• Looking For 'old' Bath & Hammondsport RR list of industr

  • Discussion pertaining to the past and present operations of the LAL, the WNYP, and the B&H. Official site: LALRR.COM.
Discussion pertaining to the past and present operations of the LAL, the WNYP, and the B&H. Official site: LALRR.COM.

Moderator: Luther Brefo


  by Matt Langworthy
Public swimming began on an official basis at "the head of the lake" in July '84 but the locals (myself included) had been going there for quite a few years before that. We went there because of the restrictions that were in place at Champlin Beach, which included no flotation devices and no swimming during lessons. BTW, lessons ran thru most of the day Mon-Fri so people were itchin' to find another spot that wasn't miles up the lake. Also, Champlin has a lot of slime and mud, which is hard to walk in.

A wood dock had been down at the head of the lake before I even moved to H'port. A few people swam there in the '70s but it really grew in the early '80s. The B&H rarely went all the way to the station after 1980, and lcl service ended for good around '82. The passenger cars stored there also were moved around this time. So the "fear factor" really dried up.

In 1983, an ordinance banned swimming but the cops avoided enforcing it. Plus a lot of kids just went out on rafts or inner tubes so they weren't really swimming anyway. The local gov't got the message and by the spring of '84 they were negotiating to allow public swimming there. The battered old dock was replaced by a new wooden dock (they don't last long), and a small shed was built for the lifeguards. Not long after, the spur in front of the station was removed and the caboose was moved to the spur behind the nation. And that's how "the head" looked for the next decade or so...

I spent alot of my free time down there each summer from '84 to '91- sometimes swimming, sometimes watching girls and catching whichever S-1 was on active duty. One of my best friends, Courtney Sanderl, was a lifeguard there 1987-'91.

Some adventurous folks (again this included me) occasionally went down to swim on the other side of the engine house, but that's another story.

Josh, I hope this fills in the blanks for you! Do you live in H'port now?

  by joshuahouse
I live in Bath but am in Hammondsport quite often particularly in the summer.

I didn't realize they were still doing lcl that late, how often did the service get used?

Theres been at least one new dock at the head since you left perhaps more then one. They also replaced the yard barn type shed with the former Info booth that had been behind the town and village hall. I'm not sure I'd want to swim down by the engine house theres a LOT of broken pottery in there and it sounds kinda like this wasn't um conventional swimming to start with. :wink:

You're right, Champlin beach is often icky underfoot.
  by Matt Langworthy
Joshua, lcl service was infrequent by the time I showed up in '76. It was just a few boxcars per month. The B&H had stopped using the caboose in '71. CR took a decade or so to paint its entire fleet so an EL boxcar could show up on occasion. :P Typically, the boxcar was unloaded on the south side of the station- it was placed on the spur that ran next to Water Street.

I know about the boat dock(s) but they came along after public swimming started. The "spider dock" by station was installed later in the summer of '84 and boat dock by the warehouse didn't show up until 1990 or so. I was living in H'port (actually Town Of Urbana) until 9/6/91 so I was usually quite aware of what was going on in the village.

The swimming by the engine house and the inlet could be either normal or unconventional, depending on who was present. 'Nuff said...
  by RussNelson
Matt Langworthy wrote:The B&H served Lane Pipe in Bath during the '50s- I have a picture of #11 hauling a large load of culvert pipe on one of her last runs. (By the way the shop is still there but the spur was removed during the early '80s). The B&H also used to have a spur that diverted from the line near the county jail. That spur curved until it was parallel to Mt. Washington Rd. and crossed Rt. 54 to reach Westinghouse (now North American Phillips). By the time I saw that spur for the 1st time in the mid '70s, it also served Shirley's Lumber, but I don't know if that business existed back in the '40s or '50s. That spur was removed by 1978.
The spur may have been removed, but it's still visible as a hump south of the road: https://www.google.com/maps/@42.3530484 ... a=!3m1!1e3" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The enginehouse is still there, but I could find no trace of rails going to it. https://photos.app.goo.gl/5XcM9yYG3GUsNn4E9" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
I couldn't find any trace of tracks at Main Street in the Hammondsport Village.

My question is "Why are the tracks being sprayed north of the jail? Of what use are these tracks when there's no obvious customer anywhere?"