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The Story of Roscoe's Trout Weathervane
by Wilmer E. Sipple, Town Historian
The story of Roscoe's special weathervane had its beginning when the last spike was driven at Whirling Eddy near Horton, to complete the New York & Oswego Midland Railroad, later to be known as the New York Ontario & Western Railway.
Roscoe was fist named Westfield Flats but when the station was built, the name was soon changed to Rockland because of the confusion for telegraphers with the town of Westfield in western New York. In 1895, the new station was built on the site of the freight station which is now the site of the Roscoe Caboose.
The architect for the new Roscoe Station was Bradford Lee who had a precariously perched summer cabin on the upper Beaverkill where he frequently secluded himself while designing one of his lucrative commissions. Roscoe, located near the junction of the world famous Beaverkill and Willowemoc rivers, was already known for its fine trout fishing and so it was most fitting that the station should have the unique trout weathervane. This was presented to the railroad by J. S. Underhill , for installation on the canopy of Roscoe station in April 1896. After abandonment of the railroad in March 1957, many local people felt that the weathervane belonged to Roscoe and should remain here.
For people living within view of the trout weathervane it served as a weatherman. The weathervane was easily viewed along Stewart Avenue and as a soda jerk at my father's pharmacy I often witnessed customers asking for a weather report. If not too busy , Dad would take the person by the arm and lead him down the street to view the weathervane. He would explain if it pointed toward the city or SE, rain or snow could be expected; away from the city or NW meant clear or clearing weather. Thus the importance of this weather instrument was well established with the older Roscoe People.
Shortly after the demise off the O&W the weathervane mysteriously disappeared from the station canopy. Later it was learned that Carl Campbell and Ray Pomeroy had a discussion about what to do to save the weathervane. Carl finally told Ray that he would reward anyone who would climb up and remove it. Sometime later Ray Pomeroy, owner of the Roscoe House, was serving two college boys at the bar and he told them of the offer. They took him up on it and after dark,with the help of Ray's ladder, they removed it. Ray gave it to Carl Campbell who actually hid it in the woods on his Methyl farm. Later it was moved to a safer place and after the new highway was completed the Roscoe-Rockland Garden club was given a small area for a park, with plans for a flagpole, and the weathervane soon re-appeared and was placed on top of the flag pole.