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

Greycourt - Orange Co., N.Y.

Greycourt - Orange Co., N.Y. Marker image. Click for full size.
By Clifton Patrick, October 5, 2012
1. Greycourt - Orange Co., N.Y. Marker
Inscription. The origins of a railroad in this area date back to 1836, when the Hudson & Delaware Railroad was chartered to build a rail line from Newburgh, New York to Chesterville, New York (now known as Greycourt) with the intention of extending the line to the rich coal fields of Pennsylvania, However, funds soon ran short and the plan was eventually picked up by the New York & Erie Railroad. The New York & Erie Railroad (later reorganized as the Erie Railroad) built its mainline west through Chesterville in 1841 and by the end of 1849; the Newburgh Branch was completed, giving Orange County a direct rail link to the Hudson River.

On April 1, 1862, the Warwick Valley Railroad completed a 10-mile rail line from Warwick, New York to the Erie's Newburgh Branch in Greycourt. Originally a branch line of the Erie Railroad, the Warwick Valley Railroad gained its independence in 1880. Two years later, it merged with several other lines to form the Lehigh & Hudson River Railway. By 1889, the Poughkeepsie Railroad Bridge (now known as the Walkway Over the Hudson) was built across the Hudson River, providing a faster link to New England. The L&HA soon expanded the line south into Pennsylvania and also north, past Greycourt. and into Maybrook. New York. At Maybrook, freight traffic delivered by the L&HR would be collected and then taken across the
Looking west along the Greycourt RR siding. Marker visible on right. image. Click for full size.
By Clifton Patrick, October 5, 2012
2. Looking west along the Greycourt RR siding. Marker visible on right.
Hudson via the Poughkeepsie Railroad Bridge. The L&HR's main function was to act as a "bridge line"; to transport freight from other railroads and forward it to Maybrook.

In 1960, decreasing profits drove the Erie Railroad to merge with the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad to form the Erie∑ Lackawanna Railroad. Then, a crippling blow was delivered on May 8,1974, when the Poughkeepsie Bridge burned. By 1976, freight revenue had declined to the point where the L&HR. the Erie-Lackawanna, and four other railroads were forced to merge to form Conrail. Trains continued to pass through Greycourt until 1983. when the Erie Mainline itself was abandoned. Today, trains running on the former L&HR still utilize the siding in Greycourt as storage and for local farm deliveries, but it is only a mere shadow of what it once was.

[photo captions]

1918 Erie Railroad Track Evaluation Map Courtesy of Doug Barberio

From the Lehigh & Hudson's bridge above Greycourt, the Erie Railroad's main line can be seen curving west toward Chester. The Greycourt freight house is at the left. The freight house was operated by both the Erie Railroad and the Lehigh & Hudson River Railway (which is located to the rear of the depot).
From the Simms Family Collection.

Looking west from the Lehigh and Hudson's bridge, most of the Greycourt Yards can be seen. On the right, the L&HR tracks are visible leading into the interchange yards (hidden behind the station), and on the left is the Erie Railroad's main line. In the distance, at left, the water tank can be seen at the beginning of the Newburgh Branch. At one time, Greycourt was home to two railroads, a branch line, railroad station, freight house, post office, general store, and two hotels. Today little remains.
From the Ray Brown Collection Courtesy of Doug Barberio

By the turn of the century, when this photograph was taken, Greycourt had become an important part of the Orange County transportation system. Passengers and commuters would ride the Lehigh and Hudson River Railway to Greycourt, depart at the ornate Greycourt Station, and then wait for the Erie Railroad to take them to Jersey City. One of Greycourt'a two hotels can be seen behind the station.
Courtesy of Robert McCue.

On July 8, 1939, the Lehigh & Hudson River Railway ran its very last scheduled passenger train. During the 20's and 30's, the L&HRís passenger train revenue had plunged significantly due to the increase in automobile usage and later, the poor economy. Among the few in attendance that Saturday afternoon is the train crew of the Ď63, who posed on the front of the locomotive.
From the Simms Family Collection.

In July of 1960, an Erie commuter train thunders westbound past the abandoned Greycourt depot. Within a few months, the Erie Railroad would become the Erie?Lackawanna Railroad. The station had been abandoned since 1939, when the L&HR discontinued passenger service, Eventually, the nearly 100-year-old station would be destroyed.
From the John Stellwagen Collection Courtesy of Doug Barberio

Alan Arthur Held
Eagle Scout Service Project
Boy Scout Troop 45
Warwick, New York

Dedicated 2012
Erected 2012 by Alan Arthur Held.
Location. 41° 21.695′ N, 74° 15.213′ W. Marker is in Chester, New York, in Orange County. Marker is on Orange Heritage Trail 0.1 miles east of Greycourt Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is on the Orange Heritage Trail, along the Greycourt railroad siding just east of the Lehigh Avenue entrance off the intersection of Winkler Place, Howland Street and Greycourt Avenue. Marker is at or near this postal address: off end of Lehigh Avenue, Chester NY 10918, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Chester, New York (approx. 0.8 miles away); 1915 Chester Depot (approx. 0.9 miles away); Hambletonian (approx. 1.1 miles away); Welcome to Chester (approx. 1.1 miles away); Wawayanda Patent (approx. 1.1 miles away); Hambletonian Monument (approx. 1.1 miles away); World War I Monument & Chester Bicentennial Commission Time Capsule (approx. 1.2 miles away); Korean and Viet Nam Wars Monument (approx. 1.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chester.
More about this marker. This is one of four markers erected by Alan Arthur Held as his Eagle Scout Service Project, Boy Scout Troop 45, Warwick, New York. Markers at Goshen, Chester, Greycourt and Monroe.

Dedicated October 7, 2012.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. To better understand the relationship, study each marker in the order shown.
Categories. Railroads & Streetcars
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 11, 2012, by Clifton Patrick of Chester, NY, United States. This page has been viewed 553 times since then and 45 times this year. Last updated on October 13, 2012, by Clifton Patrick of Chester, NY, United States. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 11, 2012, by Clifton Patrick of Chester, NY, United States. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement We are suspending advertising until they remove an ad for a certain book from circulation. A word in the bookís title has given rise to number of complaints. The word is inappropriate in school classroom settings.