Baldwinsville History Mystery: Oct. 11, 2017
Question: These musicians were in Baldwinsville to perform at the 14th annual Baldwinsville Fair. The band was well known throughout Central New York and eventually did a European tour. Can you identify the location of the photo? Do you know anything about the band?
Last week’s answer: A frequent question asked by newcomers is “What is the purpose of the stone piers on the east side of the river bridge?”
From 1886 to 1909, these piers supported a railroad bridge, which through its lifetime served two railroads. It was built by the Baldwinsville & Syracuse Railroad, a private line, which ran from its railroad yard opposite Virginia Street to Amboy Station. In Amboy is connected with the West Shore & Buffalo line.
The B & S Railroad was devised by a group of local businessmen who wanted a rail terminus near the center of the village. They tried to get the D.L.&W. Railroad to bring down a branch track from the depot on East Genesee Street, but the railroad would have nothing to do with it.
So the local businessmen decided to build their own complete railroad with a track, engine and station. It was opened around Thanksgiving Day, 1886.
Unfortunately, by 1890, the company went bankrupt and all its properties were acquired by the D.L.& W. In 1891, they ran a connecting link along the river to their main track a mile southeast of the village.
Their commercial traffic included transporting coal, wheat for mills, barrels of flour, pumps from Morris Machine Works, farm implements and merchandise for the local stores. Many bushels of potatoes, tons of cabbage and loads of tobacco were sent to distant markets form the “uptown” station. They even provided passenger service.
The arrival of the Barge Canal cancelled this shipping. On June 18, 1908, the Barge Canal steam shovel severed the railroad embankment and the use of the bridge was no more. The following year the bridge was taken down.
Today we have the abutments of that bridge as a reminder of our past.
Contact Editor Sarah Hall at email@example.com or leave a message at 434-8889 ext. 310 with your guess by 5 p.m. Friday (please leave the information in the message; we are not generally able to return calls regarding History Mystery responses). If you are the first person to correctly identify an element in the photo, your name and guess will appear in next week’s Messenger, along with another History Mystery feature. History Mystery is a joint project of the Museum at the Shacksboro Schoolhouse and the Baldwinsville Public Library.