two thousand twenty
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Never assume that your kids---or anyone, for that matter---knows what you know about the past. Maybe even if you have mentioned it before! In fact, it's probably best to say something about it more than once. This could refer to any aspect of the past, but, right now I'm thinking about local history. And "history" doesn't even have to be that long ago. Afraid the kids will think it's boring? Well, there's always a connection between the past and the present: explain the cause and effect. It's all relevant to something today.

What brings this to mind is a discussion with other members of Trail Works, Inc. (see trailworks.org) about a trail running between Wolcott and Red Creek on an abandoned railroad bed. It seemed that little was known about what this route had been. We may not need to know, but, wait! The cause and effect! If we are going to enjoy hiking on such a trail, it seems that we really should be interested in how it happens to be there.

As someone with an interest in rail transportation--through and including today's advances in both freight and passenger rail transport---and in local history I would like to set down some information about that abandoned railbed. (This is off the top of my head, so, I am open to any corrections known to be accurate.) Originally, it was the Lake Ontario Shore Railroad. Eventually, it became the R.W. & O. You would probably never guess what the letters stood for: Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg! This came to be owned by the New York Central, then Penn Central and then Conrail and then the county. It did run all the way to Ogdensburg. Eventually, the end of the line was Red Creek and, as I understand it, when the cannery left, so did the tracks. To railroaders and some people along the line it was known as "The Hojack". Nobody knows why for sure. For the fun of it, you could just ask Lindy Pulver of Newark (91-year-old former New York Central employee) where the Hojack is. (While you're at it, ask him where "The Attic" was.) Actually, the east-west part of the Ontario Midland is the Hojack. The line running south from Sodus Pt. through Newark and including the Ontario Pathways trail near Phelps was part of the Elmira Division of the Pennsylvania Railroad...over which millions of tons of beautiful black diamonds were brought through Newark and on to the Point to be loaded onto beautiful ships. I just loved the rumbling and whistling trainloads of coal and the ships that carried it away to power plants in Oswego and across the lake. Sorry, Roland!

Anyway, remember to share information handed down or your own recollections! They are related to what we have and what we are today!


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2 Comments to "Remember To Share Local History"

  1. Anonymous Said,

    Mr. Burgess is right on. Talk with the local folks that have been around a while (especially Lindy Pulver who is a "people person".) Then write it down for future generations.

    Posted on Fri Mar 18, 06:30:00 AM EDT

  2. Videomark Said,

    It is always a joy for me to learn more about our local history, and yes we must pass it down. In fact I think it should be required for Sr. High School students to take a 10 week course on local history before they graduate. I know local history is taught in fourth grade, but remember a child is only 9 years old. As far as the "The Hojack" what a gem this old track is. This could be a favorite of hiker/bikers in the future. You could have lunch in Wolcott and ice cream in Red Creek. Does it get any better then that?

    Posted on Fri Mar 18, 07:52:00 AM EDT


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