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Sodus Point in Wayne County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Sodus Point Coal Trestle

 
 
The Sodus Point Coal Trestle Marker image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, November 7, 2014
1. The Sodus Point Coal Trestle Marker
Inscription. The early 1850's saw Sodus Bay as a commercial port, and with the increased demand for coal, local businessmen began construction of the Sodus Point & Southern Railroad line, that would connect it to the coal fields of central Pennsylvania, via the Pennsylvania Railroad.

In 1873, the railroad line was completed, with its terminus at this site. Here, a heavily constructed dock, 400 feet long and 40 feet above the water, was built. It held two sets of rails that ran out to the east end. Two coal pockets were under each set of rails. Coal cars were placed over top of the pockets, the doors at the bottom of the cars were opened to permit the coal to drop into the pocket. Manually operated chutes would carry the falling coal down the chute into the waiting ship's cargo hold.

In that 1st year, over 32,000 tons of coal were shipped to Canada. Between 1892 and 1927, well over 30 million tons of coal were up-loaded in Sodus Point, and shipped to both American and Canadian Ports.

In 1927, an ever increasing demand for coal, caused the dock to be completely rebuilt. With heavy pine timbers, it was extended to 800 feet in length and 60 feet in height, now with 8 pockets and chutes. In addition to the trestle, a storage railroad yard, for 1,200 cars, was added.

Each decade, demanded more changes. In the early 1950's,
Left Detail image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, November 7, 2014
2. Left Detail
shakers were installed on the trestle. They fit over the RR cars, shaking them until all the coal dropped through the pockets & chutes into the ship. These huge shakers created such a loud rattle, it could be heard many miles away.

By the 1960's the size and capacity of coal ships, had increased to 13,000 tons of cargo. This made it necessary to maintain a dredged channel, to depth of 21 feet and a width of 150 feet, from the pier light to the trestle, as well as a 700 foot turning basin, at the loading area.

By the 1950's, Sodus Point's annual tonnage of coal up-loaded, had grown to 2,401,616, but by the mid 60's, the ships carried 28,000 tons of coal, and the coal trestle, had become too small, and an antiquated operation. It found it could not compete with other, more modern facilities. It closed down in 1967. It lay dormant until 1971, when businessmen and [a] new owner, began dismantling the trestle in order to build a marina on the site. The project progressed slowly until November, when men working with an acetylene torch, dropped a red hot bolt onto a coal-dust covered timber. Fire rapidly consumed the trestle.

Today this site is a modern marina, built on the footprint of the trestle. One can imagine the old, imposing structure, when looking at the dock and boat slips, following its foundation, out to the end point.

Beginning as a small dock,
Northward on NY 14 image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, November 7, 2014
3. Northward on NY 14
Marker faces the road, pictured to the left of the yellow turn sign.
expanding to a huge trestle and now a marina, this Sodus Bay property continues to promote the economy and preserve the vision of those who saw its great potential, so long ago.

For more information about the Coal Trestle, visit the Sodus Bay Lighthouse Museum, www.historicsoduspoint.com website, or click to QR code.

Information is courtesy of the Sodus Bay Historical Society, Photos from the collection of Bill Huff, Jr.

 
Erected by Sodus Bay Historical Society.
 
Location. 43° 15.978′ N, 76° 59.515′ W. Marker is in Sodus Point, New York, in Wayne County. Marker is on New York State Route 14 0.1 miles south of Sentell Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Sodus Point NY 14555, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Site of 1825 Keeper's Dwelling House (approx. 0.6 miles away); Big Sodus Light (approx. 0.6 miles away); British Raids (approx. 0.6 miles away); Site of the Original Sodus Bay Lighthouse (approx. 0.6 miles away); A French Inspired Flotilla (approx. 0.7 miles away); Cobblestone Architecture
Southward, NY 14 image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, November 7, 2014
4. Southward, NY 14
Marker at center of picture.
(approx. 1.7 miles away); Underground Railroad Terminus (approx. 9 miles away); The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (approx. 9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sodus Point.
 
Also see . . .
1. Coal Trestle Mural - Historic Sodus Point. (Submitted on December 15, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
2. The Sodus Point Coal Trestle - Historic Sodus Point. (Submitted on December 15, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceRailroads & StreetcarsWaterways & Vessels
 
Marker and the Two Marina Piers on the Coal Trestle Site. image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, November 7, 2014
5. Marker and the Two Marina Piers on the Coal Trestle Site.
Marina Piers image. Click for full size.
By Anton Schwarzmueller, November 7, 2014
6. Marina Piers
Pictures on this day were taken during a hailstorm.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 15, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page has been viewed 273 times since then and 44 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on December 15, 2014, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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