Thanks to the generosity of three people, we have three glimpses back in time to New Woodstock in the mid-to-late 1940s.
(NOTE: The original black and white images have been tinted sepia in order to bridge the visual gap between the full color the area being photographed exhibited at the time and the lack of color in the photography result.)
Photograph courtesy of Jim Wright, longtime resident of New Woodstock. Photographer: Jim Wright.
Taken in 1947, this view is very expressive for me of my memories of the trains at New Woodstock in 1944-45. We lived in the white house and the horizontal window shown facing the tracks was the kitchen window over our sink - the same sink my mother would stand me in as a 3-year old so I could see the passing trains as they steamed into or away from the depot. This picture also captures the southbound train gaining speed as it is about to pass my window, and captures the ghostly memories I have of that experience.
Photograph courtesy of Rich Jahn, Anthracite Railroad Historical Society.
This photograph was found attached to a field map of the location in a LVRR notebook that contained a survey of the Cortland Branch in 1949. This view, made in November, captures the depot and associated outhouse and a speeder on the mainline track that crews used to travel the line. Some of Thompson's Coal elevator peeks from behind the depot. Immediately to the right is Thompson's main office, coal truck scale house and lumber business. The white lettering reads "G. M. Thompson Coal & Lumber".
Photograph courtesy of Bruce Tracy, personal collection. Photographer: Unknown.
This photograph appeals to me as it was taken from a location just beside my house, probably from the sidewalk. So it duplicates a view I would have had, and can almost remember, in 1945. It captures the northbound morning train, or an engine making up the northbound train, pulling some boxcars off the team track. Another boxcar is spotted on the team track, and a box car stands on the mainline track, which suggests the train is being made up, as they would not block the mainline with a spotted boxcar. The lesser track to the left of the mainline was the passing track.
The coal elevator is just seen beyond the depot, and the Thompson main building to the right. The spur that left the team track and went to the feed store is seen at the right.
The photographer's location in the above shot can be confirmed by the foreground shadow, which is formed by my house. While it may seem a stretch to see this as the house shadow, so far from the building, note the extreme length of the boxcar shadow. This was taken late in the day when shadows were three or four times as long as the object casting the shadow is high.
While the date of the photograph immediately above is not known, it can be estimated by comparison to the one from 1949 above it. Note the "tin"roof on Thompson's main building in each (below).
A large area of the metal roofing is missing in each, exposing the wooden roof. This looks like storm damage in the 1949 picture, judging by the shadows that suggest bent up ends of damaged roofing panels. The c. 1980 view below, in the background of a color photo of the coal elevator, reveals as the melting snow slid off the roof, an old rusted area of metal roofing to the right with a rectangular section of newer metal roofing at the left, covering the same area shown exposed in 1949.
The undated photo appears to show the first new repair panel in place at the edge of the damaged roof, so it dates to either winter 1949, or perhaps early spring 1950. Since it is unlikely the owners would go into winter without repairing the roof, I would estimate the date for the photo to be 1949.
This building did not have a metal panel roof in the 1920s (see below).
And it does not appear to have had a metal roof in the 1930s (see B below). This image can be dated as pre-1943 because the box factory (see A below) burned in that year.
So the metal roof was installed after 1930 and before 1949. Today it has been replaced with a composition roofing material.
So we have three 1940s views of the prototype area being replicated by my model railroad, which gives not only an added dimension to my modeling project, but since I lived there in 1944-45, an added dimension to my memories.
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