller creamery, the first in Hamden, was built just north of the future Bordenís location in 1891 by the Howell Brothers of Goshen, NY. Future owners included W.C.A. Hitt & Co. and McDermott-Bunger.

The small storehouse, which also handled coal, was built by Combs Brothers in 1882.

At the north end of town, the Hamden Co-operative Creamery Company opened a creamery in 1902 (near the present site of this kiosk).

In 1912, a milk sugar plant was built adjacent to that creamery to utilize the milk by-products it generated Ferndale Farms acquired this facility in 1931 and would operate it until 1964.

Erected by Hamden Town Historian.
Topics. This historical marker
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is listed in these topic lists: AgricultureIndustry & CommerceRailroads & Streetcars. A significant historical month for this entry is March 1957.
Location. 42° 11.71′ N, 74° 59.369′ W. Marker is in Hamden, New York, in Delaware County. Marker is on New York State Route 10, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Hamden NY 13782, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Hamden Covered Bridge (here, next to this marker); Hamden (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Hamden Covered Bridge (within shouting distance of this marker); Town of Hamden (approx. 0.8 miles away); William B. Ogden (approx. 6 miles away); Charles Evans Hughes (approx. 6.8 miles away); The 144th Regiment (approx. 6.8 miles away); Delaware County Civil War Memorial (approx. 6.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hamden.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 8, 2019. It was originally submitted on August 7, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. This page has been viewed 362 times since then and 45 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 7, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 21, 2024