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Monroe in Orange County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Monroe, New York

 
 
Monroe, New York Marker image. Click for full size.
By Clifton Patrick, October 5, 2012
1. Monroe, New York Marker
Inscription. Before the railroad came to town, Monroe had been an isolated community, composed mainly of farmers. When the New York & Erie Railroad (later reorganized as the Erie Railroad) rolled into town in 1841, an entirely new way of life was introduced. What used to be a day's horse ride to New York City, now only took a few hours. Local farmers could ship fresh milk to the expanding metropolis of New York City without risk of spoiling. Industry began to grow and one of the first cheese factories in the United States was built in Monroe.

With such a short trip from New York City, Monroe became a very popular tourist destination for wealthy vacationers. And with the tourists, came an influx of money flowing into Monroe and into Orange County. Summer houses, cottages, and hotels were built to handle the summer visitors.

But, by the 1920's and 30's, an increasing amount of people began to travel by automobile. Passenger travel by train was in decline and by the postwar era, four-lane highways were pushing the railroad toward bankruptcy. Not only were vacationers taking to the highways, but freight was now being shipped by truck, rather than by rail. This spelled disaster, and in 1960, the Erie Railroad was forced into merger, re-emerging as the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad. The merger however, did little to solve the railroad's financial
Monroe, New York Marker visible above the motorcycle. Monroe's famous Airplane Park on left. image. Click for full size.
By Clifton Patrick, October 5, 2012
2. Monroe, New York Marker visible above the motorcycle. Monroe's famous Airplane Park on left.
woes. Further mergers followed and in 1983, it was
decided that the rails in Monroe were to be torn up, later to give way to the modern Orange County Heritage Trail.


[photo captions]

On April 9, 1968, Erie-Lackawanna diesel locomotive #824 eases into Monroe. The station (at right) was built in 1913 and was located on Carpenter Place. Unfortunately, it would eventually become a victim to fire.
From the John Stellwagen Collection Courtesy of Doug Barberio

This early postcard shows just the amount of activity Monroe hosted. As an Erie Railroad passenger train speeds westward, dozens of locals and vacationers can be seen milling around the Main Street crossing. The building to the left is the original Monroe depot. Built in 1841, it still stands today. The building to the right is a local hotel, the Monroe House, which is also still standing.
Courtesy of Marvin Cohen

On May 12, 1940, Erie Railroad steam locomotive #2926 rolls past the Monroe Station grounds.
From the Robert F. Collins Collection Courtesy of Doug Barberio

The dangers of the Main Street crossing are illustrated here as a passenger train stops at the original Monroe station. When a train stopped at the station to pick up or drop off passengers, it would stop in the middle of the street! Not only was this dangerous, but in later years, when more cars were on the road, it became a traffic nightmare. Thus, in 1940, the road was re-routed and the Mapes Place Underpass was built. It still stands today, bearing the name of its original owner; the Erie Railroad.
Courtesy of Marvin Cohen

On May 14, 1966, Erie-Lackawanna diesel locomotive #913 leads a train westbound over the Mapes Place Underpass.
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° 19.985′ N, 74° 11.411′ W. Marker is in Monroe, New York, in Orange County. Marker is on Millpond Parkway 0.1 miles east of Route 17M. Touch for map. Marker is at the eastern terminus of the Orange Heritage Trail, just off the Millpond Parkway. Marker is at or near this postal address: 139 Millpond Parkway, Monroe NY 10950, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Crane Park (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Town of Monroe (about 700 feet away); Monroe School (approx. 0.2 miles away); Landmark of Monroe (approx. 0.4 miles away); Village of Monroe (approx. 0.4 miles away); Monroe Cheese Co. (approx. half a mile away); Methodist Church (approx. 0.6 miles away); Monroe Race Track (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Monroe.
 
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 353 times since then and 28 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.
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