- Category: Archived Articles
- Published on Wednesday, 08 February 2012 18:51
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Photos sent by Tom N.
In the early 1970s there were two South American narrow gauge coaches brought to Summitville by a former owner (Pettingel?). I believe that the customary rumor was that this owner intended to establish some sort of tourist venue, or even a short operating tourist rail line, at the depot site. Along with the coach bodies were some trucks and wheel sets..........all of which by the time I first got there (ca. 1971) were well overgrown in the weeds that'd overtaken the whole site.
The intended operation went absolutely nowhere. By 1972-73 the station was boarded up and unoccupied. A couple of years later the slate shingles were being "mined" from the roof top of the station and platform. Any and all of the O&W depots that survived unattended for years, and then for years before that while the railroad was still in operation, but without a shred of maintenance, owed their existence to the integrity of the roof tops. Once the roofing was breached, either by neglect or vandalism, water could freely attack the roof structure, and it was only a short time until rot, decay and structural problems set in.
In the case of Summitville, once the slates had been stripped from the roof, it was short order before the platform canopy at the South end of the depot collapsed, ............first in increments and stages, and then altogether. After any usable salvageable material had been stripped from the building it was via a slow and inexorable decay and vandalism that saw the station finally stripped clean to its bones...............board by board...........for fireplace kindling, I imagine. The two passenger cars suffered the same and a similar indignity..............stripped to "bones" also and literally board by board. The adjacent former Jones Hotel, across the KN Branch ROW was also extensively vandalized and stripped clean.......... board by board, as well!
Now, quite some while ago, and I'm precisely certain when, the whole vandalized mess was mercifully burned under controlled conditions by one of the local fire companies. It's now nearly impossible with the station gone to tell anything about what was where..........and all that remains are a few ties embedded in the ground.
The post abandonment relocation of Route 209 changed much of the lay of the land to the immediate north of the station, and situated the decaying station in plain view from, and slightly above, the roadway as one would drive by. To that small extent it represented a landmark, shamefully vandalized to its bitter end.
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