Medina & Darien Railroad

Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

Medina & Darien Railroad

Postby Alcophile » Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:25 am

I was wondering if anybody knows anything about this railroad. It was chartered in 1834 and ran from Medina to Akron (not Darien, despite the name). The line opened in 1836, but was abandoned slighty thereafter because it was unprofitable. They never had any locomotives and used horses instead. What I am looking for the dates of operation and where the r-o-w was. Thnaks.
Alcophile
 
Posts: 58
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 10:21 am

Re: Medina & Darien Railroad

Postby Farmer Joe » Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:39 pm

Somewhere I have an Orleans County History book and it had a chapter on this railroad. Also, either the Batavia Daily News or the Medina Journal had an article on this sometime last year. If I can dig up any hard copy info, I'll share it.

I grew up in the town of Shelby, south of Medina, and was on and over the ROW many times, while hunting, before I knew it was a railroad ROW. I always thought it was a farm lane/cattle path. There are some bridge abutments where it crossed Jeddo Creek in Shelby. I also snowmobiled on part of the ROW that was in the woods. Out in the open, its barely visible. It was quite an interesting operation for its short life. It never made it to Darien, but got as far as Akron. I think it had wooden rails with the iron straps. Like I said, if I can dig up info, I'll share it.

Joe
Farmer Joe
 
Posts: 127
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 6:54 pm
Location: Darien Ctr, NY

Re: Medina & Darien Railroad

Postby Steampig » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:16 pm

Joe,
I live in Akron and am interested in finding the route followed by this road. I have found some references to it and some descriptions but nothing about where it actually was located. I have found that it entered Akron from the north and then went as far east as Falkirk (the area near Akron Falls). I am also digging up history about the Oak Orchard feeder. Until this I never gave much thought to how we were linked to the Shelby/Medina area.
I hope you have some info you can share, even if private.
Thanks!
Steampig
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:39 pm

Re: Medina & Darien Railroad

Postby rhallock » Tue Jan 24, 2017 11:57 am

""Canals and Railroads of the Mid-Atlantic States, 1800-1860" by Christopher T Baer has a list of all railroads built during that period. Also listed are "tramroads", probably animal powered. Medina & Darien RR Co is among them. Incorporated May 15, 1834, completed Sept. 1836, abandoned about 1840. Its line was 20 miles long from Medina to Pembroke.
Other tramroads listed are Buffalo & Black Rock RR 3.1 miles, 1834 to 1850; Rochester & Canal RR 2.95 miles Rochester to Carthage, Feb. 1833 to about 1842; Scottsville & Le Roy RR, 8.27 miles Scottsville to Caledonia, Sept. 1838 to about 1841; Skaneateles RR, 5.27 miles from Junction with Auburn & Syracuse RR to Skaneateles, Sept. 30, 1840 to Aug. 24, 1850; Syracuse & Onondaga RR, 4.55 miles Geddes to Split Rock Quarries, Fall 1837 to about 1841.
rhallock
 
Posts: 84
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:19 pm

Re: Medina & Darien Railroad

Postby trainsinmaine » Tue Jan 24, 2017 12:27 pm

Would the Medina & Darien thus be the oldest abandoned railroad right-of-way in the country?
trainsinmaine
 
Posts: 513
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2004 8:23 pm

Re: Medina & Darien Railroad

Postby Steampig » Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:05 pm

Well, according to the History of the City of Buffalo and Erie County, published in 1884, the Buffalo and Black Rock was actually the first in Erie County. It was also a horse drawn affair. The Buffalo and Niagara Falls was the first steam road in 1836. Although several other roads were formed, no other was functional until the Buffalo and Attica in 1843. Oddly there is no mention of the Medina and Darien. I did have the incorporation records, and several descriptions, but nothing detailed enough to be able to pinpoint any part of it. But I have my guesses...
I do know it crossed some portion of the Tonawanda Refuge.
As far as I can find the oldest means of conveyance by rail in North America was at Lewiston in 1764 when a Brit designed and built a human-powered tram or lift which operated on a rail, to raise materials up the bamk of the Niagara River. It supposedly lasted 15 years. Would like to see that one!
I have read that the whole horse-drawn railway idea came from the Germans as early as 1550. They used it as a way of moving mining carts about, but I believe this was simply wheels turning in stone-lined ruts in the road and not actually flanged wheels.
Steampig
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:39 pm

Re: Medina & Darien Railroad

Postby Steampig » Fri Feb 03, 2017 12:51 am

Well, still at it. I have contacted the Niagara County Historians office, the Royalton Historian, the Niagara County Historical Society, Tonawanda Wildlife Management Area, Tonawanda Wildlife Refuge, Tonawanda Indian Reservation Historian. Next is Shelby Historian and Alabama Historian. I think I am on the right track, just need to prove it. Would be nice to get some first hand knowledge. Have nailed down the location in Medina, although the landscape has significantly changed since then, but still traceable. More to come...
Steampig
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:39 pm

Re: Medina & Darien Railroad

Postby charlie6017 » Fri Feb 03, 2017 8:52 am

Steampig wrote:Well, still at it. I have contacted the Niagara County Historians office, the Royalton Historian, the Niagara County Historical Society, Tonawanda Wildlife Management Area, Tonawanda Wildlife Refuge, Tonawanda Indian Reservation Historian. Next is Shelby Historian and Alabama Historian. I think I am on the right track, just need to prove it. Would be nice to get some first hand knowledge. Have nailed down the location in Medina, although the landscape has significantly changed since then, but still traceable. More to come...


I'm following this with great interest. Looking forward to seeing what is unearthed, would love to know the route taken from
point to point. Thank you for taking the time for this! :-D

Charlie
~Charlie Ricker
User avatar
charlie6017
 
Posts: 3028
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 9:42 pm
Location: Rochester, New York

Re: Medina & Darien Railroad

Postby RussNelson » Thu Feb 09, 2017 12:23 am

Steampig wrote:Well, still at it. I have contacted the Niagara County Historians office, the Royalton Historian, the Niagara County Historical Society, Tonawanda Wildlife Management Area, Tonawanda Wildlife Refuge, Tonawanda Indian Reservation Historian. Next is Shelby Historian and Alabama Historian. I think I am on the right track, just need to prove it. Would be nice to get some first hand knowledge. Have nailed down the location in Medina, although the landscape has significantly changed since then, but still traceable. More to come...


Also contact the appropriate County Clerk's office. You're looking for two things there: one, any mention of the railroad in deeds. Start where you know a physical location. Find that deed. Then trace the deeds back to the 1830's. The people in the County Clerk's office will teach you how to do that. Two, ask to look at their map registry to see if there is a M&D map registered. I've been able to find even unfinished railroad's maps that way.
Last edited by RussNelson on Thu Feb 09, 2017 1:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
RussNelson
 
Posts: 3784
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 1:20 am
Location: Potsdam, NY

Re: Medina & Darien Railroad

Postby Old & Weary » Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:37 am

The only counties on the route are Orleans and Genesee assuming it did not at one time plan on going to Akron which is in Erie County.
Old & Weary
 
Posts: 103
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2006 7:21 am

Re: Medina & Darien Railroad

Postby RussNelson » Thu Feb 09, 2017 1:58 pm

Early American Railroads:
https://books.google.com/books?id=STMY_ ... ad&f=false


CHAPTER XI.

RAILROADS IN ORLEANS COUNTY

Medina And Darien -- Medina and Lake Ontario -- Rochester, Lockport, and Niagara Roads.

May 5, 1834, an Act of the Legislature was passed incorporating the Medina and Darien Railroad company, to construct a Railroad; and the road was built from Medina to Akron, in Erie County, twelve or fourteen miles, and fitted for cars, to be drawn by horses. It went into operation about 1836. After a short trail, it was found to be an unprofitable investment, the track was taken up, and the road discontinued.

This was the first Railroad incorporated to be made in this county.
https://books.google.com/books?id=ZuYpA ... ad&f=false

Laws of the State of New York, AN ACT to incorporate the Medina and Darien rail-road company.
https://books.google.com/books?id=MHJZA ... ad&f=false
User avatar
RussNelson
 
Posts: 3784
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 1:20 am
Location: Potsdam, NY

Re: Medina & Darien Railroad

Postby Steampig » Fri Feb 10, 2017 9:45 pm

Weary and Russ,
Thanks for the replies!
Spent another day digging, tried Shelby offices with no luck. I have looked up deeds in the past, in Erie county while doing genealogy research. As I remember I needed to know a date and either the "sellers" or " purchasers" name, as that's how they were indexed. I have emailed the Niagara Co. Clerks office asking for a starting point but have gotten no reply. Will probably just have to show up and do it. I do know that it was a very narrow date window so that should get me started.
Just fyi: I have found 2 sources claiming this railroad went into operation in 1826. I believe this was based on an early misprint in one source and was duplicated several times, as the Incorporation Papers clearly state 1834, and also anyone who has any knowledge of Akron knows there really was nothing here in 1826. I believe the first structure was built about that time and the last land deal with the Indians was concluded then. Up until then the site of Akron was on reservation land. I can believe the RR went into operation in 1836, not 1826.
The plot thickens....
Steampig
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:39 pm

Re: Medina & Darien Railroad

Postby doc-hicks » Fri May 26, 2017 12:07 pm

I have some information regarding the Medina&Darien RR. In a search of a property in the village of akron located on East Ave. near the East line of the Village of Akron is a reference to this railroad. The deed was recorded August 22, 1836 at Liber 39 of deeds page 451. Grantor is Jacob and Maria Barney to Mary Stowell.
"Conveys 60 feet by to the Medina and Darien Railroad, beginning at the northeast corner of parcel "A" and runs west." This is an abstract of the language on the deed. I have not seen the original entry in the Erie County Clerk's office and will check it out next week. One possibility as to why clerk's records do not have deeds recorded in the name of the railroad is that they were recorded in the name of the agent. The property in this area in 1836 was call Fallkirk and used the water power from Murder Creek ( this area is just east of the Akron Falls) for milling and lumber. East Ave was called Front street on early maps. It would have been a logical place for a right of way.
doc-hicks
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu May 25, 2017 4:59 pm

Re: Medina & Darien Railroad

Postby med-train » Sat Jun 03, 2017 1:31 pm

Steampig wrote:Weary and Russ,
I have emailed the Niagara Co. Clerks office asking for a starting point but have gotten no reply.
The plot thickens....

WHY NIAGARA COUNTY? This only went through Orleans & Genesee Counties.
Hugh F James, Treas.
Medina Railroad Museum
med-train
 
Posts: 284
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 6:24 pm


Return to New York State Railfan

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests