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Wayne County Life Q & A

Subject: Naming of Blue Cut Nature Center in Newark, NY
Date: 22-23 September 2009
Participants: Seth C. Burgess (Wayne County Life), John M. Zornow (Newark-Arcadia Historical Society)

Seth C. Burgess:
What is the story behind the naming of "Blue Cut" Nature Center on Rt. 31, east of Newark?
John M. Zornow:
From Sheldon King:
When the New York Central went through this area, (1853) in order to avoid the drumlins, but still enter Lyons north of the Erie, a substantial cut was made in the drumlin that exists by Fink Rd. The soil was heavy in a bluish clay, hence the name "The Blue Cut".
In 1906-1907 the trolley bridge over the New York Central was dubbed the "blue cut" bridge. Blue Cut Road runs from Rt. 31 west into Newark. Later the blue cut bridge was converted from trolley traffic to accommodate the new state route 20, now Rt. 31.
From Fred Rollins:
The name "Blue Cut" dates back to the year 1853 when they were building what was known for many years as the New York Central Railroad between Syracuse and Rochester.  In the section between Newark and Lyons, a cut had to be made through a drumlin to give the railroad an even grade.
The Vernon Shale (dates to the Late Silurian geological period) in this drumlin had a bluish cast when exposed, hence it was a "Blue Cut" made for the railroad.  I have seen a postcard that shows this area and calls it the "New Cut"--obviously somebody was hard of hearing or the name got lost in the translation... 
By the way, the Blue Cut Rochester, Syracuse & Eastern bridge was in the same location as the new Route 31 bridge in that area.  Next time you drive from Newark to Lyons on Route 31, you can imagine that you are in a trolley car - it is virtually the same route.


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2 Comments to "Naming of Blue Cut Nature Center"

  1. Gil Burgess Said,

    It should be noted that the blue clay on the hillside to the west of the Rt 31 (RS&E trolley) bridge was covered with the the large piececs of rock which are still visible today and was put there at the time that the bridge was replaced with the current bridge in 1981. In other words, prior to that it was more or less obvious why that location was known as Blue Cut!

    Posted on Sat Sep 26, 05:11:00 PM EDT

  2. Anonymous Said,

    My grandfather delighted in telling me: "You know, that bridge was there before the road" Huh? Then he would go on to say that it was a trolley bridge that was converted to automobile traffic when the trolley closed in 1931.

    Posted on Thu Oct 08, 05:27:00 PM EDT


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