Orchard Park in Erie County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Village of Orchard Park
Western New York Southtowns Scenic Byway
—Orchard Park Railroad Depot and Steinwach Town Park —
The Village of Orchard Park, incorporated in 1921, exists today as a result of the vision and planning of Harry Yates, a local businessman and philanthropist in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His interests in farming, coal and shipping, and his love of the countryside, influenced the decision to build the depot here while he was on the Board of Directors of the Buffalo, Rochester and Pittsburgh Railway.
Yates would often visit his farms and entertain clients and friends on the country. He needed a depot that would meet his needs. With the exception of brick used in place of stone, the depot is a replica of the H.H. Richardson depot in Auburndale, Massachusetts.
An early 20th Century photograph of the depot. The curved sidewalk fronting the station is today the site of the library parking lot.
A family awaits the arrival of a train to the depot, mid 20th Century.
Depot construction began in 1911 and passenger and freight service commenced in 1912. The passenger depot featured separate mens' and womens' waiting rooms, wooden wainscoating, exposed wooden ceiling beams, and wooden benches. The depot was a stepping-off place for young soldiers leaving for and veterans returning
As the trucking industry expanded following World War II, railroad usage began to decline. Depot passenger service ended in the 1950s, and regular freight operations ended in the late 1970s. The line still carried intermittent freight until 2010, when the rails from West Valley, NY to the Jewett-Holmwood Road crossing in Orchard Park were removed.
Ownership of the railroad depot changed hands twice after the railroad company sold it to a developer. The depot is now owned by the Western New York Railway Historical Society. It is on both the National Register of Historic Places and the New York State Register. The green space directly behind you is owned by the Town of Orchard Park and is known as Steinwach Town Park.
The depot continues to undergo extensive interior and exterior restoration made possible through grants snd private donations. Today the depot serves as an anchor in the area's historical, cultural, social and educational campus. From here you can reminisce about the way life was in the rail heyday.
A steam passenger train has arrived at the station.
The Western New York Southtowns Scenic Byway is a 70 mile route encompassing five towns
Erected by Western New York Southtowns Scenic Byway.
Location. 42° 45.503′ N, 78° 44.753′ W. Marker is in Orchard Park, New York, in Erie County. Marker is on South Buffalo Street (New York State Route 277) 0.2 miles south of West Highland Avenue, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is between the library and the railroad overpass. Marker is in this post office area: Orchard Park NY 14127, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Orchard Park Depot (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Site of Erie County Agricultural Fair (approx. half a mile away); Orchard Park (approx. 0.6 miles away); Jolls Homestead (approx. 0.6 miles away); David Eddy (approx. 0.8 miles away); a different marker also named Orchard Park (approx. one mile away); Obadiah Baker Homestead (approx. 1.2 miles away); Site of Erastus D. Webster Homestead (approx. 1.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Orchard Park.
Regarding Village of Orchard Park. See separate marker for the depot.
Also see . . .
1. B&P Dismantle Part 3 - You Tube. Amateur video of the Buffalo & Pittsburg work train of removed rail heading northbound by the Orchard Park Depot. (Submitted on April 12, 2015, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
2. Western New York Southtowns Scenic Byway. (Submitted on April 12, 2015, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.)
Categories. • Railroads & Streetcars •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 12, 2015, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York. This page has been viewed 162 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on April 12, 2015, by Anton Schwarzmueller of Wilson, New York.