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

Piermont Station

and the Northern Railroad

 
 
Piermont Station Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 23, 2019
1. Piermont Station Marker
Inscription.  Completed in 1859, the Northern connected Jersey City to Upper Piermont (today's Sparkill) and then to Piermont. By 1860, it branched west to Monsey. On May 21, 1870, along this route, known today as the Erie Path, the line was extended north from Sparkill to Nyack for a total of 28 miles from Jersey City. Newspaper evidence indicates that, as early as 1873, trains made a whistle stop at this site (then called Piermont-on-the-Hill). "Passengers must wait, in sunshine or shower, without shelter, at the stopping place." It wasn't until 1883 that this station was built. It sits on the side of the Palisades, more than 120 feet above lower Piermont. Commuters needed to be in fine physical condition to tackle the climb.

From 1868 onwards, the Northern changed names multiple times finally becoming the Erie-Lackawanna. During the 1920s more than 40 trains a day stopped here. With the opening of the Tappan Zee bridge in 1955 the importance of the railroad declined and traffic was reduced to 6 trains a day. It ceased operations in 1966 after 107 years of successful service that dramatically changed the economy of the area. The last train passed
Marker detail: Piermont-on-the-Hill Station image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Piermont-on-the-Hill Station
Left: Piermont-on-the-Hill station, circa 1900. Note: Belle Kelly in the upper right-hand window. The steam locomotive approaching is a Camelback. Image source: Moore & Gibson Co.

Top right: Station in 2004 upon acquisition. Image source: PHS Archives.

Below right: The “Weary Erie” • End of Piermont’s railroad era, circa 1960s. Image source: Piermont Historical Society Archives.
this station on December 14, 1965. By that time, it was affectionately known as "THE WEARY ERIE".

The Inhabitants
The Station was staffed for 32 years by its most famous stationmaster, Marion Belle Byram-Kelly, who was ticket agent and telegrapher. In the same way that many meet via the Internet, Belle fell in love via the telegraph with Tom Kelly, the Nyack stationmaster and telegrapher. Married in 1913, Tom died six years later, leaving her a single mother. Belle was on call 24 hours a day since Western Union, before radio, was the major source for all news dispatches, baseball scores, election results, etc. In 1969, three years after the railroad ceased operations, Belle and her son, made the station their home until her death in 1976 and his in 1996. It was because they kept the station intact, disturbing little and preserving much, that the Piermont Historical Society was able to restore this station.

The Restoration
In 2004, the Village of Piermont acquired this station from NY State, which had taken possession of the property. The Piermont Railroad Restoration Committee (renamed the Piermont Historical Society) and the Village Board of Trustees raised funds and by 2006 the exterior and interior of the structure was restored. In 2007, the Society received the Merit Award for restoration from the Historical Society of Rockland County
Marker detail: Belle Kelly image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: Belle Kelly
Top left: Undated portrait of Stationmaster Belle Kelly who worked 51 years for the railroad [Piermont: 1908-1940 and Rutherford: 1940 -1959]. Image source: PHS Archives.

Top right: Photo of Belle and Tom, possibly taken on their wedding day, March 30, 1913. Image source: PHS Archives.

Bottom: Belle's Western Electric telegraph key. Image source: Piermont Station Museum.
and in 2008 the station was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. However, due to a lack of funds, it would take another ten years before the station foundation was rebuilt. The Society was able to complete the work in 2017 thanks to the combined efforts of the Village Trustees, a State grant and support of Piermont residents. The station, now preserved for generations to come, is the last structural reminder of Piermont's significant railroad history. It may be the only wood-framed station of its kind.

In 2014, it became the museum of the history of Piermont. Most importantly, thanks to the preservation efforts of Belle and her son, Tom Jr., today we can step back in time and experience the look and feel of a 19th century station.

All Aboard!

 
Erected by Historical Society of the Nyacks, Piermont Historical Society, and Hudson River Valley Greenway.
 
Location. 41° 2.499′ N, 73° 55.101′ W. Marker is in Piermont, New York, in Rockland County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Ash Street and Hudson Terrace, on the left when traveling east. Marker is located along the Old Erie Path trail, at the Piermont Station trailhead. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 50 Ash Street, Piermont NY 10968, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking
Piermont Station Marker<br>(<i>wide view • Old Erie Path left • Hudson Terrace below right</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 23, 2019
4. Piermont Station Marker
(wide view • Old Erie Path left • Hudson Terrace below right)
distance of this marker. Roll of Honor (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Flywheel: A Monument to Piermont's Industrial Past (approx. 0.2 miles away); Last Stop U.S.A. (approx. Ό mile away); Sneden House (approx. Ό mile away); Bogertown (approx. 0.3 miles away); Bridge Street Bridge Over The Sparkill Creek (approx. 0.3 miles away); John Charles Fremont (approx. half a mile away); a different marker also named John Charles Fremont (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Piermont.
 
Regarding Piermont Station. National Register of Historic Places #08001146
 
Also see . . .
1. Piermont Station (Wikipedia). The opening of Pavonia Terminal in Jersey City, New Jersey, constructed from 1886 to 1889, diverted most of the Erie Railroad traffic southward. By 1892 the Piermont station was for freight only. Passenger service ended in 1966. The railway's right-of-way has been converted into the Old Erie Path multi-use rail trail. (Submitted on August 31, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. The Restored Piermont Railroad Station. Not until 1873, when the Piermont Station was constructed, did the train stop here. It continued to carry passengers along this route for 107 years until it ceased operations
Piermont Station<br>(<i>northeast corner • view from near marker</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 23, 2019
5. Piermont Station
(northeast corner • view from near marker)
1966. Belle Kelly worked for the railroad for over 50 years. She served as stationmaster, ticket agent and telegraph clerk, servicing 43 trains a day. (Submitted on August 31, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Man-Made FeaturesRailroads & StreetcarsWomen
 
Piermont Station image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 23, 2019
6. Piermont Station
"JC 25" • Jersey City 25 Mile Marker • visible at corner on right
 

More. Search the internet for Piermont Station.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 31, 2019. This page originally submitted on August 31, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 43 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on August 31, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
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