• Looking for the Ogdensburg, Clayton & Rome grading...

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

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by scharnhorst
lvrr325 wrote:Quoted to keep this making sense in the future:
scharnhorst wrote: hay Russ you may want to try and make contact with a guy by the name of Jim Heidt in the Clockville, NY area his father had something to do with this railroad as well as the NYO&W and might be able to give you some more insite on the line. I don't know his address or phone number. I can tell you that he should not be hard to find in the phone book as he runs a law firm.
Do you mean Jim Heidt of the CNY division NMRA? I have his email handy, I can always shoot him one and ask if he wants to correspond with Russ about this road.
yes that is correct.
  by scharnhorst
RussNelson wrote:I found a hotmail address for him. Dropped him a line a week ago. No response yet. If that's the same address you have, then I'd say that he's not interested.

He is a vary busy guy give him time he'll get back to ya between work and church services.
  by Lehighton_Man
RussNelson wrote:According to this guy: http://www.paulkeeslerbooks.com/BoonvilleGorge.html there's a road cut on the east side of the creek and remains of a bridge abutment about a mile and a half below Lansing Kill Falls. That would be about where J is in this map: http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=43.40721,-75 ... ville%20NY
With a Keen eye, I could spot the grading as it continued north of the J. It seems to stay on the east bank of the creek, following up to a irregular shaped tree line. Didn't follow it much further north.

Edit: Found a bit more of the ROW going south. Don't know if you had already spotted it Russ.
Link: http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=43.40383,-75 ... ville%20NY
  by RussNelson
I had kinda spotted it on the south side, but figured instead that they stuck to the north side of the valley. Otherwise, they would have had to cross the river AND canal twice, and the river is pretty far down into the valley at that point. Possible ... definitely ... but less likely. I agree with you -- there are definitely suspicious shadows and vegetation. Would have to back it up with a field trip. Two springs ago I went there too early and everything was covered with snow. It helped me to see some grading on the west side of the river, but ... no way to get there. Might have to take a trip when the water is warm, and wade across to the other side to go looking on the far side of the creek.

And on the north end it definitely looks like it stays on the east side. I was actually able to walk up a ways two years ago, but the grade kinda petered out. Maybe I just didn't go far enough?
  by hojack
I remember years ago talking to the president of the Rome Historical Society who has since passed away. He said one end of the tunnel collapsed and the county public works dept pulled the other end down to keep kids out. He said he walked thru it, and I had a relative who said the same. The road bed is visible this time of year ( I saw it yesterday ),
from about a half a mile below the tunnel to Hillside on the west side of the valley. The canal banks are lower and not as far up the hill. The grading still is quite well defined, but where a ravine or side cut was crossed I doubt that any trestlework was ever constructed.
  by RussNelson
Don Mooney, president of the Railway Historical Society of Northern New York, knows more about the OC&R than I, apparently. I was at their open house last Saturday, and he told me the location of a stone arch bridge which is still standing (!) (!!) (!!!), built in 1853 (!). The OS&R grade is much closer to the U&BR than I had thought. I had placed it higher up on the hill. I'm not saying where it is for the moment.
  by dj_paige
Can't wait to see your pictures (whenever it is you make it out there)!
  by charlie6017
Me too, Russ. Looking forward to seeing anything you can share!

  by RussNelson
This railroad bridge never had rails. You see, the Ogdensburg, Clayton, & Rome railroad was to have used it, but the railroad was never completed. It got killed by the Civil War. This bridge is just west of Lyons Falls in a hamlet named Collinsville. It's on the south side of 12E just west of East Road, crossing over the little creek you can see on the topo map.

As far as I know, this is the only bridge in all of New York State built as a railroad bridge, but which never saw tracks AND is still standing. There was a bridge in Seneca Falls which got repurposed as a road bridge, but it was only one lane (because the railroad was to only have one track) and was eventually replaced.

https://plus.google.com/102355438470080 ... XZnavxkGgn

I took more photos, but it was WAY WAY too early in the morning. This is the only one worth looking at. The bridge is essentially unchanged in the last 150 years. A couple of cap stones on this top of this side of the bridge have fallen.
  by tree68
That's NYS Route 12D. NYS Route 12E is in Jefferson County.

While I have no doubt that the Civil War had its effect on the OC&R, according to Sampson in "The Other Side of the Hill," the OC&R had a different construction theory than the U&BR - they believed in grading the entire line, then laying rails. This, of course, meant that the railroad itself couldn't be used for its own construction, slowing things considerably.

This bridge and the big cut at Houseville (later used by the Glenfield & Western) are monuments to that failed approach.

I'll have to swing over that way next time I head for Utica.
  by hojack
Russ, I don't think that bridge was anything to do with the OC & R. That place is called Collinsville. I photographed the bridge twenty five years ago with the permission of the family. They told me that one of their family members built the bridge as a kind of excentric project. They lived in an elegent limestone hone with stone outbuildings as well. They seemed quite sure of their family history and the story of the bridge. My initial thought was it was the railroad as well in as much as the survey or plan was to run it thru what was called the " upper towns", such as Martinsbury, Turin, Houseville, rather than down the valley where the U & BR served the paper mills. Maybe there is proof to the contrary that the bridge was intended to be RR, or maybe the property owner built it hoping he could sell it to the railroad or get them to grade thru Collinsville.
  by RussNelson
I stopped by the St. Lawrence County Clerk's office today and FOUND A MAP OF THE OC&R!! Unfortunately, I need to bring a camera with me so I can make a scan of it. Didn't have one then. It's probably just a map of the St. Lawrence County section, which means that I'll have to visit Watertown, Lowville, and Utica to (hopefully) find maps for the other counties.