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Near Summitville in Sullivan County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

O&W & Summitville Station

Delaware & Hudson Canal

 
 
O&W & Summitville Station Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 29, 2019
1. O&W & Summitville Station Marker
Inscription.  Established in 1880, the New York, Ontario & Western Railway ran from Oswego, N.Y. on Lake Ontario to Weehawken, New Jersey, which is located across the Hudson River from New York City. On its way south, the O&W linked upstate towns and villages previously accessible only by horse and wagon. More significantly, it opened the scenic beauty of the Catskills, particularly Sullivan County, to people living in New York City, and helped develop a resort industry that still thrives. To attract tourists, the O&W stocked Catskill streams with trout and offered to transport construction materials free for anyone who would build a vacation cabin or resort hotel along the railroad route. These inducements worked so well that the rail line had to add many trains per day during summer months to accommodate all the people who wanted to visit the Catskills. At the turn of the last century, the O&W was a major shipper of milk from Catskill farms and coal from Pennsylvania fields to New York City markets, thus competing with the canal. Eventually the growth of the automobile and highway system, and the development of new heating fuels such as gas and oil greatly
Marker detail: Summitville Wye image. Click for full size.
By Joseph A. Mclennan, from the collection of Jeff Otto
2. Marker detail: Summitville Wye
depleted the railroad's importance. In 1957, the O&W ceased operations, the first major American railroad to do so.

The knoll across the highway from where you are now standing is the site of the New York, Ontario & Western Summitville Depot, an active train station until 1957. The development of local rail lines in general, and the O&W line in particular, put Sullivan County on the map as a resort destination in the late 1890's. The railroads of the time brought vacationers from New York City, transported goods from upstate farms and businesses, and provided connections between local communities. So busy was this hub of railroad activity that it was referred to as "Grand Central Station."

The Summitville train station was so busy that it needed more than one track to handle the rail traffic that passed through. To allow many trains to enter and leave this bustling depot a Y-turn was added to the track system. This early bit of railroad technology, one of the first of its kind, allowed trains coming from upstate to move along the main tracks to New York City or to switch off to the valley line and continue to Ellenville and Kingston. The Y-turn also allowed service to such local communities as Mountaindale, Fallsburgh, Hurleyville, Ferndale, Liberty, Livingston Manor, and Roscoe.

(additional photo captions)
O&W steam engine
Abandoned
Marker detail: Summitville Station image. Click for full size.
Collection of the Minisink Valley Historical Society
3. Marker detail: Summitville Station
Summitville Station sits amidst weeds
 
Erected by Delaware & Hudson Canal Linear Park.
 
Location. 41° 37.162′ N, 74° 27.082′ W. Marker is near Summitville, New York, in Sullivan County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of U.S. 209 and Ferguson Road, on the left when traveling north. Marker is located along the canal trail, overlooking the Summitville trailhead of the Delaware & Hudson Canal Linear Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Summitville NY 12781, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Canal & the Railroad (within shouting distance of this marker); History of the Canal (approx. 0.9 miles away); Towpath (approx. 0.9 miles away); Boothroyd House (approx. 0.9 miles away); Life on the Canal (approx. 0.9 miles away); Locks (approx. 0.9 miles away); Waste Weirs (approx. 0.9 miles away); Canal Basin & Sluiceway (approx. one mile away).
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Delaware & Hudson Canal
 
Also see . . .
1. The New York, Ontario and Western Railroad. The New York & Oswego Midland Railroad, predecessor of the New York, Ontario & Western Railway, was the grandiose vision of Dewitt C. Littlejohn, a dynamic politician bearing
Marker detail: Junction at Summitville, c. 1908 image. Click for full size.
Collection of the Minisink Valley Historical Society
4. Marker detail: Junction at Summitville, c. 1908
an uncanny resemblance to Abraham Lincoln. His concept of a direct rail route northwest across New York State, serving virgin territory not reached by any existing line, seemed logical. In the 20th century, the decline of coal was not O&W's only dilemma. Manufacturing activities were moving to the South, Southwest and West, and the resultant population shifts were changing the consumer markets and the rural economy upon which the early O&W and its predecessors had relied. (Submitted on November 24, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. New York, Ontario and Western Railway (Wikipedia). The federal government eventually recommended complete liquidation, which occurred on March 29, 1957. All O&W assets were auctioned. The diesel locomotives found new owners, but most of the rest was scrapped. By virtue of its superb online scenery and anachronistic operations, the O&W retains "cult status" among railroad and history buffs more than 50 years after its abandonment, with periodic bus tours of remaining railroad artifacts. (Submitted on November 24, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceParks & Recreational AreasRailroads & Streetcars
 
Marker detail: Summitville Station before installation of platform extensions image. Click for full size.
Collection of the Minisink Valley Historical Society
5. Marker detail: Summitville Station before installation of platform extensions
O&W & Summitville Station Marker  <i>wide view<br>(US Hwy 209 in background)</i> image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 29, 2019
6. O&W & Summitville Station Marker wide view
(US Hwy 209 in background)
 

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Credits. This page was last revised on November 24, 2019. This page originally submitted on November 21, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 44 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on November 21, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on November 24, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
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