D&H at Lake George

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D&H at Lake George

Postby laflamcs » Tue Sep 18, 2007 12:59 pm

Hello all. Was at Lake George this weekend, participating in a battle reenactment/encampment. Saw the old RR station which is now basically a tourist shop. A sign at the battle field park (I was camped next to it) showed a triple header steam consist with the lake steamer boats in the background. There were 2 bike paths which I did not get to explore much in that same area.

Does anyone know when the railroad left town? It is all so built up there that signs that the railroad was there were quite absent from what I could see (or not see!)

...Chris
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Postby Mem160_2000 » Tue Sep 18, 2007 3:31 pm

One of those bike paths is the old ROW. If you follow it you will see old telephone poles in the woods still there and there is an old through girder span that crosses a road further up. I think the tracks ended just about the area of the Station. One or two tracks went into the lake, as a boat launch. They used to haul the old mahogany Chris Craft style boats on boxcars and launch them there. I think there is still a sign there by the lake for the track. I think there is still like 200FT still underwater. I think they cut the line back to Glens Falls in 1956 or so. Seems that is around the time they scrapped a lot of branch lines(Cherry Valley Branch=1956 also).

-Mark
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Postby TB Diamond » Tue Sep 18, 2007 9:19 pm

The Delaware & Hudson discontinued passenger service to Lake George in the Fall of 1956. The railroad then abandoned the Lake George branch, Glens Falls - Lake George, nine miles, in 1957.
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Postby lstone19 » Tue Sep 18, 2007 11:46 pm

I spent many summers at Lake George from the early '60s until just last year. While I have nothing to prove 1957 was not when the line was abandoned, I have distinct memories of the crossing of Rt. 149 south of Lake George Village still being intact complete with crossing signals. Since I was born in 1958, that couldn't have been earlier than 1961 for me to have any memory of it. But I have no memories of ever seeing a train so perhaps it was abandoned but nothing had been removed yet.

I worked the summer of 1974 for the LG Steamboat Company. At that time, the Steamboat Company owned the station (called the Station Restaurant at the time) so I had a chance to explore a little. I remember then in the area between the station building and the miniature golf course just to the east that the platforms and trackways were still present and visible from the street.

At one time, the Steamboat Company was a D&H subsidiary (you could take a train to Lake George, steamboat to Baldwin (south end of the Ticonderoga Branch), and then train again) so I think their ownership of the station goes all the way back to when the D&H sold the Steamboat Company. According to a book I have on the history of the Steamboat Company, that was in 1939 so it's not clear how that really worked unless the D&H retained a right to use the station as part of the sale. From pictures in the book, the current road between the station and the steamboard pier did not exist - that road appears to all be fill that moved the shoreline out so that back in the day, the station was essentially part of the pier. Other pictures show trains on the pier (the original pier, not today's Steel Pier) but I think also from the original station (the current station was built in 1911). The details in the book are sketchy but imply that from 1867 to 1875, the Lake George branch was essentially the main line of the Rensselaer and Saratoga (later acquired by the D&H) with a trip from Albany to Montreal being train to Lake George, lake steamer to Baldwin, stagecoach to Ticonderoga, and then a Lake Champlain steamer further north (and probably back to land transportation for the last distance to Montreal). But in 1875, the current D&H main through Whitehall and along Lake Champlain opened.

The bike path to Glens Falls is mostly on the D&H ROW although at points it moves over to the parallel old (abandoned in the '30s I think) interurban right-of-way. The power lines mark the interurban ROW (as they do in many, many places in the U.S.), not the D&H ROW. I have no idea what the interurban did when it got to Lake George Village. As you get towards Glens Falls, the ROW has been severed by a golf course and the bike path takes to roads. And of course it's severed at Lake George by the miniature golf course and by the battlefield park the OP was at. As mentioned above, one bridge is still intact and is used by the bike path to cross route 9L south of the Village. I believe it is still lettered for the D&H.

The picture of the triple-header the OP referenced I suspect is the same picture in the book I have (credited as "From an original glass plate by Fred Thatcher, 'Steamer Dock at Lake George Village'"). The steamboat in the background of the photo is the Horicon II which operated from 1911 to 1939 helping to date the photo.
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Postby TB Diamond » Wed Sep 19, 2007 8:54 pm

The 1957 date given in my post above is from official FRA records. Do not have a dismantling date for that line segment, however.
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Lake George

Postby laflamcs » Fri Sep 21, 2007 1:05 pm

Thanks for that information! Very enlightening. I had a feeling one of those paths (one the diverts away from the road at a steeper grade) was a trolley line...

...Chris
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Postby CarterB » Fri Sep 21, 2007 2:06 pm

"In 1899, The Hudson Valley Electric Railroad was completed through Schuylerville. Passengers could now travel quickly to Glens Falls or Albany. The trolley was abandoned in 1928"

http://www.turningpointparade.com/schuylerville.php
Bring back the Slumbercoaches!!
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Postby RussNelson » Fri Sep 21, 2007 3:59 pm

The interurban continued up to Warrensburg:
http://rutlandtrail.org/list.cgi?13H.ny.track

I'm not certain how it went through Lake George. Any and all advice appreciated.
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Postby Engineer Spike » Fri Oct 05, 2007 12:51 pm

I have some more questions about the branch, while we are on the topic. One of the posts talks about this being, at one time, a major route, to the north. I have noticed bridge piers on the river in Hudson Falls. They are half way between H.F. station, and the trash plant, where the railroad runs next to the street. Was this a railroad bridge? It would have connected the West Shore Branch, to the Lake George Branch?
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Postby LI Loco » Wed Nov 07, 2007 9:56 pm

RussNelson wrote:The interurban continued up to Warrensburg:
http://rutlandtrail.org/list.cgi?13H.ny.track

I'm not certain how it went through Lake George. Any and all advice appreciated.


North of Lake George, the interurban paralleled Route 9. There's a power line along the ROW now. My great grandfather and his brother were shopkeepers in Warrensburg. On Fridays, he would take the interurban to Glens Falls to spend the Sabbath there with friends because that is where the nearest synagogue was.

During the summers, my mother would take the D&H to Lake George where her grandparents would meet the family and take them to Warrensburg. Her father, my grandfather, used to come up on weekends on the overnight sleeping car.
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Postby RussNelson » Wed Nov 07, 2007 11:07 pm

LI Loco wrote:North of Lake George, the interurban paralleled Route 9. There's a power line along the ROW now.

Thanks for the reminiscences. I pretty-much figured that it followed the power line since most trolley companies had to generate their own electricity, and when the need for trolleys went away, the need for electricity only grew. I'll bet you that mile for mile, more than half of all dedicated trolley/interurban ROWs are now power line ROWs.

No, the specific thing I was wondering about is in the vicinity of Gage Rd. and Cooper St. No obvious path for the interurban in that area. North and south, yes. Kudish draws it on the east side of 9 until north of the lake, however there's a clear ROW on the west side of 9 south of the Lake Shore Drive Connector, and the ROW is as clear parallelling just east of Thomson St. And south of that there's a clear ROW WEST of 9 parallelling to the east of Ellsworth.
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Re: D&H at Lake George

Postby Alco RS2 » Wed Sep 17, 2008 1:07 am

Hello,

I just discovered this old thread while searching the history of the D&H in Lake George. I'm a life long resident of LG. I rode the D&H when I was a kid. Maybe I can answer some more questions if anyone happens to see this post.

*******************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************
Tue Sep 18, 2007

Hello all. Was at Lake George this weekend, participating in a battle reenactment/encampment. Saw the old RR station which is now basically a tourist shop. A sign at the battle field park (I was camped next to it) showed a triple header steam consist with the lake steamer boats in the background. There were 2 bike paths which I did not get to explore much in that same area.

Does anyone know when the railroad left town? It is all so built up there that signs that the railroad was there were quite absent from what I could see (or not see!)

...Chris
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Re: D&H at Lake George

Postby LI Loco » Wed Sep 17, 2008 8:32 am

Earlier in the thread several posters cited 1957 as the year the D&H exited Lake George.
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Re: D&H at Lake George

Postby Paulg » Wed Sep 17, 2008 3:05 pm

RE: Railroad tracks and trolley route in Lake George Village:

The D&H railroad tracks came down the hill behind the picnic area across the road from the Million Dollar Beach and curved westward to the station; then they did a complete loop or circle in what is now the parking area behind the station and the large grassy park area east of the brook, so that the southbound train would still have the engine in front. The brook at that time wended its crooked way through what became Gaslight Village, forming the boundary between Lake George Village and the Town of Lake George. The brook (West Brook) was straightened out and one-lane roads put on either side of it, but the boundary remained the same. Gaslight Village was built over what had been the course of the brook.

Old photographs show that the trolley tracks went right up the middle of Route 9 (Canada Street) through the Village. The trolley station was in the building on Canada Street in front of The Fort William Henry Hotel. Over the years, that building housed a series of restaurants: The Montcalm (now farther south by the outlet stores), The Trolley, and now J.T. Kelleys. South of the Village it pretty much followed Rt. 9 down as far as Maltbie's Chevrolet, then bore slightly southeastward along the old Route 9 (the old military road) which emerged just north of the Route 149 intersection. The Half-way House was located on the west side of Route 9 at this intersection.

North of the Village the trolley tracks went along beside English Brook, on the west side of the brook up through the narrow defile towards Warrensburg, while Route 9 is on the east side. The T-poles are still there that held the electric wires, and the railbed is clearly visible most of the way. It crossed the Schroon River into Warrensburg right beside where the current Route 9 bridge is, went right up the middle of Main Street and ended at the Floyd Bennett Bandstand, in front of the large hotel. The car backed around on a small spur just to the south of the current Rite Aid drugstore, and headed back south. A dam on River Street across from the Curtis Lumber store generated electricity for the trolley. The railroad came to town in 1905 from Thurman, not long after the trolley, but I believe it did not carry passengers.
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Re: D&H at Lake George

Postby RussNelson » Wed Sep 17, 2008 9:21 pm

How did the trolley get from US9 over to Thomson Ave.? It clearly runs on the east side of Thomson, and looks like it crosses the Lake Shore Drive Connector at points C and A and continues on to B, but beyond B I'm clueless.
http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=43.43207,-73 ... eorge%20NY
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