Clarence in Erie County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Watchman's Flag Shanty, West Shore Railroad
The New York, West Shore and Buffalo Railroad was established in 1882, but the owners never expected it to be a successful business. They knew that rail baron Chauncey Depew did not like competition with his New York Central Railroad; they expected that Depew would purchase the West Shore just as he had done with other rivals. After only one year of operation, the West Shore was bankrupt, and its holdings purchased by the New York Central. Construction in the Hollow took place between 1882 and 1883, and the first train crossed Main Street on 1 January 1884.
The West Shore crossed Main Street west of Salt Road.
The watchman's flag shanty guarded the West Shore Railroad crossing on Main Street in the Hollow. The watchman's shanty was a small building adjacent to the tracks. It was furnished with a bench, a comfortable chair and a small coal stove. The long-handled stop sign hung outside the door within east reach when a train approached.
The watchman's shanty at the West Shore crossing Main Street.
In 1959, the watchman's job was abolished. Mrs. Phyllis Ruszaj saved the shanty from destruction.
The West Shore depot in Clarence Hollow was built in 1884.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Railroads & Streetcars. A significant historical date for this entry is January 1, 1884.
Location. 42° 58.756′ N, 78° 35.874′ W. Marker is in Clarence, New York, in Erie County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street (New York State Route 5) and Cummings Road on Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 10465 Main Street, Clarence NY 14031, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Goodrich-Landow Log Cabin (within shouting distance of this marker); To Commemorate (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Clarence Town Park (about 600 feet away); In Grateful Memory (about 600 feet away); This Memorial (about 600 feet away); In Memory of Our Comrades (about 600 feet away); Clarence Veterans Memorial (about 700 feet away); Town of Clarence - First Grist Mill in Erie County (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Clarence.
More about this marker. Marker is on the grounds of the Clarence Historical Society Museum. It is at the rear of the parking lot for the museum. The museum is
Also see . . .
1. Clarence Historical Society. Society website homepage (Submitted on July 4, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
2. West Shore Railroad. Wikipedia entry (Submitted on July 4, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
1. Watchman's Flag Shanty, West Shore Railroad Main Street, Clarence, NY
As a child who lived on Ransom Road from 1952-59 and attended Parker Elementary school, I fondly remember the man in the shanty who gave us candy on our way from school.
— Submitted June 5, 2022, by Georgia L Schlager of Lancaster, New York.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 1, 2022. It was originally submitted on July 4, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page has been viewed 934 times since then and 161 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on July 4, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.