The Ticonderoga Branch

of the

Delaware & Hudson Railroad


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Introduction
Welcome to the Ticonderoga Branch! This site examines the history of the Delaware & Hudson Railroad's branch lines to Baldwin Dock and into the town of Ticonderoga, Essex County, New York.  These branch lines, named the Baldwin Branch and Ticonderoga
Branch respectively, served the steamboat and paper mill industries in and around the Ticonderoga area beginning in the late 1800s until the later part of the twentieth century.  Although the freight industry died out by 1980, steamboat travel, as a voluntary tourist excursion method rather than a necessary mode of travel, continues today.

This sign was located at the Montcalm Landing crossing. (M. Wright photo)

What History is Covered Here?
Although this site is titled the Ticonderoga Branch of the Delaware and Hudson, it actually covers all rail activity along the Delaware and Hudson (D&H) Champlain Division mainline at or near Fort Ticonderoga (north to Addison Junction and Larrabee's Point ferry and south to the Dresden area), the Baldwin Branch to Baldwin Dock, and the Ticonderoga Branch of the railroad to the paper mills and upper falls and the town of Ticonderoga.  This includes coverage of the Fort Ticonderoga tunnel and La Chute River outlet bridge.  

In addition to local railroad history, the reader will also find historical information related to the village and town of Ticonderoga.

The Project
The first version of this project was originally developed for and published by the Bridge Line Historical Society (BLHS), of which I am a member, in its October 1999 publication of the "Bulletin", the historical society's monthly newsletter.  I have been a member of this organization for many years.  The Bridge Line Historical Society is a fantastic organization dedicated to preserving the history of the Delaware and Hudson Railroad.  If you are interested in the history of the Delaware and Hudson railroad, membership in this organization is highly recommended.

Research
Hungry for information, I initially searched and searched for a written detailed article or publication on the Ticonderoga Branch of the Delaware and Hudson Railroad.  Frankly, I was surprised that no information really existed at that time to any great extent.  As a child, my mother and other relatives provided brief, informational tidbits from their memories regarding the railroad's history which only made me want to learn more.  I also ran across brief bits and casual references to this small branch line in some written forms before any of the books so readily available today were on the market.  

I finally decided to research the information myself, write an article, and submit it to the Bridge Line Historical Society for publication.  I was born and raised in Ticonderoga and, as a small child, loved watching the railroad activity in town.  Therefore, I determined that I was probably as qualified as anyone else to write the history from my memories and research.  This kicked off a lengthy research process beginning with newspaper and book investigations, Library of Congress research, map research, interviews, and acquisition of Ticonderoga and official railroad memorabilia materials in addition to those I already owned.  Added to this were my many fond, childhood memories of the Delaware and Hudson Railroad and it's influence on Ticonderoga and on me.  The research continues and the project is never really done.  No one ever stops learning and there is always so much more to discover.  Today, my research has fueled other researchers in their endeavors such as Steamboating Magazine, PRIDE of Ticonderoga and Mike Kudish in his book, "Where Did the Tracks Go in the Eastern Adirondacks."  I am happy that some of what I have researched and learned can be shared.

New Information
My continued research includes gathering additional information, photos, post cards, and maps, and updating the information on this web page as the relevant information surfaces.  I have added more depth and subject matter relating to the Delaware and Hudson Railroad's presence in Ticonderoga as well as expanded on some history of Ticonderoga and the surrounding area.  Updates are noted at the top of this web page (see View Updates).  Visitors to the site and those with stories of the railroad in the Ticonderoga area are welcomed to share their memories on the Tibranch Facebook page.

Ticonderogians!!
Share your Ticonderoga railroad memories and stories with our Facebook page.  Share your photographs depicting the railroad and paper mill in Ticonderoga.  Select the Facebook link on the right or go to the Ticonderoga Branch Facebook page or search for Ticonderoga Branch.  Every story and photo counts.  Credit will be attributed to the donor for anything used on the website.  Don't let Ticonderoga's historic memories become lost.  Preserve them here!

Ticonderoga Branch of the Delaware & Hudson Railroad



 

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What is a Blue Flag?
You may see reference to a BLUE FLAG in certain sections.  This research effort has grown considerably since the subject matter's original appearance in the Bridge Line Historical Society newsletter and first web page publication.   In the railroad business, BLUE FLAG procedures are established to protect railroad workers when they are called on to inspect, test or service railroad rolling equipment.  Likewise, blue flag areas may appear on this site which indicate areas still in work, under research or not yet complete.  The primary goal is to publish as much information as possible rather than wait for a given research effort to complete (which could take a year or more).  In many cases, research in a specific area leads to new research tasks or topics.

What's in a Name
Ticonderoga
& Baldwin Branches
The name Ticonderoga, or as the Algonquin and Iroquois Indians called it - Chinandroga, loosely means "the place between two
waters."  This site covers both the original Baldwin Branch of the railroad completed in 1875 as well as the Ticonderoga Branch of the railroad that was completed later in 1891.   

Lake George Branch
Older Ticonderoga natives, many of whom are now gone, would know the
Baldwin line as the Lake George Branch (not to be confused with the Delaware and Hudson line running from Fort Edward to the town of Caldwell (renamed Lake George Village). However, the official Delaware & Hudson name for the original branch line was the Baldwin Branch.

A passenger train led by Delaware and Hudson locomotive #559, an Alco Class D-3 4-6-0 double cab made in 1907, sits at Fort Ticonderoga station (Montcalm Landing) just south of the entrance to the Baldwin Branch. Date is unknown, but the engine was scrapped on March 1949.  (postcard photo; M Wright collection)

Early naming conventions of the Baldwin Branch were not official and confusing.  In 1882, the Delaware and Hudson Railroad extended its line from Fort Edward into Caldwell, named for General James Caldwell.  The village of Caldwell, NY changed its name to Lake George Village on April 1, 1903 and has remained so to the present day.  The railroad eventually named this branch running to Lake George, NY as the Lake George branch. 

The December 29, 1887 edition of the Elizabethtown Post listed a number of incorporated industries in Essex County liable to taxation.  Of the 14 industries listed in the Ticonderoga section was one named the Lake Champlain and Lake George Railroad Company (aka the Baldwin Branch) with a total valuation of over $53,000.  By the following December in 1888, this railroad name was no longer listed.

An 1891 map of Ticonderoga refers to the portion of the Delaware and Hudson line in the area as the Lake George Branch as do many of the Sanborn Map & Publishing Company's fire insurance maps.  An 1891 Delaware & Hudson Railroad system timetable identifies the Lake George Branch as that line leading from Delano Junction (located 99.89 miles north of Albany) to Baldwin.  The Lake George Branch terminology was used for years, but was renamed the Baldwin Branch between 1900 and 1906.  This more than likely occurred when the Caldwell Branch was renamed the Lake George Branch.

Most early Ticonderoga Sentinel newspaper articles published during the line's construction in 1873 and 1874 as well as subsequent articles refer to the line as the Lake George road or the Lake Champlain and Lake George railroad or line.  These were certainly not official railroad company names, but probably reflected how locals referenced the new line at its inception.

A page from an early 1880s book of Delaware and Hudson Canal Company station and siding names seen here on the left clearly denotes the short line into Ticonderoga as the Lake George Branch.  The stop identified as Ticonderoga was known as "Academy" and was the only line into the Ticonderoga area until 1891 when the Ticonderoga Branch, was completed.  More on Academy later.  The Upper Falls stop is also denoted as Weeds and also known as Alexandria. 

This 1880 D&H Canal Company book shows some of the unique naming conventions for the local Ticonderoga area.  (M Wright collection)

Academy and Baldwin stations are listed on Poole Brothers (Poole Bros.) maps dated 4-1-'21 for the Lake George area (map #5439) and Lake Champlain area (map #5438).  Poole Brothers, located in Chicago, printed advertising for railroads in the late 1800s and early 1900s.  I remember my mother and Aunt often referring to "Weed's Hill" and "Weedville" or "Weedsville."  This was the area around the present Stewart's Ice Cream store (where Weedville School once stood) and former NY Telephone Company office in Ticonderoga a short distance east of the Moses Circle Liberty Monument and the Ticonderoga Historical Society's Hancock House.

Baldwin Branch
Despite the many confusing naming conventions, the branch line from Montcalm Landing (Port Marshall) to Baldwin (Coate's Landing) finally and officially became named as the Baldwin Branch (formerly the Lake George branch).  This is the official railroad denotation.  

The small branch that split from the Baldwin Branch at Ticonderoga Junction and traveled into the Village of Ticonderoga is correctly and officially referred to as the Ticonderoga Branch by the Delaware and Hudson.  This is confirmed by Delaware and Hudson literature such as timetables, official lists, and other documentation.  This line was actually originally owned by the Ticonderoga Railroad Company.  More on this later as well.  

The Baldwin Branch, or Lake George road, was constructed in 1874 between Baldwin's Landing (Baldwin Dock) on Lake George, known as Coates' Landing, and Montcalm Landing on Lake Champlain, known at that time as Port Marshall.  It opened for rail service in May 1875.  

The first steamship "Ticonderoga" traveled along beautiful Lake George carrying passengers from the Fort William Henry Hotel south to the railroad dock at Baldwin near the Village of Ticonderoga from 1884 until it burned in 1901. The ship was christened by Miss Cora Baldwin, daughter of Capt. William G. Baldwin.  The second "Ticonderoga", pictured here, ran along Lake Champlain.  (US Library of Congress photo)

Stage Line Connection
The Baldwin Branch was built upon and followed the old Baldwin stage route that was used for years to link Lake Champlain with Baldwin dock.  Up until 1874, those stagecoach connections between steamboats on Lake George and Lake Champlain were made under the guidance of William J. Baldwin.  The Baldwin stages carried 20-35 passengers making the five-mile trip in about 35 minutes or about twice the time required by the railroad.  

The end of construction on the Baldwin Branch also ended the old Baldwin stage route although a smaller stage line continued from the railroad station at Addison Junction (Fort Ticonderoga) to the Central House, and later the Burleigh House, in the lower village of Ticonderoga until the early 1920's.

A Delaware and Hudson Alco Class G-5 4-4-0 double cab Camelback (#444) at Montcalm Landing near the Fort Ticonderoga station. Date unknown, but the Alco engine was scrapped in October 1929. (postcard photo; M. Wright collection)

The October 17, 1874 edition of the Ticonderoga Sentinel reported that the stage doubtlessly made their last run on Saturday, October 11 on the route between Lake Champlain and Lake George. The article stated that the citizens could not but look upon their departure from the transportation scene without a feeling of something like regret.  For a number of years the stages had regularly appeared at the opening of the traveling season until they had become traveling land marks.  The rattle of their "ponderous wheels," the sharp crack of the drivers whips had been heard and looked for with pleasure and interest.  The forms and faces of the gentlemanly drivers became as familiar as the coaches and would be missed.  The traveling public would miss the proprietor of the line, his genial face, the lectures and the story of the "Union Tree" and more than all perhaps, his bland call for, "your tickets gentlemen."

The Lakes & Waters, & More
Civilization
has a tendency to begin in and around sources of water.  Water provides, other than the obvious uses, a route of travel and in some cases, a source of power.  For the Ticonderoga area, all were true and this played a critical role in the foundation of not only Ticonderoga, but also for the ensuing industry and purpose for the local railroad branches.  The lakes, along with the railroads, allowed travelers to leave their hot cities in the summer and enjoy the cool mountain areas of the Adirondacks.  The local waterfalls allowed business to locate in the area and grow using water as a power source.

Lake George
Lake George was originally named the Andia-ta-roc-te, by local Native Americans.  Samuel de Champlain, the first European visitor to the area, noted the lake in his journal on July 3, 1609, but he did not name it.  Champlain went no further south than the falls in what is today Ticonderoga.  Isaac Jogues, a Jesuit missionary, was actually the first European to view the lake.  Jogues was one of three tortured, maimed, and bleeding Iroquois prisoners returning from Canada to the Mohawk Valley in August 1642.  He returned, arriving at the outlet of Lake George, on May 29, 1646, on the eve of the festival of Corpus Christi and in commemoration of the day, named it Lac du Saint-Sacrement (Lake of the Blessed Sacrament).  Jogues further named its exit stream, La Chute meaning "the fall."  The lake retained this name for over a hundred years until 1755.  Upon the British victory over France in the French and Indian War (North American theater of the Seven Years War), William Johnson, who led British colonial forces to occupy the area during the war, renamed the lake as Lake George for King George II after the then reigning king of Great Britain.

Lake George, nicknamed the Queen of American lakes,  is long and narrow having a major axis which extends in a north-northeast direction.  The lake lies in a glacial basin consisting of a North and South basin.  The average lake depth is 60 feet with a width varying from 0.4 miles to 2.5 miles along its 32 mile length.  The lake surface level lies at 320 feet above sea level and encompasses 44 square miles.  Lake George drains into Lake Champlain to the north and contains approximately 131 miles of shoreline. 

Lake Champlain
Lake Champlain, or lac Champlain in French, was named for the French explorer, Samuel de Champlain who explored the region in 1609.  Native American names for the lake vary.  The Iroquois name for the lake, Caniaderi Guarunte (meaning mouth or door of the country); the Algonquin Abenaki name, Petonbowk (meaning the lake in between).  There were others.

The 125 mile long lake has a maximum depth of 400 feet with an average lake depth of 64 feet.  Its maximum width is 14 miles.  Although Lake Champlain is smaller than the Great Lakes, it is a large body of fresh water.  The lake is bordered by the Adirondack High Peaks to the west and the Green Mountains of Vermont to the east.  Lake Champlain is often referred to as the 6th Great Lake. 

Ticonderoga Creek aka La Chute River
Ticonderoga Creek was formed during the final stages of the last ice age with the retreat of the Wisconsin glacier some 12,000 years ago.  The waters of the newly formed Lake George flowed between Mount Defiance and Cook's Mountain. 
Ticonderoga Creek, renamed La Chute River, flows north and east through the village and falls 230 feet on its three-mile course as it drains the waters of Lake George into Lake Champlain, a half mile further down stream, over a series of six waterfalls.  The total drop over these waterfalls equals the height of Niagara Falls.

Lake George and Lake Champlain once served as a highway for native people, who carried their canoes along a portage between the lakes.  French and British troops and traders found the pathway at Ticonderoga, which had served these Native Americans for thousands of years.  More recently in history, Ticonderoga Creek spurred and enabled the industrial development and prosperity of the Ticonderoga area.

Ticonderoga Creek or the "Crick" as locals called it, was officially renamed La Chute River in 1974. Donald J. Orth, Executive Secretary of Domestic Geographic Names in the United States Board on Geographic Names in Washington, DC issued correspondence to Ticonderoga Village Attorney, James R. Murdock Jr., dated June 25, 1974, which informed Ticonderoga that the Board approved the name La Chute for federal use and that the name would be published in Decision List #7402.  

La Chute would apply to the stream which flowed through the village of Ticonderoga as one of 5.1 km (3.2 miles) in length; heading at the north end of Lake George at 43 deg 50' 13" North latitude, 73 deg 25' 52" West longitude; flowing North and East to Lake Champlain 3.2 km (2 miles) East-South East of Ticonderoga.  

La Chute was the waterway's French name originally applied during the colonial period and used to refer to the cascade-like nature of the stream.  "Crick" was, perhaps, a more appropriate name, however, as the water always looked a bit green (or other colors depending on what color paper the mill was making that day) before New York State instituted tighter environmental laws and the paper mill relocated from the village of Ticonderoga to a location along Lake Champlain.  The name change was one of those Bicentennial things.  Today one would call it political correctness.  This historical narrative will use the two terms, Ticonderoga Creek and La Chute River, interchangeably.

In 1839, William J. McAlpine examined the water power beginning at the upper falls outlet of Lake George.  In his examination, the reported water power at the head of the upper falls was 429 cubic feet per second.  This was presumed to have been before Lake George was controlled by a dam at the outlet.  McAlpine's survey reported the fall as follows:  From the lake to the foot of the upper falls, 102.39 feet; thence to Trout Brook inlet, 26.27 feet; thence to water surface in the bay at Lake Champlain, 91.43 feet; making a total of 220.09 feet. The valley was open and perfectly accessible throughout the length of the falls. The water was very clear and soft, therefore well suited to use in paper manufacturing.  

The lower Ti creek (now La Chute River).  Notice the wooden trestle leading into the mill. Earlier in the century, the woodlot area was part of the creek and sailing ships traversed up the river.  This area was eventually filled in as seen in this photo. The woodlot was also moved to the other side of the mill.  (Ticonderoga Historical Society, M. Wright collection)

Descending from the lake, the water privileges in 1882 were, in order, as follows: 

1) At the outlet was a power owned by George C. Weed and leased by the Lake George Pulp & Paper Company. The fall was 18 feet. On the right bank was a small saw mill with 50 horse-power of wheels, and a new paper mill. On the left bank was a dry pulp mill using 150 horse-power.

2) Fall of 18 feet also owned and operated by the Lake George Pulp & Paper Company.

3) Immediately below the second privilege was a low rude dam, approximately two feet high, which diverted a portion of the water of the stream into a race on the right bank.  The race was continued by an open wooden flume six or seven feet wide and 300 feet long.  Water passed on a heavy incline through an iron tube down to the Lake George Manufacturing Company's cotton mill.  The tube was 5 feet in diameter, 3/16 of an inch thick, and approximately 240 feet long.  The company owned about 75 feet of fall and half the flow of the creek.  The head actually utilized was 68 feet, under which two Swain turbines of 400 aggregate horse-power were run, two wheels acting upon a vertical shaft.  Only 175 or 200 horse-power was in active use. The company employed 150 people, ran 10,000 spindles and 252 looms, and manufactured fine sheetings, producing 55,000 yards per week.  The other half of the privilege could be improved.  It was owned by the American Graphite Company, which also had works at the lower falls.

Depicted here is the location of Spencer Creek.  Note the small island that once existed south of the Montcalm Street bridge. (M. Wright photo; Ticonderoga Heritage Museum map)

Spencer Creek
Spencer
Creek was a smaller stream which split from the main stream of Ticonderoga Creek  just before it passed under the Exchange Street (Montcalm Street) bridge.  It passed under Lake George Avenue before the intersection of Lake George Avenue and Exchange Street requiring a second bridge across Exchange Street.  Spencer Creek then traveled in a northeasterly direction until it rejoined the main stream at the Main Street (Champlain Avenue) Frazier Bridge, just before the lower falls.

Spencer Creek itself split into two streams for a very short distance before reaching Main Street.  

The large land mass surrounded by Ticonderoga Creek and Spencer Creek became known as "The Island" and was the location of the Island Mill.  Spencer Creek was eventually replaced by a penstock, which eliminated the island, but the area continued to maintain the same name.

When the powerhouse was built on the Island Mill in 1906 and 1907, the water from Spencer Creek was cut off and the creek bed filled in.

Mt. Defiance
Mount Defiance, lying just east of the outlet of Lake George, rises 750 feet above Lake Champlain.  It is of historical significance in our country's battle for independence. The mountain was key to the control of Fort Ticonderoga despite some beliefs within the American army that the summit was inaccessible to an enemy force.
  Proving the American Army wrong, on July 4, 1777, British General "Gentlemen Johnny" Burgoyne erected a battery of heavy guns upon its summit.  This provided a commanding position over Fort Ticonderoga, and dislodged American General St. Clair and his troops who executed a strategic retreat over a floating wooden bridge to Mount Independence in Vermont.

Mt. Defiance was known as "Rattlesnake Mountain" to the French army when they constructed Fort Carillon.  It was called "Sugar Loaf Hill" by the British.  The American army renamed the location as "Mt. Defiance" once the colonies declared their independence. 

In May 1950, a road was cut to the summit of Mt. Defiance and the "Summit House" was constructed.  The structure acted as a gift shop and visitor's center as well as provided an observation center, looking out over Lake Champlain and Fort Ticonderoga including the railroad tunnel under Fort Ticonderoga.  The building burned to the ground during a midnight fire of suspicious origin on February 12, 1975.  Fireman were unable to reach the building because the summit road was left unplowed during the winter.  Some firemen made their way to the summit using snow mobiles only to watch the fire consume the building.  The summit house was never rebuilt into its former glory, but today a small covered enclosure sits in that location providing picnic tables and an impressive view.  Access is controlled by Fort Ticonderoga.

Construction begins in the summer of 1950 to cut a road to the summit of Mt. Defiance and begin construction on the "Summit House." (Photo: M. Wright collection)

The Town of Ticonderoga
Ticonderoga was first settled in 1764 when King George III divided 6,000 acres of land around Fort Ticonderoga among three officers at the fort. Lieutenant John Stoughton was the first to settle in Ticonderoga. His land grant was dated July 24, 1764. Stoughton and his family lived near the old French Landing south of the Upper Falls in a blockhouse until his death in 1767. 

Ticonderoga, comprising an area of approximately 88 square miles, is located within the southeastern corner of the Adirondack Mountains, 100 miles north of Albany, NY, and 150 miles south of Montreal in Quebec, Canada.  

The name "Adirondack" is an Iroquois Indian name meaning "tree eaters" or "wood eaters" and was used to demean the Iroquois' sworn enemies, the Algonquin Indians.  New York State Routes 22 and 74 access the community.  The Adirondack Northway, I-87 or Interstate 87, is accessed from Ticonderoga via New York State Route 8 and 9N and 74W

Ticonderoga bicentennial logo (M. Wright collection)

The Town of Ticonderoga was formed from the old Town of Crown Point, New York on March 20, 1804.  It's population has remained somewhat constant for decades ranging from 2,669 in 1850 to 5,149 according to the 1990 census and 5,167 in 2000.  The town celebrated its 200th birthday in 1964.  The book, "Ticonderoga, Patches and Patterns From Its Past," provides an excellent history of Ticonderoga.

Although many are familiar with the famous yellow pencils bearing the "Ticonderoga" name, these specific pencils were never actually made in Ticonderoga.  The graphite for these pencils was mined in the local area and refined at the American Graphite Company mill in Ticonderoga.  However, these specific pencils themselves were never produced in the town to bear their name.

Different Settlements
Ticonderoga developed as several individual settlement areas, each of which had a specific name associated with it.  South Ticonderoga, also known as Trout Brook, became known as Tuffertown supposedly because of the efforts early residents had to endure or tough it out in order to exist.  

The Upper village, or Upper Falls portion of town, was known as Alexandria while the Lower Village never really earned a name.  The village of Alexandria was named after Alexander Ellice.  The Ellice family, English land speculators, purchased a bulk of the Stoughton patent which included the Upper Falls area, from Lieutenant John Stoughton's daughter, Elizabeth.  Alexander Ellice surveyed his land purchase and was instrumental in developing this village near the upper falls.  Lots were laid out and leased.

The small community of Alexandria, once the main village and industrial center for Ticonderoga, thrived at the northern most point of Lake George.  Alexandria was one of the two largest population centers to form and was an early industrial and commercial hub.  It was an ideal location for industry.  Alexandria was linked to the lower village, the other major population center, by The Portage.  A report by PRIDE of Ticonderoga stated that the water purity in the Upper Falls area was superior to that at the Lower Falls with less likelihood of waterborne diseases.  It was also reported that the warm temperature of the water prevented ice from forming over the upper falls during the winter.

According to PRIDE, most early families were farmers.  They spent their initial years clearing the land and building homes and barns.  These early settlers were fairly self-sufficient.  However, entrepreneurs followed.  Isaac Kellogg chose this region for one of the town's first stores.  His store was situated on the Tavern Lot on the east shore of the outlet near the intersection of Lake George Avenue and Bridge Street (Alexandria Avenue).  He leased this lot from Alexander Ellice for the price of one dollar per year.  Kellogg also acted as a land agent for Ellice following Ellice's 1798 survey of lands which would become known as Alexandria.  Noah Tomlinson constructed a forge at the Upper Falls sometime after 1790.  Liberty Newton followed with his forge in 1801.  Levi Cole and his son, Samuel, operated the towns first blacksmith shop.  The Ellice property was laid out into lots in 1808.

Despite its early importance and economic, industrial power, its prominence was short lived.  One supposed reason for its decline related to the arrangement by which Ellice established leases rather than outright purchase of his land by its occupants.  Although he was willing to sell residential lots, he was unwilling to do the same with the industrial lots such as mill properties.  Edward Ellice, heir to Alexander, attempted to sell lots in 1836.  Unfortunately, the timing was not right and the national recession of 1837 did not help.  Industrial rallies occurred in 1850, but mills owned by Ellice burned in 1853.  These could have been reconstructed, and permission was granted to Joseph Weed to do so, but the property would still be owned by Ellice, an obvious disincentive.  By 1860, Alexandria contained 40 homes, but the lower village surpassed it in importance and became the area's economic center.  Many Alexandria storekeepers had relocated to the lower village.  With the demise of local industry in Alexandria, the area lost a considerable portion of its self-identity, simply becoming a part of the larger Ticonderoga.  

In 1932, the Ticonderoga Sentinel reported that a short street, Church Street, now renamed as Tin Pan Alley, connecting Water Street with South Main Street at the Upper Falls area was intentionally created to form a perfect letter "A" signifying Alexandria and Alexander Ellis.  This is clearly visible in aerial views of the region.

The western portion of the village became Weedville and the high hill to the north was Mount Hope.  Another settlement area at the foot of the mountainous area approximately three miles north of the lower village was known as Ti Street or Streetroad.  The upper falls area and Weedville filed for annexation by the Village of Ticonderoga in 1925.

Ticonderoga Village & Town of Ticonderoga
The Village of Ticonderoga and Town of Ticonderoga were two distinct governmental entities.  The hamlet of Ticonderoga was incorporated as a village within the Town of Ticonderoga on May 18, 1889.  Dissolution petitions were presented to the Village in 1991.  The vote to dissolve the village passed in March 1992 approving disincorporation and the Village of Ticonderoga officially dissolved at midnight on December 31, 1993.  This ended 104 years of an independent Village of Ticonderoga.

The Town of Ticonderoga assumed control of most of the Village equipment, functions, as well as 17 employees on January 1, 1994.  The Village Department of Public Works crew was merged into the town crew.

Looking southwest.  The steeple of the "new" Congregational Church on Lake George Avenue is visible. East Exchange Street in foreground. The remains of the Central House is mid-photo.  (Ticonderoga Historical Society photo)

The Fire of 1875
A considerable amount of early Ticonderoga village history unfortunately no longer exists today due to a major fire.  Among the records destroyed were early railroad records which were unfortunately lost at a critical time when the Baldwin Branch of the railroad was begun and under major construction.  This great fire struck the village of Ticonderoga in the early morning of March 31, 1875 just before the town celebrated the centennial of Ethan Allen's capture of the Fort during the Revolution.  The fire was discovered around 3 a.m. in the store of Payne, Gilligan and Company.  Water had not yet been connected to the village water mains so "bucket brigades" became the only fire fighting capability.

The fire quickly spread to the Exchange Building (the old Atchinson Block, now a municipal parking lot).  Chemicals from two drug stores within the building added to the fire and flames jumped to the residence of T. A. Riley, which housed a millinery shop.  The fire then spread to the Post Office followed by the Frank Porter home where the fire stopped on its eastern path of destruction.

The fire jumped to the northwest side of the intersection across from the Exchange Building.  The building housing the John McCormick clothing store, Jonas Loeb dry goods store, and R. Crammond's law office next saw flames come from the roof.  Fire swept in other directions quickly destroying small buildings to the north on both sides of the street.  These buildings included businesses as well as homes.

The Central House and Old Red Store then caught on fire.  Baker's tenement house to the south and the block containing the Central House was quickly consumed by fire.  The fire to the south was stopped with the destruction of the tenement house and on the west with the destruction of the Clark home.  When the fire was over, approximately 23 buildings and 33 businesses in the lower village were destroyed with 17 families left homeless.

Exchange and Main Street intersection before the fire of 1875 (Ticonderoga Historical Society photo)

Street Names
The Ticonderoga Branch history often refers to town street names.  It's important to note, however, that Ticonderoga changed its street names in 1933 following the sesquicentennial of the American Revolution.  At that time, town leaders made dramatic changes to street names to emphasize the town's history.  Exchange Street became Montcalm Street, Main Street became Champlain Avenue, and The Portage regained its historic name just to mention a few.  Therefore, at times the old and new versions of the street appear within this work with its old or new name in parentheses. 

When Joseph Cook wrote his history of Ticonderoga in 1850, the streets of Ticonderoga had no names.  Cook named the streets so his readers could orient themselves and identify the areas about which he was writing.  Everyone accepted the names he gave the streets and it remained that way for 100 years.  Cook named the main street, East and West, Exchange Street and the dividing street, Main Street, North and South.  Many towns used such names for business sections.  Other names were provided as Ticonderoga constructed additional streets.  By 1884, maps included such street names as Cossey, Battery, Mt. Defiance, Wiley, Rogers, Lord Howe and others that still have the same name. Cossey Street was named for the early Cossey settlers and boat builders; Battery and Mt. Defiance were named for their location at the foot of Mt. Defiance.

North Main Street looking south past the intersection with the Burleigh Hotel on the right. Main Street would become Champlain Avenue. (Ticonderoga Historical Society photo)

Lord Howe was assigned to the area where Lord Howe was killed at the onset of the British attack on Fort Ticonderoga in 1755.  East and West Exchange became Montcalm Street after General Louis Joseph Marquis de Montcalm who defended Fort Ticonderoga against the British.  Main Street, North and South, became Champlain Avenue to the intersection at the then Central School at Artillery Park no only because of the lake that bears its name, but because of the battle with the Iroquois Indians not far from Ticonderoga in 1609.  The southeast split in the road became The Portage because of the path of the ancient portage used by the Indians between Lake George and the lower falls.  Wayne Avenue, North and South, was named for General Anthony Wayne, who commanded the Pennsylvania battalions at Fort Ticonderoga.  Elm Street became Burgoyne Avenue after British General Sir John Burgoyne, who commanded the troops in the attack and capture of Fort Ticonderoga in 1777 because the street was the route the attack followed.  Charles Street was renamed St. Clair in honor of General Arthur St. Clair, who was unable to defend Fort Ticonderoga against Burgoyne. 

Mayor John F. Gunning received received a letter from Dr. Dixon Ryan Fox, president of the New York Historical Association in June 1933.  In the letter, reprinted in the June 15, 1933 Ticonderoga Sentinel article, Fox echoed Gunning's previously held opinions regarding the advantages to Ticonderoga in renaming a number of the streets in memory of the historical events which occurred in the local area.  Fox took this opportunity to advance the topic and recite the advantages.  The Association was anxious to make its headquarters house, the Hancock House, a more important center of social and cultural life in the village.  Fox stated, 

"Words have magical properties; they can recall the magical charm of the past.  Change the name of Ticonderoga to 'Paperville' and much of the charm would vanish.  Change the street names to commemorate the heroes and exploits of the eighteenth-century wars and see how suddenly the charm would be deepened...This change is a logical development from the days of Joseph Cook's lectures, through the restoration of the Fort and setting up of the sculptured monument, the erection of the Headquarters House."   

Fox went on to discuss the commercial benefits vs. the small investment cost.  The Historical Association was invited to join with the citizens of Ticonderoga in the dedication of the newly renamed streets during its annual meeting, scheduled to be held in Ticonderoga and Rogers Rock.  It was desired to add this dedication to the Association's program, but they needed advance notice if the renaming would occur.  Public opinion letters followed, with some printed in the June 22, 1933 edition of the Ticonderoga Sentinel.  These supported Dr. Fox's letter.  Some agreed with the specific names changes while others expressed interest in other names.

The Village Board of Directors held a meeting to discuss the name change proposal on Tuesday, July 25, 1933 in the Community Building.  Those present heartily endorsed the new street names as announced by the Mayor's committee the previous week with a few minor changes.  Some would change slightly again before becoming final.  The Ticonderoga Sentinel, a large supporter of the changes, received many suggestions during the end of July and early August.  One of the largest complaints was that none of the street names would honor the name of Ethan Allen.

Mayor Gunning again invited the public to another meeting on August 11 to discuss the name changes when the proposal was referred back to the Village Board.  During this meeting, the Village Board approved the resolution and announced the final name changes.  Arrangements were made to order the signs such that they would be in place by the time of the New York Historical Association's meeting.

A few years later, in 1937, the Post Office also renumbered streets in Ticonderoga using the 100-to-a-block system.  This was accomplished in order to eliminate the hit and miss numbering system used previous to this date, facilitate delivery service, and simplify for strangers, the difficult problem of locating a specific address which had been a challenge before this change.. 

The system was initially designed for Montcalm Street, east and west; Champlain Avenue, north and south; Lake George Avenue, north and south; Amherst Avenue; and The Portage. 

Table 1 Street Name Changes
Original Name
Proposed Name
Approved Name
Exchange Street
Montcalm Road
Montcalm Street
Howe Street [Moses Circle to Village line at upper falls]
Lord Howe Street
Lord Howe Street
William Street
Amherst Avenue
see main street
Main Street [Elm to South Village line]
Le Portage
The Portage
Main Street [Elm to William thence William to Bridge St]
not proposed
Champlain Avenue
Butler Avenue
Iroquois Avenue
Amherst Avenue
Frederick Street
Calkins Place
Calkins Place
Elm Street
Burgoyne Road
Burgoyne Road
River Street
Schuyler Street
Schuyler Street
Bridge Street
Alexandria Avenue
Alexandria Avenue
Charles Street
St Clair Heights
St Clair Street
First Street
Algonquin Street
Algonquin (now Algonkin) Street
Second Street
Joques Avenue
Father Joques Place
Third Street
Mohawk Street
Iroquois Street
Prospect Ave & Prospect Street (to be combined)
Anthony Wayne Avenue
Wayne Avenue
Grand & Mott Streets (to be combined)
Putnam Street
Putnam Street

Other Transportation
Canal Boats
Early water transportation include large canal boats.  As reported in the June 14, 1887 edition of the Albany Journal, vessels of heavy tonnage were capable of coming directly to the foot of the lower falls.
  A considerable amount of money was expended in widening and deepening the outlet channel to Lake Champlain during this time period and was expected to continue.  Ample docking facilities were provided for accommodating all water craft navigating Lake Champlain.  Whitehall, situated at the head of the lake served as the terminus of the northern canal.  Vessels or canal boats could be chartered at moderate rates by the single trip or for the entire season.

Canal boats were constructed, at one time, in the lower falls area of Ticonderoga.  It was not uncommon to find sail barges at anchor along this part of the waterway.  Denise Huestis in her book, "Once Upon a River," mentioned the large basic at the lower falls and how it provided good facilities for the building of canal boats.  Bishop yard was located near the present day Carillon Bridge.  The Cossey ship yard was located south on Montcalm Road.  Ticonderoga builders on record included Asa Eggleston and Henry Cossey.

Captain E. H. Armstrong submitted a remembrance to the April 12, 1900 edition of the Ticonderoga Sentinel in which he lamented on how wood, in one form or another, had always played a role in Ticonderoga's industrial history.  He stated how during years prior, piles upon piles of lumber were sawed and hauled to the river banks for shipment.  Later, in the early 20th century, Armstrong stated, hundreds of cords of wood were piled up for use in the pulp and paper industry.  Armstrong stated how 30 years in the past, circa 1870, he had worked for Henry Cossey in his boat yard.  At that time, boat building was in is prime and Cossey had five new canal boats on the stocks, all under construction at the same time.  Armstrong would eventually work under George Cossey as a master mechanic and boss ship carpenter.  On December 13, 1900, the Ticonderoga Sentinel reported that Captain Armstrong made his last trip with the steamer C. E. Bush.  The "Bush" had towed a total of 66 canal boats up and out of Ticonderoga Creek during the past season along, not including the towing of rafts, etc.

Ticonderoga Ferry
The Fort Ticonderoga - Larrabee's Point Ferry Company was organized at a meeting of Ticonderoga and Shoreham business men on Monday afternoon, February 17, 1913.  The company was incorporated with a capital of $10,000, a large part of which was subscribed.  Directors were elected at the meeting for the first year.  These were Charles Cunningham of Larrabee's Point, Winslow Clark of Shoreham, W. W. Richards, W. G. Wallace, Frank H. Peck, Isaac Ledger and Frederick Ives. John Ryan, a Whitehall boat builder, present at the meeting, submitted an estimate for the cost of a wooden hull boat.  The Marvel Shipbuilding Company of Newburg provided a quote for a steel hull boat, which was much more expensive.  The type of boat to be used, however, would be determined by the amount of money derived from the sale of stock. 

Today the Ticonderoga Ferry provides scenic, seven-minute crossings on Lake Champlain between Ticonderoga, New York and Shoreham, Vermont.  The ferry is located on Route 74 just off of Route 22 in Ticonderoga and off of Route 22A via Route 73 in Orwell or Route 74 in Shoreham, Vermont.

Montcalm Landing Ferry
The Montcalm ferry operated between
Port Marshall, the old southern steamboat terminus, to Red House Point, VT.   The wharf was just north of the former Thatcher's Restaurant location near the Fort View Inn.

Different owners had different installments to 1802, one by Allen Wood.  Later called Blood Point, Orwell, VT, later called Buoy 39 Marina, Orwell, VT.

Fred Mclntyre began operating a new ferry during the summer of 1924 at Wrights, just south of Montcalm Landing. McIntyre ran the Stewart ferryboat at Montcalm the previous summer. The ferry's operations called for three ferries across Lake Champlain within a distance of three miles, the others being at Larrabee's Point and Montcalm Landing. In July, a new boat was completed in Whitehall for McIntyre's Orwell, VT to Wright's ferry run and began its first run on Thursday, July 10, 1924.

Ferry service ended here around 1936.

The Montcalm ferry operated across Lake Champlain between Mt. Independence Road where it meets the lake at Buoy 39 Marina in Orwell, VT to Montcalm Landing near the Fort View diner. (Courtesy Carillon Cruises)

Stage Lines
In the mid-1800s, other than the railroads, the main conveyance was the stage coach.   The line north to Lake George and beyond was owned by the Glens Falls Lake George and Chester Company which operated during the entire year.  The most desirable seats were found on the top of the stage coach because the view of the passing scenery was unsurpassed such as the falls at Glens Falls.  Seats could not be reserved and they were fought over like the window seat on an aircraft today.   The road from Glens Falls to Lake George was a plank road, smooth in comparison to the deeply rutted dirt roads.   This ride changed as the planks experienced winter weather and rains.  The planks could give a rough and bumpy ride as they loosened and banged around with the passing coaches and horses passed along them.  Some plank roads included toll booths as these roads were constructed by local citizen groups.  Adirondack plank roads and toll gates existed into the early 1900s.  

A typical stage running to Fort Ticonderoga. (M. Wright collection)

Stage lines in the Ticonderoga area included the William G. Baldwin line.  Prior to the railroad, a number of horse-drawn stagecoaches performed the same function.  These stages ushered passengers between the Lake George and Lake Champlain terminals through a hilly and rough roadway.  The road made two crossings of La Chute River.  The first bridge was along the approach to the upper falls in the small village of Alexandria.  The second crossing was over a wooden structure not far from the lower falls in the village of Ticonderoga.

On October 17, 1874, the Ticonderoga Sentinel reported that the last stages stopped running on Saturday, October 10.  

The article stated, "Doubtless they have made their last trip on the old route between Lake Champlain and Lake George.  Our citizens cannot but look upon their departure from the line without a feeling something like regret.  For a number of years, they have regularly appeared with the opening of the traveling season, till they have become traveling landmarks, so to speak.  The rattle of their ponderous wheels, the sharp crack of the driver's whips have been heard and looked for with pleasure and interest.  The forms and faces of the gentlemanly drivers have become as familiar as the coaches themselves and they too will be missed.  The traveling public will miss the worthy proprietor of the line, will miss the genial face, the lectures and the story of the 'Union Tree' and more than all perhaps the gentlemanly and bland call for 'your tickets gentlemen.'"

All of this heralded the opening of the branchline of the railroad which would begin carrying passengers of the old stage coach line the next season.



Early Rail History
New York and Vermont railroad interests competed heavily to establish and control rail service north through the Champlain Valley.  In 1871, control of the Montreal & Plattsburg Railroad Company was leased to the Rutland Railroad Company, which then assigned its leases to the Vermont Central and the Vermont & Canada Railroad Companies.  This gave Vermont interests control on the west side of Lake Champlain.  Those interests had every intention of preventing completion of through rail service on that side of the lake. 

At the same time, Vermont railroads were also in a stiff competition among themselves.  The Rutland Railroad, through its president, John B. Page, had a strong desire to reach further north into Canada.  However, its competitor, the Vermont Central, controlled a majority of the rail traffic from the Burlington area north.  The Rutland needed a vehicle to connect with the Great Lakes and Canada regions and take away as much business as possible from its major competitor.  In order to succeed, the Rutland needed a method to cross Lake Champlain at all times of the year, winter and summer.  The Addison Railroad would be that method and also soon become the center of a railroad power struggle according to the Rutland Historical Society.

The Montreal & Plattsburgh Railroad
A section of the line along the Ausable River to Plattsburgh was completed in 1869 and then leased to the Montreal & Plattsburgh Railroad Company.  

Due to the intervention of the Civil War, actual construction to Ticonderoga did not begin until February 20, 1869 when a start was made in the town of Crown Point.  The impetus for the renewal of construction came from backing received from state aid plus local subscriptions from various towns along the lakeshore.  

A train stops at Crown Point station (postcard photo, M. Wright collection)

The Whitehall & Plattsburgh Railroad
In 1866, the Whitehall & Plattsburg Railroad Company incorporated and began surveys for a rail line between Port Henry and Ticonderoga in order to tap Port Henry's iron ore deposits.  The railroad planned to link Whitehall and Plattsburgh by a railroad along the western border of Lake Champlain from Whitehall to Port Henry and then on to the Ausable River near Ausable Forks, eventually reaching Plattsburgh.   

By 1870, the Whitehall & Plattsburgh Railroad Company had built this section from Addison Junction near Fort Ticonderoga to Port Henry.  This section crossed over Bulwagga Bay at Port Henry using a timber trestle.  The Essex County Republican reported on September 19, 1872 that work had commenced on the Whitehall & Plattsburgh Railroad in Ticonderoga.  Trains were soon operating along this line.  This 16 miles of track was a small and virtually useless section that really didn't go anywhere.  It's only real redemption was through some iron ore rail traffic from the mountains west of Crown Point and Port Henry.  Failure of the New York legislature to provide additional support brought the project to a standstill. 

The Rutland Railroad, however, saw this line as an opportunity and was allowed trackage rights over the line because of the influence it had gained within the Whitehall & Plattsburgh Railroad.  Rutland Railroad stockholders had invested in the Whitehall & Plattsburgh when it needed money and knew if the Rutland was to be successful, they needed a lake crossing which would involve the Whitehall & Plattsburgh on the other side of Lake Champlain.  Before the Addison Railroad line was even completed, the Rutland Railroad gained access to the new branch through a lease on December 7, 1870.  This gave the Rutland a connection from their lines, over the Addison Branch once that line was completed, crossing Lake Champlain to Addison Junction, and then north over the Whitehall & Plattsburgh Railroad to Port Henry.

Events took a strange turn, however, once the Rutland gained access to the Whitehall & Plattsburgh.  Concerned about bankruptcy, the Vermont Central turned around and leased the Rutland Railroad and all of its subsidiaries just weeks after the Rutland leased the Addison.  When this occurred, the Addison Railroad was already under contract to be built and the Vermont Central allowed the construction to continue.  These events sufficiently ended the Vermont railroad rivalry and competition.  It would also end any promising future for the Addison Railroad and although it still served an important route for the area, it would never carry the traffic for which the Vermont Central feared and which inspired it to initially lease the Rutland.

The Vermont Central, however, had very little interest in the Whitehall & Plattsburgh nor did it do anything of significance to maintain the Addison Railroad.  The Vermont Central Railroad's sole interest was to prevent a rail line on the west side of Lake Champlain, thereby bypassing their own interests on the east side.  Therefore, by the end of 1870, the Addison Railroad was not in good condition.  By 1875, the Vermont Central, which would eventually go bankrupt in 1896, defaulted in its rent payments to the Rutland and had to abandon the Whitehall and Plattsburgh in order to maintain its lease on the Rutland.  In stepped the Delaware and Hudson who now saw its opportunity.

Delaware & Hudson Enters Competition
Vermont interests began seeing stiff competition in the form of a Mr. Smith M. Weed of Plattsburgh.  He was a strong proponent of construction of a through rail route along the west shore of Lake Champlain.  Weed, a highly respected attorney was also a State Assemblyman and was influential with state and national officials.  In early 1872, he met with officers and managers of the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company in New York.  Weed explained the potential benefits of a through rail system along the west shore of Lake Champlain.  He was apparently very convincing as officials signed the previously coordinated incorporation papers.  The company incorporated on March 16, 1872 to begin construction from Whitehall, a point already reached by the Delaware and Hudson's lease of the Rensselaer & Saratoga, and complete the rail line from Plattsburgh to Whitehall.

On December 5, 1872, the Essex County Republican reported that the railroad bridge across Lake Champlain and the lease of the railroad to Port Henry held by the Vermont Central Railroad was sold to the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company and that the railroad construction along that side of the road was discontinued.  The Delaware & Hudson now controlled and leaseholds of the Whitehall & Plattsburg and the Montreal & Plattsburgh Railroad.  These holdings were merged into the New York & Canada Railroad Company and approved by the New York State Legislature on April 15, 1873.  It had become apparent to the Vermont interests that the well financed Delaware and Hudson intended to complete a through line even if it was forced to construct portions of the line parallel to existing tracks. 

The Whitehall & Plattsburgh, Montreal & Plattsburgh, and the New York & Canada were merged and consolidated into a second New York & Canada Railroad Company under a February 25, 1873 agreement.  

The opening of this line on the west side of Lake Champlain seriously cut into the steamer traffic.  This resulted in a shortening of the steam ship route with the southern terminus changed from Whitehall to Montcalm Landing in 1875.  When the line was completed in 1876, the northern steam line terminus was changed from Rouses Point to Plattsburgh.  Total steamer mileage changed from 125 miles to 81 miles.

The Addison Railroad
The other part of this railroad story is the Addison Railroad.  The Addison Railroad is closely tied with the Whitehall & Plattsburgh, Vermont Central Railroad, and the Rutland Railroad and would become a key piece in the railroad power struggle that developed and eventually ended with the Delaware and Hudson walking away with the spoils.

Addison County, with its fertile fields, had no way to transport its agricultural products.  The railroad would solve this problem.  The Addison County Railroad was chartered in 1870 to build a line connecting the Rutland Railroad at Leicester Junction, Vermont, with the Whitehall & Plattsburgh Railroad at Ticonderoga, New York (later named Addison Junction), a distance of 15.6 miles. The line was laid out from Leicester Junction westward through the towns of Whiting, Shoreham and Orwell across Lake Champlain by way of a trestle and floating drawbridge. The contract for building the road, including the floating bridge across Lake Champlain, was let to W. Phelps & Son, at a cost of approximately $500,000.

The February 22, 1870 edition of the Plattsburgh Sentinel reported that a town meeting was held in Bridgeport, VT on Wednesday, February 16, 1870 to consider the question of bonding the town in aid of the Addison Railroad.  Attendance was large and after a full discussion, a large majority voted for the proposition to issue bonds in the amount of $45,000.  The Essex County Republican followed in a report that a meeting of stockholders for the Addison Railroad Company met in the office of George A. Merrill on Thursday, October 18, 1870 to elect directors.  The directors were instructed to proceed at once to make all necessary contracts to ensure completion of the railroad in the coming year.  A motion was also carried to authorize the officers of the road to make and execute a lease of the line to the Rutland Railroad Company.

The Catskill Recorder reported on October 13, 1871 that the railroad across Lake Champlain was an assured success.  The last rail had been laid, according to the October 5, 1871 edition of the Essex County Republican, on Saturday afternoon, September 30 and cars were run over the drawboat from Larrabee's Point to Ticonderoga.  The October 2, 1871 edition of the Watertown Times reported that several prominent railroad men were in attendance.  It was expected that the line would be open by the first of December.

The railroad was turned over to the Rutland Railroad in November 1871.  The Vermont Central opened a station at Fort Ticonderoga (Ticonderoga, later known as Addison Junction, and finally Fort Ticonderoga). 

The railroad was opened to the public on December 1, 1871.  An excursion train traveled over the line to Fort Ticonderoga on December 6, 1871.  The Essex County Republican reported on December 14, 1871 that this first train over the line consisted of an engine, a baggage car, and single passenger coach filled with excursionists.  The train left Port Henry at 9 am on Wednesday of the prior week (December 6), passing over the Addison Branch to Whiting and then to Rutland.  It was in the charge of Superintendent Burdett.  Passengers spent several hours in Rutland and returned home later in the afternoon by special train.  Two daily trains ran from the Vermont side at Leicester Junction running north to Port Henry.  One train each day was for passenger service.

The Addison Railroad Drawbridge
The last piece of the Addison Railroad was the section over Lake Champlain.  This drawbridge, also known as "The Great Eastern Drawbridge" by the locals, was constructed across Lake Champlain from Willow Point just north of Fort Ticonderoga to connect with Larrabee's Point on the Vermont shore.  

The Essex County Republican mentions this proposed bridge in February 1871 and the Rutland Historical Society referenced this engineering wonder in its Quarterly Bulletin (Volume 40, No. 1, 2010).  The trestle portion was 1830 feet long and required 800 piles.  Each pile was 80 feet long.  The floating pontoon-like bridge section was 300 feet long, 30 feet wide and weighed about 300 tons.

This Rutland Railroad freight didn't quite make it across the trestle between Ticonderoga and Vermont on July 28, 1920. One of the many accidents that occurred on this line. (Ticonderoga Historical Society, M. Wright collection)

For the bridge to be efficient, it had to open and close quickly to accommodate both boat and rail traffic.  The draw of the bridge was turned about one hinged side using a 12 HP engine that pulled a chain laid on the lake bottom.  The floating bridge portion then swung aside to let boat and steamship traffic through. 

The drawbridge portion was completed in September 1871.  Following repairs from a previous attempt to launch the structure, railroad officials met on September 26, 1871 for a second attempt.  What would follow was a harbinger of things to come.  While celebrating and waiting for a rain storm to pass, the drawbridge broke its fastenings and rapidly dove into the lake nearly crushing one worker who had to dive into the water, and disappointing those who had gathered for a much more controlled ceremony.

 

A train passes over the solid trestle portion of the Addison Railroad Lake Champlain Crossing.  (photo, Addison Railroad Historical Society)

Drawbridge Problems
Lack of proper maintenance by the Vermont Central, poor construction techniques, and work done too hastily would have impacts to this line across the Lake.  By February of 1872, this line was in operation with cars running regularly between Addison Junction, as the rail station on the west shore was known, and Leicester Junction and Rutland.  This small section of railroad across Lake Champlain was the scene of many accidents.  Construction and maintenance problems were soon resolved, but this line continued to have problems.  There were many reports of trains going over the drawbridge or having a freight car or two go into Lake Champlain or on to the ice.  The drawbridge was replaced in 1888.

Problems with the floating drawbridge on the Addison Railroad continued.  The Ticonderoga Sentinel reported on April 16, 1903 that a gang of men were engaged in repairing the drawbridge.  A Mr. Martin was reported as the foreman. 

An accident at the drawbridge on Wednesday, May 29, 1907 necessitated the removal of passengers over the bridge by hand car.  

On another occasion, on the night of March 20, 1918, the drawbridge actually sank when a leak enabled water to rush into the float.  The deck of the drawbridge was on the same level as the lake ice, but the draw did not rest on the bottom of the lake.  Two freight cars were on the bridge when it fell into the water, one loaded with paper and the other with wood.  Both cars overturned by the tilting of the float as incoming water rushed from one side to the other. 

This postcard view of the floating drawbridge at Addison Junction.  (postcard photo, M. Wright collection)

The Rutland Railroad dispatched a crew of 40 or 50 men to work on the drawbridge, but a week later, no progress had been made as they did not succeed in raising the float to the surface.  It was unclear whether it required a replacement and the railroad estimated it would take a month or more to resume traffic.  The 300 foot pontoon boat was eventually just thrown open to permit Lake navigation.

In 1920, a locomotive actually broke through the bridge and went into the lake.  From that point on, no locomotives crossed the bridge.  There were reports that trains would push freight cars across to a point where a train on the New York side could pick them up.

Bridge Project Revived
The project of a bridge on the trestle from Addison Junction to the Vermont shore was revived by the Ticonderoga Business Men's Association on Wednesday, September 23, 1908.  At a meeting of the executive committee of the association, the matter was thoroughly discussed and resulted in the formation of a committee of two, T. E. Warren and I. Rothschild who were appointed to wait upon the railroad officials and learn whether the company's original proposition to build the bridge still held.  The original proposition called for the railroad company to build the bridge and the towns of Ticonderoga and Shoreham to build the approaches.  The railroad would charge a toll. 

Delaware & Hudson 1909 passenger ticket from Addison Junction to Clemons.  (, M. Wright collection)

Ticonderoga was ready to do its part, but Shoreham, through the opposition of its merchants, refused to build an approach on that side of the lake and, consequently, the deal fell through.  Ticonderoga, in a proposition of this kind, which meant many dollars brought to the village of Ticonderoga as well as a convenient method for crossing the lake may have been afforded in the construction of both approaches.  The project met with the approval of and would have been supported by the entire town.   With the association now reviving the project, the only thing needed to carry it through, providing the railroad would do its part, was energy on the part of the business men and the cooperation of the people of the town.  Nothing ever materialized.

Bridge Project Revived Again
Around August 19, 1918 the Rutland Railroad Company made an application to the Secretary of War to replace the 300 foot pontoon boat with a movable truss bridge that would provide a clear opening of 124 feet to allow the passage of lake traffic.  The proposal to alter the bridge revived the previous idea of building a driveway over the railroad bridge, but which failed when Shoreham refused to pay for the building of an approach to the bridge on the Vermont side. 

A hearing was held on August 25, 1920 to discuss the issue.  Captain Burroughs, representing the War Department, presided on the application to replace the pontoon bridge with a movable truss bridge.  The railroad's proposal was opposed by the Champlain Transportation Company and Lake Champlain towing companies who stated that 124 feet did not give sufficient clearance for the safe passage of boats.

This postcard view of Montcalm Landing shows a Delaware and Hudson passenger train at the station.  The period appears to be late 1800s or early 1900s from the looks of the women's dress and the passenger cars.  (postcard photo, M. Wright collection)

The driveway issue was also discussed with Senator Mortimer Yale Ferris (New York State 3rd District), T. E. Warren, F. B. Wickes, W. G. Wallace, Albert Weed, and E. J. Vincent, all of Ticonderoga, and C. H. Cunningham of Shoreham presented arguments in its favor.  If the Commission granted the construction of a truss bridge, the group from Ticonderoga and Shoreham simply wanted it designed and constructed in such a manner as to provide for the eventual building of a roadway upon it.  The municipalities would pay any associated costs related to attaching a roadway to either side of the railroad bridge.  The group cited the economic and military benefits of such a roadway. The driveway issue never materialized and the troubles with the drawbridge situation continued.

Construction and Improvement
The railroad finally constructed 39 miles of track from Whitehall to Fort Ticonderoga as well as made changes to the existing line to Port Henry at Bulwagga Bay.  The company relocated approximately five miles of the line when ice on Lake Champlain destroyed the timber trestle across Bulwagga Bay on April 18, 1874.

By this point in time, only one train was running on the Addison Railroad, leaving Ticonderoga at 8:45 in the morning and arriving at Leicester Junction in Vermont at 10:15.  The return train left Leicester Junction at 6:00 in the evening, arriving in Ticonderoga at 7:30.

The New York & Canada Railroad Company commenced track laying on section 22 of their new line on Tuesday, June 9, 1874.  

Interestingly enough, the entire line between Ticonderoga and Whitehall was not laid with with American steel, but French steel rails of the best quality.  The first rails were set down near the tunnel under the Fort Ticonderoga battle grounds and the work was pressed forward with rapidity. 

The railroad trestle located at the south portal of the tunnel under the grounds of Fort Ticonderoga.  The building on the right was the bridge tender's shack, used to control the movement of the trestle. (Photo:  Delaware & Hudson Railroad.  M. Wright collection)

The Ogdensburg Journal reported on August 24, 1874 that rails were laid on the southern section of the railroad, a total of 24 miles.  The road was in the process of being ballasted  with a schedule to open the line on August 25.  It was hoped the first train would pass between Ticonderoga and Whitehall by September 1st, however, on September 19, as the fall foliage began to show it colors, the new line was still being laid with rails and the greater part ballasted.  The remainder was scheduled for completion within a few days whereupon officials stated the line would be ready for passenger trains to begin running from Port Henry to Albany possibly by early November.  

By June 27, 1874, rails were completely laid over the trestle at the mouth of "Ti Creek" (LaChute River).  This trestle swung a drawbridge about the center to allow ship traffic to enter and leave the waterway connecting Ticonderoga with Lake Champlain.  

Track laying continued rapidly at the end of July along several points.  A 30-foot span of iron for the trestle's drawbridge was expected at any time.  All track laying on the trestle bridge south of the tunnel was completed and a large quantity of superior Canadian ties was delivered at Port Marshall (Montcalm Landing).  

The 39-mile line from Whitehall to Port Henry opened on November 30, 1874 and included a new 24-mile section from Whitehall to Addison Junction.  

By December, the reported aggregate cost of the New York & Canada rail line from Whitehall to Port Henry was listed as $1,800,000. The total cost of the road to date was as shown in the table on the right.

Table 2 Whitehall - Port Henry Costs
Grading and masonry $2,022,468.58
Bridging $   184,117.31
Superstructure $   344,998.15
Land and land damages $   109,756.47
Telegraph  $         630.70
Engineering, etc. $   113,869.10
Contingent $     83,964.15
Total $3,792,214.46
   
Paid for Whitehall & Plattsburgh RR $  415,000.00
Paid for Montreal & Canada Road $  528,500.00
Total cost to date $3,792,214.47
Estimated cost $5,000.000.00

Lake George Outlet Bridge
The Essex County Republican reported the Essex County Legislature authorized the construction of a bridge across the outlet of Lake George on May 4, 1871.  

The Delaware and Hudson Railroad used this bridge to span the outlet of Lake George which emptied into Lake Champlain near the south end of the Fort Ticonderoga tunnel. 

The 49' 4" bridge was constructed such that it could swing to allow boat traffic to exit and enter Ticonderoga Creek. Ticonderoga Creek was still a viable transportation waterway during this period.

Delaware & Hudson #390 pulls a passenger train north on the bridge over the outlet of The Ti Creek into Lake Champlain.  The D&H scrapped this locomotive in July 1926. (Ticonderoga Historical Society)
By September of 1872, a large force of men were reported at work on the bridge.  The Ticonderoga Sentinel reported in April 1874 that the bridge at the mouth of Ticonderoga Creek was getting along nicely, the masonry being nearly completed. The bridge was reported as a two span iron draw, one span stationary and the other a swing draw bridge, of new design and handsome pattern.

The Ticonderoga Sentinel reported on July 18, 1874 that the track had been entirely laid across the trestle bridge south of the tunnel.  Future improvements would include repair of the bridge in December 1893 and the laying of stone abutments.

The railroad maintained a bridge tender's house and interlocking plant at near the bridge on the south side of the Fort Ticonderoga tunnel.  The building was located on the north end of the bridge. Fire destroyed the bridge tender's house and interlocking plant on November 28, 1923. In addition to this structure, the railroad also maintained a dwelling for the bridge tender.  Delaware and Hudson Railroad right of way and track maps state the bridge tender's dwelling was finally removed on January 5, 1935.

Control of the swing bridge was via this tender shack. This 1916 photo is from a Delaware and Hudson valuation book. (Mark Wright collection)

The bridge tender lived in this dwelling seen here in 1916. (Mark Wright collection)

Fort Ticonderoga Tunnel
Construction of the railroad required a tunnel under the grounds of historic Fort Ticonderoga in order to not disturb or destroy them.  The 440-foot long tunnel, blasted out of hard, limestone rock forty feet under the battleground of Fort Ticonderoga where Abercrombie was defeated, was three-quarters of a mile from the steamboat landing (Montcalm Landing) and a mile and a half from the village of Ticonderoga.  

Only one known accident was documented during the tunnel construction according to the records researched when on July 23, 1873, a large powder explosion occurred.  One man was killed instantly with three seriously injured.  

Work Begins
Work first commenced on the head of the tunnel on March 26, 1873 using steam drills. The machinery eventually proved too large and cumbersome for the size of the header and slow progress was made.  The railroad eventually abandoned the steam machinery on June 4 and substituted hand drills.  After the switch, work steadily progressed with an average headway of 48 feet per month.  The greatest progress was made in the month of January, 1874, when workers accomplished a headway of 64 feet. 

Light at the End of the Tunnel
Foreman E. A. Dingle laid his electric wire and set the explosive charge that would open the tunnel on February 14, 1874.  He set the charge such that the discharge would be certain.  With everything prepared, railroad officials were notified of the coming blast and they, with others, sheltered themselves under a car.  The wires were then connected to the battery.  

At 11 o'clock in the morning, a heavy charge of nitro-glycerin and giant powder was ignited.  Following a few moments of awful suspense, a terrific explosion left no doubt in the minds of those present as to the result.  A general scramble was made for a ladder and  the crew discovered a large, 5 by 8 foot opening.  The removal of this rock barrier revealed daylight - the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.  It required approximately another two months of labor to complete the work.

The tunnel under the road to Ft. Ticonderoga constructed by the New York & Canada Railroad in 1872.  This tunnel, 40' below the road surface, can be seen very well from the summit of Mount Defiance.  (postcard photo, M. Wright collection)

Inspection and Additional Tunnel Work
In April, 1874, President Dixon and Chief Engineer Wentz of the New York & Canada Railroad came to Ticonderoga to inspect the work on the tunnel section as well as to look over the route of the new projected Lake George Railroad (Baldwin Branch).  Night and day shifts of laborers were employed at the tunnel and work was pushed forward so that it would be ready for track-layers by May 10. 

On April 18, 1874, Mr. Seymour, the engineer in charge of sections 20, 21, and 22, stated that the grading at the north end of the tunnel section was completed and ready for track.  The finished work included a long pile trestle across the mouth of "Ti Creek" and the tunnel under the hill near Fort Ticonderoga.  

A connecting "Y" was formed with the Whitehall & Plattsburgh Railroad by running a curve from a point just north of the tunnel and connecting with the old road at a short distance north of the depot.  

The tunnel was nearly ready for lath and plaster work on April 25, 1874.  A large force of men began the work the following week according to Mr. I. B. Potter and other railroad engineers working the project.  By May 16th, however, the work stopped after repeated discouraging failures in an attempt to finish the tunnel ceiling.  The rock arching was described as "springy" in many places and the constant leakage made the adhesion of the plaster impossible.  The work on the plaster wall was cutoff at the height of 13 feet while a new plan was formulated for the upper section of the tunnel.  

A Canadian Pacific Railroad train on the former Delaware & Hudson line exiting the south end of the tunnel in 2011. (Mark Wright photo)

Railroad engineers received a proposition from Gammon & Co., New York agents for the Ingersall isinglass ceiling, which they claimed would solve the problems.  Gammon stated the advantages of the system ensured a dry and thoroughly waterproof interior, which threw off offensive engine smoke, and kept a brilliant and cheerful appearance...certainly important in any tunnel, I guess.

The First Engine in the Tunnel
A railroad engine passed through the tunnel at Fort Ticonderoga for the first time during the week of June 20, 1874.  The tunnel performed well until June 5, 1882 when an extensive landslide occurred on the south end of the tunnel.  It required 75 men to clear the earth and rock from the tracks, which closed north and southbound rail traffic for a day.  

Guarding the Tunnel
During World War I, the protection of transportation assets became a priority for the Government and for the railroads.  As a wartime protection, the Delaware and Hudson issued a warning on April 3, 1917 stating all bridges, buildings, tunnels, and cuts along the lines were currently or about to be placed under state military guard - the watchful eyes of the National Guard.  It was supposedly impossible for any individual except a railroad employee to approach any of these places unless they could satisfactorily explain their presence and all employees and the public were warned to obey commands from guardsmen to halt and to advance only when instructed.  Those who failed to obey could be shot.  

The portal of the tunnel near Fort Ticonderoga.  The US military guarded this tunnel during World War I.  Local units of the National Guard camped near the tunnel to ensure no foreign agents sabotaged areas such as this. (stereo card photo, M. Wright collection)

Fear of attempts on the part of German spies or sympathizers to interrupt rail traffic led to the guarding of all potential targets.  Any impediment that would close the railroads to the free transportation of troops and supplies would be in the interest of Germany, and with many Germans in the United States, it was not considered impossible that an attempt to interrupt such transportation might occur.  It was a wartime measure that was adopted by all of the allied countries of Europe at the outbreak of the war, which the United States anticipated it would soon be involved.

The duty of guarding the Delaware and Hudson from Albany north to Rouses Point and the Champlain canal was assigned to the Second Battalion, comprising Companies E and F of Schenectady and Company H of Amsterdam.  The tunnels at Whitehall, Fort Ticonderoga, Port Henry, and Willsboro were strongly guarded with twelve to fifteen men stationed at each location, watching both tunnel ends unceasingly night and day.  At the Fort Ticonderoga tunnel, the detachment of 25 men under the command of a sergeant, were encamped in tents and had a cook with them.  They patrolled the area and south along the line to Montcalm Landing.  

A Delaware & Hudson Alco PA unit with a southbound passenger train encounters ice upon exiting the tunnel beneath Fort Ticonderoga. (photo, M. Wright collection)

The tunnels of Whitehall, Fort Ticonderoga, Port Henry, and Willsboro were particularly strongly guarded with 12 to 15 men stationed at each location and watching both ends unceasingly both night and day.

For the Ticonderoga area around April 5, 1917, this protection included National Guardsmen guarding the Fort Ticonderoga tunnel.  It was guarded by a detachment of 25 men from Company H in Amsterdam under the command of a sergeant.  This group of soldiers were encamped near the tunnel, living in tents, and had a cook along with them.  They kept the tunnel under constant surveillance and patrolled the railroad south to Montcalm Landing.

Although no recorded sabotage occurred, the soldiers did get a little excitement on October 6, 1917 when on this Saturday afternoon they arrested a man hanging around the tunnel who could not give a satisfactory explanation of his presence (one of the requirements).  The individual was taken to Ticonderoga under guard and placed in jail.  An officer from Albany arrived to take the man before Justice Beldon for examination.  

It was later determined that the man was indeed a foreigner and that he had worked in the Mineville mines, but didn't like the work.  The man was in the process of hoboeing back to New York City when he was captured.  The man was allowed to continue on his way (hopefully not as a hobo).

Addison Junction
Addison Junction was located on the mainline of the Delaware and Hudson railroad on the Champlain Division just north of the tunnel under Fort Ticonderoga and south of Fort Ti road leading to the Fort Ticonderoga ferry and Larrabee's Point.  It is believed that the Vermont Central built this station when they leased the Rutland Railroad and through that lease, also the Addison Railroad.  The original station name was known as Ticonderoga in news articles.  It quickly became now as Addison Junction as station photos and timetables indicate.  The Delaware and Hudson would rename the station "Fort Ticonderoga" in 1911 during the period when both this station and the station at Montcalm Landing were in existence.

This location existed before the Delaware and Hudson Railroad had built on the western shore of Lake Champlain.  The Rutland Railroad operated the Addison Junction station and line across Lake Champlain connecting New York and Vermont via a trestle and drawbridge.  

There were a number of facilities located here to include a passenger station, freight station, engine house, cattle pens and loading chute, section tool house, coal shed, toilet building, section foreman's dwelling, mail crane, and ice house.

The Addison Junction station.  (postcard photo, M. Wright collection)

The portion of what would become the Delaware & Hudson mainline at Addison Junction was known as Pell's Siding.  There was one passing track located to the west of the main line and another short spur to the west of that.  A short track to the east of the main served the station at Addison Junction.  There was also a wye curving towards the east from the north and southbound directions along the main line leading to the drawbridge. 

Despite the frequent travel between Fort Ticonderoga and Leicester Junction in Vermont over the Addison Branch following the opening of the drawbridge over Lake Champlain, there was only one train daily in each direction by January of 1918.   The train left Ticonderoga at 10:10 a.m. and returned at 7:00 p.m.

The Addison Railroad passenger station at Addison Junction near Montcalm Landing was built in 1868.  (Delaware & Hudson Stations, M. Wright collection)

Removal of Addison Junction Facilities
The passenger station, freight house, cattle pens, and toilet were removed on January 26, 1934. The station's coal shed was removed on March 7, 1931. The south leg of the wye soon followed when it was removed on March 19, 1931. The Removal of many of the tracks occurred over time. old freight house track "C" was removed on May 6, 1937.  Approximately 2,835 feet of track "A" and 1,275 feet of track "A1" was removed on February 26, 1944. The industrial track near the location of Addison station, which was added on May 6, 1936, was removed on October 20, 1953. The remainder of spur track "A" was removed on July 8, 1955.

Abandonment
In 1900, with the Vermont Central bankrupt in 1896, the Rutland Railroad finally had the opportunity to access the north end of Lake Champlain and into New York at Rouses Point.  At this point, traffic across the Addison Railroad dropped.  There was only one train daily each way between Fort Ticonderoga and Leicester Junction over the Addison branch of the Rutland railroad by the end of January 1918.  The train left Ticonderoga at 10:10 a.m. and returned at 7:00 p.m.  

By July 27, 1922, the Rutland Railroad Company, the Addison Railroad Company, and the Delaware and Hudson Railroad filed a joint petition with the Interstate Commerce Commission seeking authority to abandon the part of the Addison Branch from Leicester Junction, Vermont to Fort Ticonderoga station.  

This portion of a Delaware and Hudson valuation map shows Addison Junction.  (M. Wright collection)

A hearing was held in Rutland on Friday, October 13, 1922, before W. A. Dutton of Hardwlck, Eli H. Porter of Wilmington, representing the Vermont Public Service Commission, and E. Bannaman of Albany, an engineer for the New York Public Service Commission, regarding the petition of the Rutland Railroad, the Addison branch of the road, and the Delaware and Hudson railroad, asking permission to abandon that part of the Addison branch that crossed the lake to Fort Ticonderoga. 

The railroads stated that the drawbridge was allegedly unsafe and because of this, train operations were discontinued for two or three years.  The cost to replace the draw boat and to make the necessary trestle repairs would range from $75,000 - $100,000, far outweighing the revenue received over the branch. 

This photo shows the detail of the Montcalm Landing platform in August 1958.  It was removed on February 19, 1963 (M. Wright collection)

Ticonderoga and Shoreham interests at the hearing were represented by Senator Ferris, F. B. Wickes, T. E. Warren, L. R. Mead, M. S. King, Albert Weed and C. E. McNeal.  The Ticonderoga and Shoreham interests were naturally hesitant about completely abandoning the connection and stressed the necessity for some kind of connection, other than by boat, between Vermont and New York at the Larrabee's point location.  Speaking for the towns, Mr. Wickes presented a strong case in emphasizing the necessity of maintaining this connection.  He contended and asked that in case the bridge was abandoned, it would be conditional upon authority being given to other individuals, corporations or municipalities to take it over and use it in any way they saw fit in maintaining a connection between the two shores.  This brought out the interesting and little known fact that the franchise was owned by the Delaware and Hudson.  The matter of giving permission to abandon the road rested with the Interstate Commerce Commission.

Further concerns regarding the line's abandonment surfaced when the communities of Shoreham, Orwell, Cornwall, Middlebury, Benson, and Whiting began to fear that the draw bridge abandonment was the first step to abandoning the entire Addison branch railroad.  Representatives from the Vermont towns sought to enlist the support of Ticonderoga in their fight against the Rutland Railroad Company.  The four towns met in Ticonderoga on November 21, 1922 to discuss strategy. 

Despite the attempts of the local towns to keep the line open, the Interstate Commerce Commission authorized the abandonment of the Rutland Railroad and the Addison Railroad line.  The Commission did not dispute the railroad's claims that the traffic over the line was not sufficient to warrant the necessary funding to reconstruct the bridge and drawboat.  The trestle and drawboat, constructed in 1870, would no longer carry passengers across the lake.

An earlier view of the Amtrak station, hated by all local residents.  I remember this horrid little building quite well.  It's hard to see in this picture, but the sign on the top of the structure says "Ticonderoga."  (M. Wright photo)

Ticonderoga's Electric Railway Project
Although the Addison railway extension project never materialized, electric railway lines had become very popular during the early 1900s, opening up another potential railroad for Ticonderoga.  The Ticonderoga board of trade held a meeting on Thursday evening, July 7, 1904 to discuss the project of building an electric railway from Addison Junction to Baldwin and Hague and how it would be possible to interest some outside capital.  The matter was placed in the hands of a committee of two and money was voted to pay the expenses of a promoter and engineer to come to Ticonderoga for the purpose of making a preliminary survey of the route. 

On August 6, 1905, the New York Times published an article entitled, "Trolley Lines Invade Heart of Adirondacks."  Paul Smith organized the Paul Smith's Electric Light and Power Company and planned to construct an extensive trolley system covering the southeastern portion of the Great North Woods with the goal to connect Lake Champlain and Lake George with Schroon Lake, Lake Placid and other points.  The line started at Lake Clear, the junction of the Adirondack Division of the New York Central Railroad and Saranac Lake and Lake Placid branches of the railroad, a distance of about seven miles.  The line was designed to carry freight, such as timber, and passengers using Pullman cars from Lake Clear to the hotel company's grounds.  The system was expected to open up a large lumbering and mining industry which at the present time was lying dormant because the cost of transportation did not allow competition with industries located along the line.

The Paul Smith's trolley line opened on Monday, August 20, 1906 with power for the line transmitted from a point on the the Saranac river about twenty miles east of Saranac Lake village.  On August 22, 1906, passengers were taken for the first time from Lake Clear Junction to Paul Smith's hotel over the line's three mile length with its road bed laid over fairly level ground. This was the first electric line completed in the Adirondacks.  However, the people of Ticonderoga had some ideas of their own for a new electric railroad.

The Ticonderoga Union Terminal Railroad
On July 13, 1904, the Ticonderoga Sentinel announced that the Ticonderoga Union Terminal Railroad Company presented an application to the Town of Ticonderoga Village Trustees and Ticonderoga Highway Commissioner, L. A. Lewis, for permission to build and construct an electric railroad upon and across the highway from lands of Pell Estate to lands of George H. Huber about 30 feet East of the Delaware and Hudson Company tracks at Addison Junction, also across Porter Highway near the barns of John McCaughin; through and along Main Street from division line of the Village and Town of Ticonderoga to Bridge Street; then along and through Bridge Street to a point at or near the main entrance to lumber yard of Smith Lumber Company in said Highways; from intersections of Bridge Street and Lake George Avenue along Lake George Avenue in a northerly direction to division line of the town and village of Ticonderoga.  This notice announced that a public hearing on the application would be given at the Hose House in Ticonderoga on July 28. This meeting was postponed to August 10, 1904.

Representatives from the office of the state railroad commissioner arrived in Ticonderoga on the morning of August 17, 1904 to go over the route of the proposed electric road preparatory to acting upon the approbation for a charter.  The franchise drawn was presented at the August 10 hearing, and the meeting was adjourned to August 18, 1904 to give Mr. Holmes an opportunity to examine the document.

Incorporation
The Ticonderoga Union Terminal Railroad Company incorporated on July 5, 1905 with the secretary of state to operate an electric road from Addison Junction to the limits of the village of Ticonderoga. The company was capitalized at $50,000 and planned to construct a network of electric lines.  The network would connect the Rutland division of the New York Central Railroad at Addison Junction; proceed through the village of Ticonderoga, and to the International Mineral Company mines; continue to the Delaware and Hudson Railroad, maintaining a system of electric street railways in the village of Ticonderoga; continue from Ticonderoga to Lake George with a spur running to Fort Ticonderoga; then from Ticonderoga to Schroon Lake and Lake Placid; from Schroon Lake to Lake George at Hague and to the Lake George post office at the southern end of the lake.  The network also planned for a line from Elizabethtown to Lake Placid.

The officers of the Ticonderoga Union Terminal Railway Company were Northrup Raymond Holmes of Troy, NY (President); Altus B. Atkins, former Essex Country sheriff (1st Vice President); J. Rothchilds (2nd Vice President); W. W. Richards, cashier of the National Bank of Ticonderoga  (Treasurer); Frank T. Locke, President of Ticonderoga Machine Company (Secretary); Mortimer V. Drake (Auditor); and Frank B. Gridley, Assistant City Engineer of Troy, NY (Chief Engineer).

During the previous week, the Delaware and Hudson Company laid four tracks across the highway at Addison Junction, making a total of five tracks.  Many of the Ticonderoga Union Terminal Railroad directors and others interested in the trolley line assumed these were laid for the purpose of obstructing the building of the new proposed trolley road.  Delaware & Hudson Railroad officials, however, stated that the laying of these tracks had been contemplated for a long time because there was not enough sidetrack at the Junction to meet the demands of the heavy freight traffic.

Petition for an Electric Railroad
The Ticonderoga Union Terminal Railroad Company filed an application for a certificate under section 59 of the Railroad Law with the State Board of Railroad Commissioners on July 27, 1905.  In the application, the company proposed to build a "street surface railroad from a point at or near the center line of the Rutland Railroad Company's track at Addison Junction in the town of Ticonderoga, Essex county, to and through the village of Ticonderoga to a point at or near the entrance of the lumber yard of Smith Lumber Company, a distance of about five miles."

Public hearings regarding the application were held on September 5, October 11, and November 9.  Holmes, Bryan & Holmes appeared for the applicant.  F. T. Locks, H. J. Belden and other also appeared in favor of the application.  K. E. Carr and W. F. Rathbone appeared for the Delaware and Hudson Company, in opposition to the application.  As the application was first proposed, the applicant's railroad would cross the Delaware and Hudson's steam railroad at six points, one of which was the main line.  At the November 9 hearing, the Terminal Railroad offered evidence showing that by a change of route, its railroad could avoid all but two of the crossings and that one of the two could be an under-crossing of the Baldwin branch, the other a crossing at grade of a siding.  However, the applicant did not take the steps to change its route under the statute (section 13, Railroad Law).

The Board, in it's determination of December 13, 1905 stated if the certificate was granted, it appeared that the railroad would be extended to Lake George.  I also appeared that the proposed railroad would carry freight.  After considering the evidence, the Board determined that public convenience and a necessity required the construction of the applicant's railroad.  Also, the six proposed crossings of the Delaware and Hudson Company's railroad (sidings and main lines) were objectionable features if the route was not changed.  The population intended to be served by the proposed railroad was between five and six thousand, and evidence was presented regarding the expected summer tourist travel.  However, both these populations were currently served by the Delaware and Hudson Company's railroad.  Witnesses testified that in their opinion the proposed railroad was a necessity, but the details of the testimony were not at all convincing.  Although no one disputed that the railroad could or would carry some freight and passengers if constructed, the Board did not believe from the evidence that sufficient freight and passengers would be carried to justify the certifying that public convenience and a necessity required the construction of the proposed railroad.  Therefore, the Board refused the application for the certificate.  The Ticonderoga Union Terminal Railroad appealed the decision.

Railroad gets a Franchise
At a hearing held on Friday, August 18, 1905, the Ticonderoga Village trustees finally granted a franchise to the promoters of the proposed electric road. The Ticonderoga Sentinel reported that all was now plain sailing for the company.  Likewise, a franchise was obtained from the village at an adjourned meeting held Saturday evening, August 19.  At this point, no hearing had been held before the state railroad commissioners, but no one anticipated anything detrimental to the project would develop because a representative of the commissioners went over the route the previous week and, it was everybody's understanding that this would result in a favorable report.

Engineer Gridley and assistants arrived from Troy on August 23 and were engaged in making a survey of a route to Addison Junction through the Old Fort grounds and over the Delaware and Hudson tunnel.  It was feasible that this route would be used in order to avoid crossing the railroad tracks at the Junction and in some respects it was more desirable, although more costly, than the direct route, as originally planned.  The company was issuing stock certificates to subscribers during the week of August 20, 1905.  The project had every indication of being successfully completed and a brief resume of its history from the time of its inception was believed to have been of interest to the public.

Credit for getting the project rolling was given to M. V. Drake, who, a year earlier, talked with a classmate, James Wright, of North Hartland, Vermont concerning Ticonderoga's need of such a road.  After graduation, Mr. Wright entered the law office of Holmes, Bryan & Holmes, of Troy, and the matter was again brought up in correspondence between him and Mr. Drake.  Mr. Wright finally interested the law firm in the enterprise and correspondence relating to the road followed between the firm and the Ticonderoga board of trade, Mr. Drake having turned the matter over to that body.  Upon the board agreeing to pay the expenses of a preliminary survey, F. B. Gridley, a Troy engineer, and N. R. Holmes came to Ticonderoga and went over the proposed route, which they pronounced as perfectly feasible.  Subsequently, at a meeting of the board of trade a prospectus was presented and the people of Ticonderoga were asked to raise $40,000 to further the project.  Inasmuch of the raising of that amount was out of the the question the demand was so undefined that a reasonable sum in town the Troy people would go on with the matter.  By strenuous work, A. B. Atkins and F. T. Locke succeeded in getting subscriptions in the amount of $6,000 with a promise of $7,000 from the International Mineral Company on condition that a branch be run to the company's mine.

The matter of obtaining franchises from the town and village of Ticonderoga was taken up and hearings for both cases were set for July 28, 1905.  At these hearings, no franchise had been drawn by counsel for the village and town.  An adjournment was taken to August 5.  On this date a franchise modeled after those given by Sandy Hill, Glens Falls and Fort Edward was offered but which Mr. Holmes absolutely refused to accept on account of the restrictions, which, he asserted would make it impossible to float the company's bonds.  He was asked, and consented, to draw up a franchise to suit himself and an adjournment was taken to August 10 to permit him to prepare it.  This document was presented on that date and another adjournment was taken to August 18 to give the board time to consider it.  Counsel for the board made some additions and modifications, which were discussed Friday evening and which with one or two exceptions were rejected by Mr. Holmes for the company.  The meeting adjourned until Saturday, when the franchise was granted.  The franchise granted by the village was practically the same as that drawn up by Mr. Holmes, with the principal exception that the Village board prohibited the company from tearing up more than 1,000 lineal feet of street at one time during construction.  The other conditions of the franchise conformed with the state law governing roads of this kind.  The placing of switches and poles would be under the direction of the village board.

Progress and News
The Warrensburg News reported on August 17, 1905 that construction was expected to begin within 60 days.    Applications were pending for local franchises and the railroad petitioned the state board of railroad commissioners for a certificate of necessity, the preliminary requisite to the construction of the road.  A permanent survey was completed for this portion of the route and within thirty days, a corps of engineers under Chief Engineer Gridley, of Troy, was expected to begin the route to Schroon village, twenty miles from the line as it then existed. From Schroon village it was intended to make a survey through the Schroon valley to Lake Placid.  Plans also included the construction a line from Westport by the way of Elizabethtown to connect with the main line from Ticonderoga to Lake Placid.  The survey was also going to be made from Schroon Lake along the northern side of the lake to Warrensburg where connections would be made with the Hudson Valley Railroad company and the Delaware & Hudson company.  The line would also be extended so as to connect with Paul Smith's railroad at Lake Clear.

The line in Ticonderoga would employ an ordinary trolley system.  Forest preserve laws at the time did not allow steam or third rail systems in the woods therefore, any motive power would have to consist of electric locomotives using four 200-horse power motors.  Long distance surface electric locomotives and standard passenger and freight cars would ensure the same accommodations as provided on steam roads.  A line of boats would also be placed on Lake George and Lake Champlain and would be constructed for speed and comfort.  It was believed that the line would prove one of the most picturesque in the United States and that it would be a dividend paying investment given the optimistic outlook for freight and passengers.

The power to operate the lines was planned to be provided by the erection of storage dams and the development of the various powers in the vicinity of Ticonderoga.  Up to that time, the facilities for reaching the Adirondack regions was by the primitive stage coach and it was expected that the travel and the summer tourists trade would double within the next few years.  At Fort Ticonderoga it was expected that a National park would be developed from the 600 acres then lying on the promontory.  During the previous week, officers of the company were driving over the various proposed lines and expressed their opinion that the entire line would soon be under construction.

Public Hearing - September 5, 1905
A hearing in the matter of the application of the Ticonderoga Union Terminal railroad for a charter was held before the State Railroad commissioner in Albany on Tuesday afternoon, September 5, 1905.  Mr. Rathbone, an Albany lawyer, appeared at the hearing in the interests of the Delaware and Hudson Company and objected to the charter on the grounds that the proposed railroad was not a public necessity because Ticonderoga already had a steam road that could take care of all of the traffic.  An adjournment to Oct. 11 was granted on request of Mr. Rathbone.  The promoters of the electric road stated that the objections raised would not prevent their attempt to complete the enterprise.

Public Hearing - October 11, 1905
The hearing, adjourned on September 5, 1905, continued on October 11 in Albany.  The session opened promptly at 10 o'clock.  About forty Ticonderoga businessmen attended to testify to the necessity and need of an electric railway through the village.  Mr. Holmes, of the firm of Holmes, Bryan & Holmes, presented the case for the Ticonderoga people. L. W. Carr appeared for the Delaware and Hudson Company.  After several witnesses were sworn, Mr. Carr stated that it was evident that the people of Ticonderoga wanted the electric railroad and did not care to discuss the exorbitant charges made by the Delaware and Hudson.  After some discussion between the Railroad Commissioners and the attorneys, Mr. Carr for the D. & H., stated that they would object to the electric railroad crossing the D. & H. tracks at grade.  After some discussion, the meeting was adjourned yet again until Nov 9th.  Among those who made the trip were W. J. Smith, J. A. Mason, L. R. Mead, M. V. Drake, G. B. Bascom, William O'Connell, George McKeil, H. J. Belden, L. A. Lewis, John B. Williams, F. B. Wickes, Felix Liberty, Charles Liberty, A, H. Weed, George O. Cook, A. B. Adkins, C. B. Pease, James McCabe, R. P. Mead, Robert Hanna, W. F. Jones, C. A. Stevens, S. Ostrander, E. T. Downs, Zeb Martin, C. B. King, Frank T. Locke, Henry Holmes and James Slosson.

Public Hearing - November 19, 1905
The matter of grade crossings was discussed at the November 19, 1905 hearing.  Data, the results of surveys made by Delaware and Hudson engineers and by Mr. Gridley for the electric road company, was presented before the commissioners.  The electric road, as mapped through the Old Fort grounds passed over the Delaware and Hudson tunnel and then around to Addison Junction, and as an obstruction in this direction, L. E. Carr, who appeared for the Delaware and Hudson, set forth the claim that his company owned the land over the tunnel through to the surface.  He added that the Delaware and Hudson intended to blast away the rock covering and change the tunnel into an open cut.  

The question of whether the driveway through the Old Fort grounds and over the tunnel was a public or private road was also brought up and discussed at length.  Mr. Carr claimed that it was a private road, owned by the Pell estate.  The Ticonderoga men present knew nothing about the matter and were unable to controvert the assertion though James A. Slason testified that he had seen the town highway commissioner working on the road.  Ed Lee also testified he was not sure it was a public road.  A. H. Wood testified that the road through the fort grounds was worked as a town road when he was highway commissioner.  Many others in town claimed the road was a public highway.

Railroad Commission Denies Application
Excitement turned to indignation as Ticonderoga businessmen learned that the decision handed down by the State Railroad Commission on Monday, December 18, 1905 rejected the Ticonderoga Union Terminal Railroad Company's application for permission to build an electric road.  As previously suggested during the hearings, the commission rejected the application on the grounds that the proposed road was not a necessity and that therefore would not have sufficient passenger and freight traffic to make it profitable.  Residents were more amazed because from the first they had accepted the granting of the application as a foregone conclusion.  Businessmen almost without exception subscribed liberally towards the enterprise and several appeared before the commission to urge favorable action.  The evidence that they gave before the commission, and the fact that they were willing to put their hard cash into the project, was in their minds sufficient proof of the necessity of the road, and, it should have been granted.  Everyone thought that the businessmen of Ticonderoga understood local conditions better than the commission, whose members may never have even been within the town limits.  The Ticonderoga Sentinel reported that in ace of these facts, the reasons given in rejecting the application was beyond explanation.

A meeting of the directors of the company was called for December 22, 1905 in Ticonderoga.  N. R. Holmes of Troy who had been promoting the extension was present. In a letter to F. T. Locke, secretary of the company, Mr. Holmes said the decision was entirely contrary to the views expressed by the Board at the hearings and the decision found facts that were not before the Board.  Holmes was confident that the decision would be appealed with a result in the favor of the electric railroad.

The text of the decision stated, 

"This application, by the Ticonderoga Union Terminal Railroad Company for a certificate under section 59 of the railroad law was filed with this Board on July 27, 1905, the applicant proposing to build a street surface railroad from a point at or near the center line of the Rutland Railroad Company's track at Addison Junction in the town of Ticonderoga Essex county, to and through the village of Ticonderoga to a point at or near the entrance of the lumber yard of the Smith Lumber Company, a distance of about five miles."  

Public hearings on the matter were given by this Board on September 5, October 11, and November 9. Holmes, Bryan & Holmes appeared for the applicant.

The Railroad Appeals
As reported on December 28, 1905, the businessmen of Ticonderoga decided not to accept the State Railroad Board's decision to reject their application and would take their case to the courts.  This was a unanimous decision of the board members - N. R. Holmes, W. W. Richards, A. H. Weed, F. B. Wickes, F. T. Locke, and A. B. Atkins.

The directors of the Ticonderoga Union Terminal Railroad Company sought a certificate of the rail line from the state board of railroad commissioners stating that the construction of the line was a public convenience and necessity.  The Delaware and Hudson Railroad opposed the petitioner's application.  The commissioners therefore refused the certificate.  The directors therefore appealed the decision.  The case was argued before P. J. Parker, J. Smith, and J. J. Cochrane.  Bryan Holmes argued for the petitioner, the Ticonderoga Union Terminal Railroad Company while Lewis E. Carr argued for the respondent, the Delaware and Hudson Company.

The record indicated that the petitioner made a strong case for a certificate of necessity and convenience of a trolley road upon the proposed route.  It was stated as a fraction over four miles in length and the construction cost was estimated around $60,000, financed by the citizens of Ticonderoga.  These citizens were listed as substantially unanimous in their testimony that the trolley system was indeed desirable and necessary.  These witness conclusions seemed sustained by the facts sworn to in detail.  In addition, one of the commissioners, in the course of the proceeding, made a statement that the necessity of the road was conceded.  This statement regarding the necessity of the road was conceded and the statement was not challenged by the Delaware and Hudson Railroad's counsel.  The judges stated that under the circumstances, they were of the opinion that the certificate should not have been refused because of a doubt in the minds of the commissioners whether the road would be a paying one.

However, the certificate requested by the Ticonderoga Union Terminal Railroad was one which the commission had no power to grant.  The court stated that, under section 59 of the railroad law, the commission was limited to a certificate of the necessity of the road proposed in the petitioning road's articles of association.  The route for which Union Terminal finally asked varied from that proposed in the articles of association, especially in its eastern terminus.  Without the power to grant the certificate on condition that the petitioner changed the route from that proposed in the articles of association to that finally requested.

On November 14, 1906, the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division (Third Department) issued a decision from an appeal from the State Board of Railroad Commissioners.

Holmes Proposes Steamers
In August of 1906, N. R. Holmes, who was prominently identified with the construction of the proposed Ticonderoga electric railway, announced an outline of plans for a new line of steamers on Lake Champlain to compete with those operated by the Champlain Transportation Company.  The proposed independent freight steamers were to operate between Plattsburg and Burlington and even Whitehall.  The goal, of course, was to find the money necessary to carry out the project.  This new endeavor was proposed to begin the following spring. It had been years since passengers steamers were run to Whitehall on account of the narrow channel between Whitehall and Ticonderoga, specifically, the dangerous turn at "the bow" just north of Whitehall.  The plan, however, called for this obstacle to be improved by dredging, and essentially enlarging the Champlain canal.

The project of putting this new steamer line was really an outgrowth from the electric railway being built between Whitehall and Granville as well as the proposed Ticonderoga Union Terminal Railroad.  The new steamer line would connect with both electric lines.  Work on the Whitehall-Granville road, nine miles of which were constructed two years previously, began the week before with plans to rapidly complete the project.

The action brought for a review by the State Railroad commissioners in denying the application of the Ticonderoga Terminal Railway Company was scheduled to be presented to the Appellate division of the Supreme court at the September term.  

The 1st Ticonderoga which sailed on Lake George from 1883 to 1901. (M. Wright collection)

This case came before the Supreme court in May, when, through a writ of certiorari, all of the evidence taken before the board was brought before the court. However, Lewis E, Carr, counsel for the Delaware and Hudson, appeared before the court and raised the objection that this evidence should be brought before the court not by certiorari, but by being certified by the commissioners to the Supreme court direct.  The court sustained this objection and dismissed the writ without costs.  The promoters of the road had strong hopes that the decision of the commissioners would be reversed when the case was argued the following month.

In the meantime, attorney N. R. Holmes arrived in Ticonderoga during the week of September 10, 1906.  The electric railroad case was set for argument in the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court September 28.  Originally, arguments in the case were to have been heard September 12, but Lewis E. Carr, counsel for the Delaware and Hudson did not have his brief ready and the court granted an adjournment. Holmes was rather confident at this point that the court decision would be favorable to his side of the case.

Electric Road Decision Becomes a Victory
Despite previous disappointment when the State Railroad Commission refused the application for the electric railroad charter and a subsequent appeal where the original decision was sustained, things appeared to have changed by November 29, 1906.  The Ticonderoga Sentinel reported that Ticonderogians were surprised and pleased to learn that the decision, which at first report seemed to be a defeat, turned out to be an apparent victory.  According to the decision, which was unanimous and which was printed in the newspaper in full, the application, though still lost, was lost simply through a technicality.  The court held that the necessity for the road was fully established by the testimony of the witnesses at the hearing before the railroad commissioners, as was conceded by one the commissioners, and the application for a certificate, had it been properly drawn, should have been granted.  The court stated that as presented, however, the commissioners had no power to grant the application. In short, the newspaper reported, the application was defeated by an error in the application.  This error was due to the route of the road at its eastern extremity after having been changed after the application for charter had been drawn.  The railroad as originally surveyed, was to cross the Delaware and Hudson tracks near the Addison Junction station.  This necessitated a grade crossing and to obviate this objection, a new survey was made, crossing the tracks over the Addison Junction tunnel.  The counsel for the railroad, however, failed to note the route change in the application.

The Company is Dissolved
A notice for a special meeting of the the directors and stockholders of the Ticonderoga Union Terminal Railroad Company was posted an on December 4, 1906 and printed in the December 6, 1906 issue of the Ticonderoga Sentinel.  The meeting was held on December 26, 1906 at the Weed Opera House in Ticonderoga occurred at 11 a.m.  During the meeting, the directors of the railroad company decided to make another application to the state board of railroad commissioners for permission to construct the railroad line.  To do this and avoid a delay of a year, as the law required in the case of the same company making an application that has been once rejected, it was necessary to dissolve the old corporation and organize anew under another and make a new survey.  The group decided to pursue this and to push the matter with all possible speed.

N. R. Holmes briefly outlined the current status of the project and announced it was necessary to dissolve the current corporation and organize a new company.  Therefore the group decided to dissolve the existing corporation, give the money currently on deposit at the First National Bank back to stock holders, and organize a new railroad corporation for the restated purpose of building and operating an electric railroad along the road of the amended route of the old corporation.  The meeting was well attended with 19 of the stockholders and other persons not financially interested and organized with the unanimous selection of F. T. Locke as chairman and the appointment of R. V. Smith as secretary.

A. B. Adkins, one of the solicitors of stock subscriptions for the company, stated that original subscriptions to the amount of $5000 were on deposit at the bank.  W. W. Richards, cashier, however, had allowed interest on the deposit and the sum so derived together with one hundred dollars subscribed each by himself and Holmes, Locke, and Gridley had been devoted to paying incidental expenses.  Holmes made no charges for his services.  Following protracted discussions by Holmes and Adkins, a discussion was held regarding the disposition of the franchise and rights of the company in its dissolution and the forming of a new company to go with the road.  There had been considerable trouble and expense in securing the franchise so the group wanted to avoid this in forming any new corporation.  Therefore, W. W. Richards moved that the directors be empowered to transfer the franchises.  The motion was opposed by Robert Dornburgh on the ground that it opened the way to the franchises, the value of which he pointed out falling into objectionable hands and he offered as an amendment that the directors be empowered to transfer the franchises only upon a two-thirds vote of the stock of the company at a meeting called for that purpose.  Richards accepted the amendment and the group unanimously adopted it.

Holmes offered a resolution, which had been tabled to give precedence to the motion to give the above power to the director.  This was presented and carried unanimously.  This resolution stated, 

"It appearing by the decision of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court that the railroad company (Ticonderoga Union Terminal) has been unable to secure a certificate under section 59 of the Railroad Law, it becomes necessary to dissolve the corporation in that it cannot lawfully proceed with the purpose of its incorporation:  Be it resolved that the directors of the said corporation are hereby authorized, empowered and directed to make an application to the Supreme Court for the dissolution of the said corporation and the payment of the cash assets of said company to the stockholders."  

As soon as the court granted the permission, those stockholders who wished to withdraw would be paid back their money.  There were four stockholders present at the meeting who wanted their money returned.  A motion was offered and carried that the chairman appoint a committee of five to investigate the route of a new road to be applied for by a new company and the organization of such a company.  The chairman appointed W. W. Richards, H. J. Belden, L. R. Mead, M. V. Drake, and A. H. Weed as committee members.

This committee was charged to interview the stockholders present at the meeting and learn their views on the matter of reorganization and whether they would leave their money on deposit.  The committee also investigated a new route and reported that they had been over the ground and that they had decided that the original route with a few minor changes was the most feasible.

The subject of the dissolution of the Ticonderoga Union Terminal Railroad came before Justice Van Kirk at a special term of the Supreme Court at Sandy Hill on Saturday, April 13, 1907.  N. R. Holmes again appeared for the company and stated the company was in excellent condition, with no outstanding debt. Justice Van Kirk then granted the order to dissolve the company.  The Ticonderoga Sentinel reported that the dissolution of the company did not necessarily mean that the bottom had fallen out of the project.

A stockholders meeting was held after the court decision was rendered and it was voted to dissolve the company and form a new one as a number of people had already decided to buy stock in any new company organized.  The amount originally subscribed in the corporation was $5,000.  Withdrawals amounted to about $2,000, however, it was expected that this amount of money could be easily raised in the event that a new company was organized, which was still the plan at this point in 1907.  No further news of a new corporation was published and it appeared that the project ended here. 


 

THIS SECTION IS UNDER A BLUE FLAG

MORE COMING SOON

 

 

Tahawus Railroad Project
Original Attempts to Reach the Ore
In the mid to late 1800s, the element Titanium was scarcely known. Iron, however, was another matter. Ironmasters were always looking for new sources of high-grade ore and the great wilderness tracts of New York State's Adirondack Mountains appeared to show some promise. When an Indian by the name of Lewis Elija showed a large chunk of ore to three Scottsmen who were running a small furnace at North Elba, it appeared that a lucrative business was at hand. Elija led the men through a pass into the mountains to a vein of nearly pure ore nearly 50 feet wide. The Scottsmen immediately filed a claim. They cleared the land and established two settlements, but ten years passed before they formed the Adirondac Iron & Steel Company, headed by Archibald McIntyre and aided by his son-in-law, David Henderson.  

McIntyre and Henderson had a problem.  They had the ore, furnace, limestone, charcoal, and the plant to make iron, but how could they get the iron out of the region?  A railroad seemed like the obvious solution.  The two entrepreneurs formed the Adirondack Railroad in 1839.  This line extended three miles from the McIntyre Iron Works to absolutely nowhere.  The company entertained other ideas, but Henderson, the life of the project, was accidentally shot and killed at a place today called Calamity Pond.  Another rail project, the Sackets Harbor & Saratoga Railroad Company began in 1854 with some 30 miles of disconnected sections.  Soon, financial issues struck.  Additional companies came and went, work stopped at the iron mines.  The abandoned settlement of Adirondac, or McIntyre, became an Eastern ghost town.

Sanford Lake, National Lead Company pit, the railroad wye (lower right), village of Tahawus. (Trains Magazine, Jan 1959; M. Wright collection)

Thomas C. Durant tried his hand at completing the railroad to McIntyre and almost made it when in 1863, the new Adirondack Company was formed.  In 1865, 25 miles of track was operating, much of this laid under Durant's personal supervision.  The first train ran from Saratoga Springs to Wolf Creek, just above Hadley village.  Durant added a bit more mileage each year in an attempt to get at the ore.  By 1871, rails reached North Creek, then three miles north of that point.  Durant purchased the entire iron ore property, but the 1873 money panic dashed all hopes of building a railroad to the mines.  The Delaware & Hudson purchased the line, which still had not reached the iron mine, for around $690,000 in 1889.  The final attempt at reaching the mines occurred in 1897 when the rails reached Long Lake, finishing on the same day that New York State filed condemnation papers saving the land for conservation purposes, appearing to forever block access by rail to the lands.  It wasn't over yet...enter Wallace T. Foote.

A New Route is Considered
In 1908, Wallace T. Foote of Port Henry took control of the mine property which was then called the MacIntyre Iron Company.  Foote proposed an entirely new route from MacIntyre to Burdick's Crossing, north of Crown Point, connecting with the main line of the Delaware and Hudson.  He planned to use long detours to avoid parcels of state land.  While the Ticonderoga Railroad was busy operating, the March 19, 1908 edition of the Ticonderoga Sentinel announced that the people of Blue Ridge and North Hudson were confident that this new projected railroad to the Newcomb mines would benefit them.  North Creek and Minerva were also confident of reaping the benefits of a new railroad.  Even Ticonderoga hoped to be favored in this new railroad venture as a survey was made the previous summer, passing through the northern part of the town in the Streetroad area.  The favored route was unknown at this point or, if it was known, no one said anything about it.

Securing a Right of Way
The Ticonderoga Sentinel reported on March 26, 1908 that during the previous week, two men who represented the Tahawus Iron Ore company, owners of the great iron ore deposits in Newcomb, which were expected to be developed, appeared in the Streetroad section of Ticonderoga and secured the names of property owners whose lands were crossed by the survey for a railroad to the mines made the previous summer.  At this point, it appeared that Ticonderoga was under consideration as the eastern terminal of the railroad.  The route of this survey led from Lake Champlain through Streetroad past the old Vineyard mine and along Eagle and Paradox lakes to Severance.  From Severance it would run northerly to Carson's and from there through Blue Ridge to the mines.   A party of surveyors was also at work between Schroon Falls and Carson's.

Those in Blue Ridge thought that they were sure to have a railroad through their community.  It was reported that one of their townsmen intended to put in a bid for grading a certain section.  It was also reported that F. C. Rolles of Saratoga Springs was boarding at the Hotel Carson with his force of helpers surveying land for the proposed railroad.  News from Severance on April 2, 1908 reported workers were surveying the route for the railroad.

Surveys Begin
By April 9, a preliminary survey of another route for the railroad to the Newcomb iron mines was under way.  This route led from the mines through the Schroon River and then to the lake shore through the village of Moriah Center.  If this route was adopted, it would connect with the Delaware & Hudson a short distance south of Port Henry.

The Ticonderoga Sentinel reported on April 16, 1908 that two surveys were completed.  The people in Minerva were sure that that railroad to the Newcomb mines was going through their town and in Schroon, North Hudson, Ticonderoga, and Moriah, the people were just as certain that the road was coming their way.  In truth, the engineers employed in surveying the routes didn't even know which one would be selected.  No decision was planed until engineers completed surveys of all possible routes.  However, the surveys of two routes, those by way of North Creek and Ticonderoga, were completed leaving two additional surveys for completion.  These two remaining surveys involved routes terminating at Port Henry and near Crown Point.  The engineering force was at work on the Port Henry route at that point in time.  The engineer and his men were in the employ of the Tahawus Iron Ore Company and not the Delaware and Hudson, as many people seemed to think.

Ticonderoga as the Terminus
By April 23, it looked like Ticonderoga, specifically Addison Junction, would be the eastern terminal of the railroad to mines in Newcomb.  Those in Ticonderoga naturally showed some elation over this news.  A representative of the company arrived in town on April 23, 1908 to interview those persons whose lands were crossed by the survey and to get prices for the right of way.  The representative stated that the choice of route was actually between Ticonderoga and North Creek with the chances favorable to the former.  From the iron mines, if the Ticonderoga route was used, the road would pass through Schroon River and Streetroad and end at or near Addison Junction, where connections could be made with the Delaware & Hudson and Rutland railroads. 

A map of the proposed route for the Champlain & Sanford Railroad with its terminus at Addison Junction outside Ticonderoga. (New York State Archives, M. Wright collection)

The statement that the Ticonderoga route would be selected was strengthened by the fact that the railroad company, which was now identified as the Champlain and Sanford Railroad company, was incorporated with the secretary of state to operate a steam or electric line 58 miles long from Addison Junction to Sanford Hill at the mines, on the east shore of Lake Sanford in Essex county.  The capital was reported as $400,000 and the directors were Charles M. Hyatt, Andrew Thompson, James Mae, N. Thompson, Guy T. Hills, David A. Thompson, Lew R. Parker, Andrew B. Jones, Sydney T. Jones, and McNaughton Miller.

In a small note in the April 30, 1908 issue of the Ticonderoga Sentinel, the paper stated that it understood the route of the railroad was chosen.  It was to go from Addison Junction up through the Schroon River and Blue Ridge and as far as the Sand Pond hotel where it would then head north the Upper Iron Works.  However, plans changed.  A railroad to Schroon Lake was still a certainty.  A party of surveyors were at work surveying a route from Riverside to Schroon Lake, then north through the Schroon valley to Newcomb.  D. A. Thompson of Albany, son of a Delaware and Hudson official, who was lecturing in Ondawa on April 29, 1908, commented on the new route of the proposed railroad stating that it would be 38 miles nearer and over a better grade than by way of Ticonderoga or Crown Point as formerly planned.  Mr. Thompson also spoke of the benefits that Schroon would derive from an enterprise of this kind.  A petition was circulated for the purpose of getting all the taxable inhabitants, who were in favor of the proposed railroad, to sign.  At this point, approximately two hundred had already signed.

Objections to a Railroad
With Ticonderoga now apparently out of the running for a second railroad, the prospect of the successful completion of the road was itself, now in jeopardy in May 1908.  Cottagers and owners of property along the shores of Eagle, or Chilson, lake began objecting to the threatened railroad invasion. The route of the railroad to the Newcomb mines, as given in the company's applications for a certificate of incorporation, brought the route along the south shore of the lake.

Supervisor John Carson of North Hudson and three members of the corps of engineers who were making the survey for the railroad to the Newcomb mines were in Ticonderoga on Saturday, May 9, 1908.  One of the party stated that in running the road to Ticonderoga an effort would be made to avoid Eagle, or Chilson lake on account of the many fine cottages that dotted the shore and which would be injured as summer residences by the railroad.  It was possible that the railroad could be accomplished by finding another route through by Johnson pond. 

A concerned citizen, Peter Flint, Chairman of the Committee on Fisheries, Eagle (Chilson) Lake Property Owners' Associate sent a very lengthy and detailed letter to the Ticonderoga Sentinel on May 4, 1908 and which was then published in the May 21, 1908 edition of the paper.  In his letter, Flint expressed surprise regarding the railroad venture from Ticonderoga westward passing the south shore of Eagle Lake (formerly called Long Pond or Chilson Lake) eight miles west of the village and requested the promoters and directors to select a more proper, natural and convenient route.

Flint commented on the beauty of Eagle Lake and how the Eagle Lake Improvement company had ten years earlier begun to offer its south shore lots for purchase.  Many city people had since erected their permanent summer homes in the area.  In addition, the Eagle Lake hotel catered to tourists with accommodations for 100 guests, large barns, and a livery.  Flint claimed the spring used by the local community would lie in the railroad's road bed denying everyone of their supply of pure, healthful drinking. water.  Also of concern was the increased fire danger from the passing locomotives.  This was a serious problem during this time and many forest fires were directly linked to steam locomotive railroads.  Flint claimed the railroad was expected to wipe out a number of smaller lodges and cottages lying between the shore and Eagle Cliff where the rails would pass.  The route would destroy a new store erected to furnish supplies to guests and located near the shore by the roadside.

According to Flint, there was no space for homes on the south shore of Eagle Lake if the railroad was put through due to the situation of the land.  Either the homes or the railroad could remain and the homes were there first.  He did venture a proposal, however.  Flint suggested the railroad leave Lake Champlain at Crown Point following the once well laid out lines of the Crown Point, Ironville, and Hammondville railroad, once actively operated for a number of years to bring ore from the Hammondville mines to the furnaces at Lake Champlain.  The furnaces were removed, but the rails remained and were unused, but fenced.  The grades and culverts were still in good condition.  If entrance from Ticonderoga was necessary, a good route, according to Flint, was down the level valley of Putt's Creek from Chilson to Ironville.   

Flint surmised that perhaps these suggestions had not yet been considered, but either way he stated that the people of Eagle Lake and Ticonderoga did not want a railroad along either shore of their beautiful lake with a bunch of "foreigners shooting every living thing in sight" as well as the usual following of the tramp.  Despite his plea, surveyors were still working a week later on May 28, 1908.

A New Route
On June 11, 1908 the Ticonderoga Sentinel announced that the route for the Champlain & Sanford Railroad company, recently incorporated with the secretary of state to build a railroad from Addison Junction to the iron ore mine at Sanford Lake, Newcomb, gave notice that the route would be changed to make an extension of the road to Riverside on the Adirondack branch of the Delaware and Hudson.  Under this route the railroad would run from the mines to Schroon River and then turning south would pass the north end of Schroon Lake, Schroon Lake village, south along the shore of the lake to Pottersville, then to Riverside.  This is not what those in Ticonderoga wanted.  Rights of way along this route were already purchased according to the article.  The Ticonderoga Sentinel was unable to get in touch with company officials to learn whether or not the Addison Junction route was actually dropped.  

The company was incorporated with at least $1,000 stock for every mile of railroad to be built, having a reported subscribed capital stock of $600,000.  The charter of the company was for 999 years and gave permission for the operation of either a steam or electric road, but it was understood that steam as to be used as a motive power.  Work was planned to begin on the road in the very near future although this was not further defined.  It was now rumored that the Delaware and Hudson company would build the railroad to the mines and that this had something to do with the change in route, with the Riverside terminus, which although longer, was less expensive to build on account of less rock excavation required.  If the railroad used Addison Junction as a terminus, connections could have been made with the Rutland Railroad as well as the Delaware and Hudson.  Shipments could also be made by canal.  None of this would have been in the best interest of the Delaware and Hudson, however, and it looked as though they now may be in charge.

Map showing the route to North Creek and the proposed Champlain & Sanford route from the Tahawus mine to Burdick's Crossing. (Trains Magazine, Jan 1959; M. Wright collection)

Although the decision in route was apparently made, the June 25, 1908 edition of the Ticonderoga Sentinel had a short article in Local Notes stating that no official decision was yet made.  This article stated that a railroad official indicated that engineers were still conducting surveys and there was still a chance that Ticonderoga could get the railroad.  Even by July 11, 1908, there was still no official decision from the railroad regarding the route..

Public Service Commission Hearing
Judge Richard L. Hand of Elizabethtown appeared before the upstate Public Service Commission on Tuesday, July 14, 1908 representing the proposed Champlain and Sanford Railroad company.  The railroad sought permission for the construction of 57 miles of railroad, the terminal points listed as Sanford Hill, in Essex county and Riverside in Warren county, in order to make a junction with the Delaware and Hudson railroad and in order to develop what would hopefully be the greatest iron ore region in the world (Tahawus).

The purpose of the hearing was to allow the promoters of the railroad to show the necessity for the proposition.   Hand pointed out that rich iron ore deposits were known to exist in the vicinity of Lake Sanford as early as 1825.  At that time, an effort was made to develop the mineral wealth, but the death of the prime mover of the scheme interfered with that goal.  Assuming that the ore existed, Judge Hand showed that the deposit was removed from all transportation facilities by at least fifty miles.   He claimed the railroad was necessary to bring the ore to market, and incidentally urged that such an agency would serve as a protection against forest fires by speedily bringing aid and that it would serve as a constant patrol.  In addition, he claimed the region was rich in scenic beauty, and that a railroad would give the needed impetus for a development which was now impeded and that it would aid places that were widely known as summer resorts and which were dependent upon bus service for the arrival of numerous patrons.  Hand apparently knew all the right language.  If this proposition was approved, then Ticonderoga was definitely out of the running as the Lake Champlain terminal.

William P. Rudd, representing the New York Central railroad, was one of three appearing in opposition.  Rudd said that he had no specific objections, however, and was merely objecting in order to become versed in the matter.  Ellis J. Staley, representing the State Forest, Fish and Game Commission, claimed that the state would resist any invasion of its rights and that a steam railroad would be objected to on the ground that forest fires were frequent.  Rudd disagreed with Hand, who used the railroad as a preventor rather than an abettor of forest fires. 

George N. Ostander of Glens Falls, representing Finch, Pruyn & Company, also objected to a steam line.  He asserted that his clients owned 30,000 acres of land along the route of the proposed road.  Other than this he, too was in favor of the proposition.

Judge Hand then called Wallace T. Foote, Jr., of Port Henry, the principal shareholder of the iron ore land, to testify.  Mr. Foote, long identified with the iron industry, provided sensational testimony.  He asserted that an investigation of one-tenth of the tract, which extended for three miles along Lake Sanford and had a breadth of one mile, showed that there were 225,000,000 tons of rich ore waiting for a market.  He pointed out that the region could produce more ore than any in the world and that the cost of operation would be less than that of others.

Foote said 1,000 tons of the ore was tested and, as a result, Bethlehem Steel Company had placed an order for 6,000,000 tons in the event the railroad was granted permission to construct the railroad to transport it.  Bethlehem needed 200,000 tons for twenty years.  Foote also demonstrated how the furnaces of the Burden Company in Troy; the furnaces on Breaker Island, between Albany and Troy; the furnaces at Poughkeepsie and several near New York would again be put into operation if this railroad could bring ore to these facilities.  Foote showed how foreign competition could be driven out because of a superior quality ore and a considerable reduction in the price of the product.  

After Mr. Foote left the stand he told reporters that work on the railroad would begin in the near future if permission was granted.  Those who appeared in opposition only did so as a means of precaution and expressed the hope that the necessary franchise would be granted.  All agreed that unsurpassed opportunities for the development of the greatest iron ore region in the world were at hand.

Petitions to the Public Service Commission
On July 23, 1908, the Warrensburg News reported, and the the Ticonderoga Sentinel confirmed on July 30, 1908 that the Champlain and Sanford Railroad, through its president, J. Thompson, advised the Public Service Commission that it agreed with the order of the commission granting a certificate of convenience and necessity if the certificate contained a provision requiring the electrical operation of the proposed railroad.  The company, however, reserved the right in the event of unforeseen  and insurmountable obstacles arising to electrical operation, to again bring the matter before the commission for further consideration regarding the motive power.

On Friday, August 14, 1908, the Public Service Commission granted authority to the Champlain & Sanford Railroad company to build the proposed road from the Tahawus mines in Newcomb to connect with the Delaware & Hudson at Riverside.  It was proposed that the railroad would operate by electricity to guard against forest fires.  Construction work was expected to begin before the snow fell.  The Tahawus Iron Ore Company would operate the mine after purchasing a majority of the stock of the McIntyre Iron company.  With this authorization, it seemed certain that Ticonderoga was out of consideration as the Lake Champlain terminus via Addison Junction.  However, the twists and turns in this venture were not quite complete.

Surveyors were at work at the iron company at Tahawus by late November, 1908.  At this point they were surveying a route from North Creek to Newcomb by way of Olmstedville and Minerva.  The November 26, 1908 issue of the Ticonderoga Sentinel also reported that a rumor in that section of the line stated the route would finally be decided soon.  It is uncertain why the route was still unknown if the Public Service Commission had already approved the certificate of convenience.

By February 4, 1909, six months after the Public Service Commission hearing, the Ticonderoga Sentinel reported that the route still was not decided.  Whether Ticonderoga would be the terminal point seemed to depend upon who would build the railroad.  If the Delaware and Hudson constructed the railroad, then the terminus was definitely expected to be Riverside.  If the iron ore company constructed the railroad, then it was thought that Ticonderoga would still be favored as the terminus.

This notice was published in the Ticonderoga Sentinel on February 29, 1909. (M. Wright collection)

Terminus Selected
On February 25, 1909, it was reported in the Ticonderoga Sentinel that the Delaware and Hudson would not build the railroad and that the terminal would be Addison Junction near Ticonderoga.  The railroad would be constructed using private capital.  It was believed that the superior railroad and water connections led to the selection of Ticonderoga as the terminus.  The railroad route, as surveyed, would now pass to the north of Ticonderoga ending near Addison Junction.  Construction was expected to begin in the Spring.  Rights of way and options were reportedly already secured along the entire route.  The main goal of those in Ticonderoga at this point was to induce the railroad company to move the route closer to the village.  A public meeting was held in Weeds' Opera House on Friday, February 26 at eight o'clock to discuss the railroad.  A railroad company representative was expected to attend.

A large number of men attended the meeting to discuss the Tahawus railroad issue and to meet the railroad representative, but were greatly disappointed when the official failed to appear.  A notion was offered and unanimously carried that President T. B Warren of the Business Men's Association to appoint a committee to appear before the Public Service commission for the purpose of securing a change in the route of the railroad from Riverside, the terminal first selected, to Ticonderoga and, in short, to look after the town's interest in the matter.  Ticonderoga was taking no chances in another change in the Lake Champlain terminal point.  The motion was carried and the meeting adjourned.

On Wednesday evening, March 3, 1909, President Warren called the executive committee of the Business Men's Association together and appointed the committee provided for in the motion carried at the previous public meeting.  His selection included Supervisor Bullen, Dr. Clemons, Frank Moses, H. D. Hoffnagle, Albert Weed, G. W Johnson, Arthur DeLano, E. M. Wheeler, and F. B. Wickes.  It was believed this was a representative body of men eminently qualified to deal with the issue.  The committee's duties included assisting the railroad company in securing a franchise and charter; to convince the company to run the railroad in the immediate vicinity of the village of Ticonderoga; and to represent the town's business interests.

Revised Petition to the Public Service Commission
In May 1909, the Champlain and Sanford Railroad filed another application with the Public Service Commission giving the railroad the option to use either electrically powered or oil burning locomotives.  It was reported that the application included this as a new option and was filed through the president of the company, Andrew Thompson.  This was indeed a change in the original order provision which only included electrical power.   However, the application contained other changes.

The railroad company also asked for permission to change the route of the railroad to connect with the Delaware and Hudson near Addison Junction.  No actual construction work had yet occurred on the railroad and nothing was expected to start until the next year.  Thompson recited in his petition that the railroad proposed to abandon the previously authorized route from its southernmost point at Riverside to a point about three and a half miles north of Schroon Lake.  Instead, the new petition called for the line to run southerly to a point about two miles south of Schroon Lake; then take a generally easterly route along or near the northern side of Paradox Lake to the hamlet of Hammondville; continue to and across Penfield pond by viaduct at its narrowest point; then easterly and southerly to the hamlet of Streetroad; southerly to a point on Lake Champlain about one mile north of Addison Junction; and finally south to an intersection at Addison Junction with the main line of the Delaware and Hudson railroad.

The Forest Fish and Game Department presented opposition to the railroad's new proposal in the application during a Public Service Commission hearing on Tuesday, May 18, 1909.  The department also objected to the location of the railroad in a section of state land known as the Paradox tract.  The railroad company explained that a change of route in Warren county was contemplated to avoid grades and to make connection with the Delaware and Hudson and Rutland Railroads at Addison Junction on Lake Champlain.  The hearing was adjourned until May 26.  

The Ticonderoga Sentinel reported on May 27, 1909 that the Supreme Court at Ballston granted an order permitting the Champlain and Sanford Railroad Company to construct its railroad upon, across and along the certain portions of the highways of the towns of Ticonderoga, Crown Point, Schroon, and North Hudson in Essex County.

On June 10, 1909, it was reported that the Public Service Commission, Second District, granted the Champlain and Sanford's application for a change of motive power.  Under the terms of the new order, the railroad could operate by either electrical power or oil burning locomotives.  The Commission also granted the railroad permission and approval to change its route so that no part of it would be in the county of Warren and all of it within the county of Essex.  The route was as described in the revised application.

The Ticonderoga Sentinel reported a surveying corps of eight Champlain and Sanford Railroad men were in the Exchange Hotel in mid-December 1909.  The group was making additional surveys of the railroad route through Ticonderoga.  The next week, around the end of December, the men were working in the Weedville section on a run through the village.  The line came from Streetroad, passed the spar mine, passed Prospect Street near Frank Denton's residence, then turned to the left passing through the Weed and Burleigh lots, then finally towards Addison Junction.  The workmen working the line stated that this route was merely a spur running to the village from the main line.  The men remained in the area for approximately two weeks conducting their survey.   Options for rights of way through property in the town were renewed from time to time.  The railroad company's plans were still being kept very much in the dark.  Work on one of the proposed routes was expected to begin in the Spring.

Land Purchased for Terminal
After a lengthy period of no commitment by the railroad, the Champlain and Sanford Railroad Company closed a deal with Frederick Ives of Ticonderoga during the first week of March, 1910 for the purchase of 63 acres of his farmland.  The land, located on the shore of Lake Champlain just north of Addison Junction was to be the terminal point for the railroad.  Finally, it appeared the citizens of Ticonderoga had definitive proof and commitment from the railroad that Ticonderoga would be the terminal point for the iron ore railroad from Newcomb.  This was very gratifying news for those in Ticonderoga.

A Major Setback
Track work continued to make progress.  By December 8, 1910, a crew of surveyors was at work near Streetroad.  However, on December 17, 1910, Wallace Foote died suddenly at the age of 46 before the railroad could be properly financed or the ore given final testing for use in steel mills.  Meetings would continue and the Assembly would extend the time for the railroad to begin construction.  Foote's death, however, would essentially end the project.

Lake Placid Outlet Rumor
The January 25, 1912 edition of the Ticonderoga Sentinel reported that some doubt was cast over a statement made in a article dealing with prospecting work going on in the Tahawus iron ore mine.  The article stated that the largest iron ore deposit in the world had been found by Witherbee and Sherman Company engineers at Tahawus and that Lake Placid could be the outlet for the great ore property.

A meeting of railroad men and stockholders of the Witherbee, Sherman company was held at Port Henry the previous week to discuss the building of a railroad to the vein, a project that had been one of the objects of the company for several years.  This recent find was expected to hasten a railroad project. The Lake Placid railroad route, according to those who favored it, would lay along the old trail to McIntyre through Indian Pass.

The route considered for some time by the company and the railroad men was the one with its outlet at the southern end of Lake Champlain. This route was 30 miles long, while that from Lake Placid to McIntyre was half the distance.  However, the grades over the Lake Placid route were much heavier.  The Witherbee and, Sherman company had a force of engineers at work in the McIntyre district ever since it took the property of the McIntyre Iron company.  Meanwhile, residents of Schroon Lake were pleased to learn that the project of building the Champlain and Sanford railroad had not been abandoned.  Condemnation proceedings on a portion of Finch, Pruyn and company's land held in December 1911, resulted in favor of the railroad company.  It was expected that the work of acquiring the balance of right of way would soon be completed.

Railroad Gets Time Extension
The Ticonderoga Sentinel reported on March 28, 1912 that the Assembly passed the Parker Bill extending for three years the time within which the Lake Champlain and Sanford Company must begin and complete the construction of the railroad and expend ten percent of its capital.

Railroad Project Update
Prospects of this railroad were quiet in the newspapers for more than a year until August 28, 1913 when the Ticonderoga Sentinel published an article stating that a last a definite move toward the development of iron ore deposits had been started.  A large force of men were reportedly at work building a concentrating mill.  Upon completion of this facility, the work of mining and milling the ore would commence.  The mill was expected to be in operation by the fall of 1913 with the concentrates hauled to North Creek, the nearest railroad point for shipment.  Interestingly enough, the article continued to state that a railroad would eventually be constructed to the mines with the other terminal in Ticonderoga.

The Ticonderoga Sentinel reported on January 22, 1914 that work of building the railroad to the Tahawus iron works into the town of Newcomb was progressing.  A traction engine was drawing freight from North Creek to the Lower Works.  On one haul during a single day, it brought eleven tons on two sleighs coupled to the engine.  Six sleighs would be used later.  When the railroad was completed, plans called for using five engines to take ore out and bring back freight.

A party of state Department of Highways engineers began work at Eagle Lake on October 29, 1914 laying out a new route for a short stretch of the proposed Schroon Lake-Ticonderoga state road.  The proposed Tahawus railroad, as surveyed, would cross the road several times near Eagle Lake therefore the engineers began laying out a new route to eliminate these crossings.  This news appeared that at least the highway officials believed that there was a prospect of the railroad being constructed.

Delaware & Hudson train proceeds up to Boreas River Canyon and eventually the mines at Sanford Lake. (Trains Magazine, Jan 1959; M. Wright collection)

Railroad Gets Time Extension - Again
In March 1915, Senator Emerson introduced a bill extending for three years the time within which the Champlain & Sanford Railroad company could begin construction of its railroad and expend ten per cent of the amount of its capital and the time within which the company could finish the railroad and put it in operation.  All surveys were completed at this point.  Rumors were that construction of the railroad from Newcomb to the Ives farm in Ticonderoga and development of the mines were to begin during the summer of 1915, but these rumors seemed to have no foundation.  By early April 1915, the Assembly passed all the bills introduced by Senator Kenyon including extending the time for starting construction of the Champlain & Sanford railroad.

Despite the fact that this rail line with a terminus at Ticonderoga never materialized, legislation for the extension of the Champlain & Sanford railroad charter, even as late as March 1921, still continued and expectations were that funding was still possible.  The proposed introduction of a bill by Senator Ferris extending the life of the Champlain & Sanford railroad disclosed that the McNaughton mining properties at Tahawus would be developed.  The state senate passed another bill introduced by Senator Ferris in April 1924 which again extended for one year the charter of the Champlain and Sanford Railroad to permit construction of the road to be begun in Essex county.  

On March 31, 1930, Assemblyman Fred L. Porter's bill further extending the time under which the Champlain and Sanford railroad company could complete its railroad had passed both houses of the legislature and was in the hands of the Governor. Under the provisions of the bill, the company was allowed up to April 18, 1934 to finish the road and get it in operation.

 

THIS SECTION IS UNDER A BLUE FLAG

MORE COMING SOON

 

 



The Railroad and the Paper Mill
Construction of the railroad in 1874 drastically altered La Chute River's outlet.  A causeway confined the river's flow into a narrow channel.  This hastened the formation of a marsh in the broad estuary where La Chute River meets Lake Champlain.  Ticonderoga Creek became a natural source of power for many early industrial businesses.  This waterpower has driven mills since French soldiers originally built a sawmill on the river in 1755. 

In the early 1800s, Ticonderoga emerged as a major producer of ships' lumber, iron and wool.  Later, graphite mills ground local ore into black lead for stove polish, crucibles and pencils.  Ticonderoga Creek (La Chute River) connected Ticonderoga to the world.  Almost overnight, the "Ti Creek Basin" filled with canal boats.  They arrived full of iron ore, coal and pulpwood as well as store goods.  They left filled with milled lumber, paper pulp, refined graphite, pig iron and foundry castings such as anchors, stoves, fire dogs and machine parts.  Ticonderoga's industries enjoyed cheap transportation for both incoming raw materials and outgoing manufactured goods.  Many of the canal boats transiting in and out of the creek basin originated in the local Ticonderoga ship yards.  Between 1819 and 1850, Ticonderoga boat builders constructed an average of ten canal boats per year. 

A very early look at the Ticonderoga paper mill and river circa 1885. By this date, the Baldwin Branch was 10 years old, but it would still be another 6 years before the Ticonderoga branch would enter the village. (M. Wright collection)

By the late 19th Century, the sawmills and textile factories gave way to pulp and papers mills that dominated the river banks for nearly a century.  The Hiram & Thomas Treadway woolen mill, constructed in 1834, profited from the early 19th century sheep farming boom (Marinos, imported from Spain, known for their long-staple wool which spun up into very fine yarn), but faded away to the next generation of industry at this location.  

Glens Falls Pulp & Paper Company
The old cotton factory at the base of the Upper Falls was sold in 1884 to the Glens Falls Pulp & Paper Company for the sum of $26,000.  This company installed machinery and began operations and would become what was popularly known as the "B" mill.  A rail spur was constructed to the front of the building as part of the new Ticonderoga Branch of the Delaware and Hudson Railroad. 

This facility, known at the time as the C Mill of the Glens Falls Pulp & Paper Company, burned on Friday, July 31, 1891.  Although the fire was discovered quickly, the entire building was consumed in flames quickly most likely due to the fact that the windows were all open and the Georgia pine floors were saturated with oil from its time as a cotton factory. 

The floors were also covered with fine dust from pulp, which helped spur the blaze.  A portion of the building destroyed was used by the company as a machine shop.  Destroyed inside were personal tools, a triple compound engine, and various articles of clothing and jewelry.  The fire was supposedly caused by the heating of a journal or the friction of a belt.

The Glens Falls Pulp Company began reconstruction to replace the burned facility by August 27, 1891.  The new mill was of the same capacity and located at the same site.  By October 1st, approximately 70 hands were employed in the construction at the bottom of the upper falls.  The 40' x 40' machine shop was completed and part of the machinery was in position.  Crews had completed the 180' x 55' foundation for the pulp mill and were working on the brick work.  The company would locate the 20' x 20' office between the pulp mill and machine shop.  The mill itself had a gravel roof.

The Glens Falls Pulp & Paper Company merged with the Lake George Pulp & Paper Company in 1893.  The new company name was the Lake George Paper Company.

Lake George Pulp & Paper Company (Upper Falls)
The upper falls site in 1808 began its industrial career with a saw mill operation.  Across the creek on the west bank was located a ground wood mill, owned by the George Weed family.  George C. Weed apparently, through agreement with Edward Ellice, became owner of his three Alexandria mills.  Weed along with John Lambert and William Higgins organized the Lake George Pulp and Paper Company in 1882.  The water privilege at the outlet from Lake George flowing into Ticonderoga Creek was owned by George C. Weed and leased to the Lake George Pulp and Paper Company.  

The introduction of the Lake George Pulp & Paper Company made a total of two paper mills in Ticonderoga.  Previous to this effort, the company already had two pulp mills (wet and dry), which were already turning out quantities of pulp.

Adding a Mill
This company announced on April 21, 1882 that they would increase their business by branching out and adding another paper mill as soon as the water in Ticonderoga Creek allowed.  The company announced it was nearly ready to begin building their new mill at the upper falls at the site of the old George C. Weed saw mill.  Reports on July 14, 1882 stated the timbers were being cut and contracted for and the work of laying foundations would begin at once.  The main building was four stories high, the top floor, which was called the rag room, was where the rags were received in 100-pound bales, assorted, and thrown into the rotary boiler.  They were then saturated with a strong solution of lime and chemicals by which the colors were withdrawn and the bleaching process began.  From this boiler, the rags underwent further processing and grinding.  On the building's third story, the rags were washed and mixed with wood pulp.  This mixture was forced through a screen, which removed all foreign and refuse material.

Adjoining and connected to the main building was the paper machine house (125' x 35'), which was a story and a half in height.  Inside was a paper machine manufactured by the Boston Machine Company.  This 84-inch Fourdrinier had 10 dryers and cost the company $15,000.  The pulp started at the west end of the machine and placed upon a shaking apron to distribute the soft, watery pulp evenly over the surface.  In passing though the machine, part of the moisture in the pulp was removed.  The pulp was then transferred to a blanket which covered it while it passed through the first two sets of rollers.  It passed over a second set of blankets, then to the steam dryers, and over other rollers and dryers until its final destination on a cylindrical reel in the form of paper.

The Baldwin Branch of the Delaware and Hudson Railroad passed within a few feet of the Lake George Pulp & Paper Company, which was convenient for receiving material and shipping pulp and paper products.

By August 25, 1882, the mill began receiving machinery, one piece weighing 20 tons, and the millwrights were busy doing their part of the work.  In September, the mill was employing a large number of mechanics, laborers, miner, and teamsters who were preparing the site and framing huge timbers.  

The Lake George Paper Company, the B mill, at the foot of the upper falls in 1910. (Ticonderoga Historical Society, M. Wright collection)

A large amount of rock was removed to make room for the main building.  The large cooking boilers, weighing in at nearly 20 tons each, arrived at the Lake George branch station in Ticonderoga around March 1.  The boilers were 7-feet in diameter and 22-feet in length with a capacity of 850 cubic feet each.  The foundation was completed by October 6 and required 600 yards of stone.

The machinery for the Lake George mill was on the ground on November 3, 1882 and was ready to be placed into position.  It was now a race to see which mill, Ticonderoga Pulp & Paper at the lower falls or Lake George Pulp & Paper located at the upper falls would make the first paper in Ticonderoga.

On January 5, 1883, the Lake George Pulp & Paper Company was within days of beginning operations.  This, however, did not occur and on February 2, 1883 it was reported that the mill was "nearly completed" and paper making was expected as early as February 10.  Water in Ticonderoga Creek was low at the time due to several months of drought.  It was hoped that a fair sized winter thaw would allow the mill to run at full capacity.  At the same time, the Ticonderoga Pulp & Paper Company was reported, "settling down to business" and expected four to five tons of pulp within a few days.  It's paper machine was in working order.  By February 16, this mill was up and running and producing excellent pulp, but was still not up to full capacity.  There was no indication that the mill was yet producing paper although the wood yards had about 1,200 cords of wood stored for the mills.  The mill ran day and night with employees changing shifts at 6 a.m. and 6 pm.  The steam whistle announced the shift changes and could be heard from miles around.

Operations Begin
On Friday, March 2, 1883, the Ticonderoga Sentinel reported that the Lake George Pulp & Paper Company made paper for the first time on Tuesday, February 28, reportedly the first ever newsprint produced in Ticonderoga.  It was originally ready for business a week previously and expected to make paper that day, but was unable to do so due to some unavoidable hindrance.  Records for its competitor, the Ticonderoga Pulp & Paper Company, stating when that facility made its first paper were unclear so who knows who really made the first paper in Ticonderoga.  The important fact was that two fine paper mills were producing and shipping excellent quality paper to many customers.

Other Changes
An 1885 document, Report on the Water-Power of Lake George Outlet, stated that the company's mill manufactured  dry pulp and news paper.  The capacity of the dry pulp mill was 600 tons per year while the capacity of the paper mill was 4 tons per day.  Another ground wood pulp mill had a capacity of 2 tons per day.

The Ticonderoga Sentinel reported Improvements in 1894 in its October 25 edition.  The old saw mill was torn down and men began constructing a stone raceway for the water on the north side which was to be covered with flat stone and earth in order to make a level space.  In this space, they would erect a building for a new paper machine . A railroad spur from the main railroad track was installed in order to deliver coal to the boiler room.  

 On July 30, 1896, the Ticonderoga Sentinel reported that the Lake George Paper Company had commenced making some extensive improvements in their paper mill. The engine room was being enlarged, the wooden walls removed and replaced with brick. The third story would be removed entirely. The boiler house was being enlarged.  Two new Corliss engines manufactured by the Slater Engine Co., Warren, Mass., had arrived and would soon be placed in position.  The larger engine, which had a 20x34 cylinder, would run the machinery of the mill when the water was low. The smaller engine, 12x15 cylinder, would drive the No. 1 paper machine.  The No. 1 and No. 2 paper machines were to be enlarged by adding new dryers, etc., which would increase their speed. An effort was made recently to make thirty tons of paper on the new No. 3 machine in twenty-four hours, which was more than successful, as thirty-one and one fourth tons were produced. This surpassed the known record of paper making.  There was one continuous run of eleven hours without a break. The average length of the sheet run off per minute was 440 feet. It was expected that when the improvements were completed, the average output of the three paper machines would equal fifty tons per day.

International Paper Company obtained the upper mills of the Lake George Paper Company in 1898 from a local group of Ticonderoga businessmen.  There were three small paper machines at the mill which produced newsprint.  Upper mill operations (Mill #14) did not survive the depression.  Everything was demolished in 1929 except the warehouse and power generation station.

The Lake George Pulp & Paper Company supplied such newspapers as the Baltimore Sun, Washington Post, Buffalo Commercial Advertiser, New Haven Register, and New Haven Journal.

In 1887 the building was greatly enlarged and in 1891 another paper machine was installed and the output was doubled.  

Upper Falls Improvements
The International Paper Company began building a new dam at the upper falls among other improvements around the mill in October 1903.  D. H. Cowles of Glens Falls was the contractor to replace the older dam, half of which was built about forty years earlier with and the other half about twenty years later.  A corps of engineers outside of those connected with the company was employed to establish the height of the dam.  They fixed it at the lowest point of the previous one.  The spillway was made one-third longer and the sluice gate twice as large as the old one.  By making these arrangements, the lake could be quickly drained to a proper level in times of high water.  An extra heavy iron tube and steel penstock were installed to replace the old ones and a new water wheel was added, which, with the new arrangements, gave more power with the same amount of water.

The Mill Closes
International Paper Company released a statement on January 18, 1927 that they would close the Upper Falls plant.   The various mill superintendents had received orders to close their respective departments at seven o'clock Sunday morning, January 28, 1927.  For those who did not work on shifts, the order would become effective at four o'clock Saturday afternoon.  Approximately 180 men and women would be out of a job Monday, when the order took effect.

The Ticonderoga Chamber of Commerce arranged a meeting the Elks' club on January 27, 1927 to discuss the impending shutdown.  A considerable number of men had already left Ticonderoga and obtained employment at Mineville.  Some stayed in Ticonderoga hoping the mill would reopen.  Many others planned to go to Canada where the company had assured them employment in a new mill there which would begin operations in March.  Thomas C. Mangan, Upper Falls plant superintendent, explained conditions which precipitated the shutdown stating that the paper market throughout the country was such that the mill could not operate on a profitable basis.

Thomas Warren, Superintendent of the Ticonderoga Pulp & Paper Company, also a subsidiary of International Paper, also explained current economic conditions.  He stated that it might be possible for the company to continue operations at a later date.

During the meeting, attended by approximately 100 businessmen, the group drafted a message to company officials protesting the shut-down, and sought their aid in extending operations for at least two or three months.  International Paper did produce a short sample run of a higher grade of paper than the usual product of the mill following the closure which employed approximately 40 employees.  The test was highly satisfactory.  The closure of the mill was one of the most severe industrial blows ever suffered in Ticonderoga.

The Mill Reopens
Rumors began in early May 1937 that International Paper would reopen the Upper Falls mill.  Extensive alternations and repainting recently made to the mill seemed to lead some credibility to the rumor.  Electrical power was still transferred to the Island and Lower mills. 

By May 12, the Ticonderoga Sentinel confirmed the rumors with a reopening expected in the summer or early fall.  Equipment located in the mill included three machines, but information obtained at the time indicated that only one or two of these would be placed into operation.

The months dragged on until Monday morning, February 23, 1928, machine No.1 at the Upper Falls resumed operations.  After a shutdown of over a year, the long awaited opening of the mill was realized.  As expected, the plant began producing high grade book paper.  The plant had undergone extensive repairs, the interior repainted, and the machines overhauled.

Upper Falls Mill Closes Forever
The Upper Falls mill was utilized for the manufacture of newsprint and catalogue paper.  Down through the years the mills hummed with activity as orders continued to pour in, but Canadian products started to break into the field several years prior to 1927 and orders decreased.  The Upper Falls mill was closed on February 1, 1927.  However, Thomas E. Warren, a man who played a leading role in Ticonderoga industry, experimented with the plant and would be instrumental in its reopening.  The plant experienced a thorough overhauling of equipment and necessary alterations to the machinery which would permit the production of high grade book paper.  The mill was also equipped with three high-speed paper machines which assured the production of newsprint in large quantities.  

By December of 1929, the price of newsprint was $60 per ton, the highest price in some time, and there was a consistent market for the product.  Other International Paper Company newsprint plants throughout the eastern United States were working to capacity, and the company assumed similar favorable conditions would prevail at the Upper Falls plant.  On December 19, 1929, the Ticonderoga Sentinel reported that the Upper Falls plant, which had again suspended operations three weeks earlier, would resume work almost at once to manufacture the expensive and high grade paper.  And so, a year after its machines had been reconditioned, it was reopened and the mill resumed operations, but in place of newsprint, book paper of high grade quality was manufactured.  However, none of the improvement proved profitable, the machinery was stopped and the plant turned out its last roll of paper and would never operate again.

This 1936 International Paper Company advertisement began running in July. Today, there are still many bricks under the water at the foot of the upper falls. (M. Wright collection)

Upper Falls Mill Demolished
The historic Ticonderoga landmark known as the upper mill  was sentenced to death beginning on Wednesday, June 24, 1936 when a crew of wreckers received their orders and began demolition of the International Paper Company plant.  The facility was stripped of its machinery and equipment during 1935.  The shell of the building was torn down, only the structures housing the power apparatus were spared.  It would require several months to complete the job. The wrecking crew consisted of twelve local men. 

The widespread demand for Its newsprint product was instrumental in bringing boom times to the Ticonderoga, but increased imports from Canada resulted in general slacking in the industry and the plant was closed in 1927, opened again for the manufacture of boot paper, and shut down again in 1929. 

Leading newspapers of the country purchased their paper supply at the plant, and it was jn 1898 that the International Paper Company was formed of which the Lake George Pulp & Paper Company was a unit.  Twenty paper companies combined to from the nucleus for this great organization.  

Eber Richards & Son
Eber Richards was born in Schroon Lake on May 6, 1836.  He worked in his father's firm, O. Richards & Son, where they dealt with the manufacture and sale of lumber until 1873.  From 1873 to 1882, Eber Richards operated saw mills and conducted his lumbering business alone.  

In 1882 Eber disposed of all his lumber interests and became partners with N. W. Wait of N. W. Wait & Son Company.  This endeavor was engaged in the manufacture of paper at Bakers' Falls, New York.  In 1883, N. W. Wait retired, and from that year until 1892 Eber continued the business with J. W. Wait, under the firm name of Wait and Richards.  

In 1892 Eber disposed of his paper mills, and from 1893-1905 engaged in the manufacture of wood pulp at Ticonderoga with his son Frederick Barnard Richards.  Eber and Frederick reconfigured the old Treadway Woolen Mill into a pulp mill in 1894.  This was the fourth pulp manufacturer to locate on La Chute and went into business the same year as the Essex County Pulp Mill just upstream from this location.  In April, they installed three grinders in the basement and two pulp machines located on the first floor.  The facility employed 10 men and operated for several years.  Eber retired from business for good in 1905.  Frederick went to work for the Standard Textile Company of Glens Falls.  Eber died five years later on February 23, 1910.

Ticonderoga Pulp Company
Clayton Harris DeLano, born on February 8, 1836 in Ticonderoga, was educated as a lawyer, but returned to Ticonderoga to work in farming in 1872.  He organized the firm of DeLano and Ives in 1871 to engage in the lumber business in Ticonderoga for four years.   In 1876, he merged this company into the Lake Champlain Manufacturing Company which had offices and docks at Port Henry as well as the mills in Ticonderoga.  Here DeLano served as the president and general manager, maintaining a third interest in the company until its dissolution in 1880.  He was involved in many local business interests - president of the Essex County Pulp & Paper Company and the Ticonderoga Railway Company; a director in the Light and Power Company and Ticonderoga Machine Company. 

DeLano formed the Ticonderoga Pulp Company in 1877 with a small ground wood mill at the lowest of the natural waterfalls on Ticonderoga Creek.  This, he organized with a capital of $80,000 which was further increased to $180,000.  He became its manager and treasurer, eventually becoming its president and general manager three years later.  This mill first produced mechanical pulp and would operate for three years before being destroyed by fire.  In 1878 or 1879, DeLano called a meeting to explain a proposition to organize a stock company to manufacture wood pulp.     

According to the Ticonderoga Sentinel, a gentlemen present at the meeting related that after the plans were submitted, and the stock book open for subscriptions, no one moved for several minutes or offered to subscribe until Thomas DeLano, Clayton's uncle, arose and said,

"Gentlemen, I have a thousand dollars saved and I am going to sign for that amount of stock.  I believe the mill will be a good thing for the town and I hope it will be for me, but if it fails, I have the farm left, and I guess that will support me." 

After Thomas DeLano signed, the others followed and the meeting closed with the stock all taken.  Thomas was elected president of the company and held that office until the company was reorganized as the Ticonderoga Pulp & Paper Company.  The company began producing pulp on May 1, 1879 and  C. H. DeLano moved to the lower falls near the paper company at that time.

The largest of the waterfalls along La Chute river.  This one is near the "A" Mill location.  It is also the one my mother absolutely forbid my older brother and I to go near as we lived not too far away from here at one time just off of Stanton street.  (International Paper Company photo, M. Wright collection)

By 1900, there were five pulp and paper mills in the Ticonderoga area.  The major customer for the railroad on the Ticonderoga Branch during my childhood was definitely the local International Paper Company paper mill.  

Ticonderoga Pulp & Paper Company
The company prospered.  The original ground wood mill was completely destroyed by fire around 1880, three years after its construction.  C. H. DeLano continued with his papermaking efforts when he interested some of his Vermont and New York friends to invest in his pulp business.  His new effort involved an expenditure of over $100,000 in the manufacturing of pulp and paper.  

 

The coal trestle at the lower mill. (photo: Ticonderoga Historical Society; M. Wright collection)

Organizing the Company
On March 16, 1882, the Ticonderoga Pulp and Paper Company was organized at the Burleigh House and plans were approved for the company's new paper mills.  The March 24, 1882 edition of the Ticonderoga Sentinel announced the directors of the company as M. C. Rice, Cyrus Jennings, T. L. Hammond, William Cooper, J. T. Outterson, C. H. DeLano, C. E. Bush, and A. B. Waldo.  DeLano was listed as president of the board with Bush as secretary and treasurer.  

The charter of the company covered the manufacture of ground and chemical wood pulp, and news and book paper.  The mill produced soda pulp which was shipped to mills outside Ticonderoga.  The goal was for a daily capacity of eleven tons of wood pulp and six tons of news and book paper.  

A few years later, in 1885, the No. 1 Paper Machine, installed at a cost of $20,000, began production.  Installation of the No.2 machine followed around 1887.  A second rag boiler was put into operation at the same time.  The year 1882 was identified as a prosperous one for the company according to the March 3 edition of the Ticonderoga Sentinel.

The company filed articles of association with the office of the Secretary of State on Tuesday, April 11, 1882, with a capital of $80,000 listed.  Ground breaking for the factory's foundation occurred on April 13, 1882.  During the excavation in May, workers found several rare coins, cannon balls, musket balls, and other items.   

Construction
By May 12,1882, the 4-foot thick foundations walls were nearly completed.  They were constructed of solid masonry, laid in cement, varying in height from a few inches to eight feet.  The entire foundation rested upon solid rock. 

The first story was planned for 16 feet high, made of stone.  Thirty men were at work on the walls and the office was nearly complete and ready for occupancy.  The office was open for business by June 9.  By May 26, one thousand perches of stone and 300,000 bricks were required to complete the foundation and the walls.  Excavation for the boiler house was in progress.  

The Ticonderoga Pulp & Paper Company in 1897. (Paper Mill and Wood Pulp News photo, M. Wright collection)

Holland and Ariel took the job and by October 13, 1882, had nearly reached the proposed height of 126 feet.  The stack was 14 feet square at the base, circular in form, and tapering to approximately eight feet in diameter.  Its 40-inch thick walls contained a 6-foot diameter flue running its entire length.  On the south side of the smokestack, approximately halfway up was imbedded a block of marble with "1882" chiseled.

The wheel of the Ticonderoga Pulp & Paper Company was started for the first time on Tuesday, October 31, 1882.  All the machinery was in place and the mill was nearly ready for production.  By November, the mill consisted of three buildings; the chemical mill, reclaimer and liquor house, and boiler house.

The chemical mill was constructed of stone and brick with the dimensions of 70 x 136 feet and two and a half stories tall with a cupola on the top for ventilation purposes.  It contained the two 20-ton digesters or cooking boilers.  It had a slate roof bearing the name of the company.  The first story was constructed of stone while the second story was brick.  There were several wood and iron tanks, some of which were 16 feet deep and 13 feet in diameter, as well as a 72" Fourdenier or paper machine from which the paper was run out in dry rolls.

The Ticonderoga Pulp & Paper Company's lower mill in 1906. (Courtesy Ticonderoga Heritage Museum)

The reclaimer and liquor house were of wood construction with the dimensions of 50 x 102 feet and the same height as the chemical mill.  This facility contained six large upright furnaces and several large tanks and filters for making and mixing the liquors used in reducing the wood to pulp.  Two of the ingredients of the liquor were lime and soda ash.

The boiler house, 30 x 50 feet, contained the smoke stack that rose to a final height of 126 1/2 feet.  It also had two 40-horsepower boilers which supplied the steam for cooking purposes and for heating the buildings.  A 30-inch Stearn's turbine wheel under a 32-foot head of water supplied the motive power for driving the machinery.

Four foot pieces of wood were split and then pulled from the hands of an operator by a wheel with spike-like teeth.  It was then chipped, actually hacked to pieces.  The chips were taken to a loft by an endless chain with buckets about one foot apart and from a platform, were emptied into the two upright cooking boilers.  The wood was then cooked under high pressure by the chemicals, or liquors.  The cooking process continued from four to six hours.  The pulp, after leaving the boilers, was drained and passed from vat to vat until it attained the whiteness of bleached cotton.  From the vats, the pulp passed through a series of rollers similar to a modern paper machine and came off in rolls ready for shipment at the other end of the machine.  Six hundred cords of poplar, pine, basswood, and birch was required annually to supply the mills.

Ticonderoga Pulp & Paper Company as seen from Frazier bridge along what was then North Main Street.  This view looks east over the last of the water falls from the outlet of Lake George to Lake Champlain. (Courtesy Ticonderoga Historical Society)

Another 2,500 cords of cheaper wood was used for fuel along with 2,000 tons of coal.  The company also had a mechanical or ground wood pulp mill producing 8 tons of dry pulp every day.

Water pipes were connected to the mill off the off the principal main off East Exchange Street by November 17, 1882.  The steam whistle of the company operated for the first time on Friday, November 17 and the machinery of the mill was tested in preparation for commencing operations.

Relocation of Exchange Street
Earlier in 1882, numerous individuals presented a petition to the commissioner of highways asking for a change in the location of the highway leading to Putnam that passed the Ticonderoga Pulp & Paper Company, or East Exchange Street, today East Montcalm Street.  The petitioners stated it was necessary to move the road away from the mill and to get rid of the mud and rocky roadbed known as grist mill hill.  The estimated cost of the construction was $800.  A March 1883 edition of the Ticonderoga Sentinel stated that the commissioner called out a jury and twelve jurors were impaneled to rule on whether the proposed change in location of the highway was to be made.  The jury replied favorably after making the required examination and it was therefore decided to relocate the road on higher ground, obviating an ugly curve and following "the line of the old patent" and between the lots of several individuals who would materially benefit.  

Another view of the coal trestle and chemical mill seen from the northeast circa 1904. (photo: Adirondack Museum)

The paper mill assumed the risk and C. H. DeLano contracted the construction to Mr. A. Lee of Ticonderoga.  The road was eventually modified and graded in June 1882, giving it a higher elevation, for a distance of about 500 feet, in order to remove the sharp pitch of grist mill hill.  Work continued on the grading effort and general road improvement into August until the hill entirely disappeared.  The work was completed by October 5, 1883.

Morning Fire
On February 9, 1883, the mill suffered a morning fire in the mechanical mill.  The alcohol mill of it's competitor, the Lake George Pulp & Paper Company nearly suffered the same fate a few days earlier.  The fire was caused by overheating of the stove, filled with hard, dry wood.  The floor then caught fire and was well underway before it was discovered and extinguished.  Discovering the fire quickly saved the village from a catastrophic fire that could have easily consumed other structures.

The Lower Mill - 1884
The Ticonderoga Pulp & Paper Company's plans for an additional mill, known as the Lower Mill, was announced in 1884 when the Ticonderoga Sentinel stated ground breaking occurred on Monday, April 14.  Mr. D. M. Arnold surveyed the site and laid out the work.   Architects for the project were D. H. and A. B. Tower.  Mr. Alex Lee did all the excavating,  brick, and stone work.

 

Clayton H. DeLano (M Wright collection)

The new mill joined the present mill structure to the West and consisted of three separate departments in one 3-room building measuring 206 feet in length and varying in width from 36 to 80 feet.  It was a one-story structure with a basement.  The east room immediately joining the present structure was 40' x 80' and served as the engine room.  The second room measured 36' x 122' and was used entirely for the wet pulp machine.  The third room measured 40' x 44' and was the finishing department.  The attics were used for storing rags and other materials.  The entire structure was made of wood except for the basement, which was constructed of stone and brick.

Clayton DeLano expected to have the new mill running by October, offering employment to approximately 30 persons, mostly skilled laborers.  The company also moved their office building to the side street opposite the machine room.  A new storehouse was also constructed measuring 108' x 32'.  O. W. Adkins did the slate work on the roof of the storehouse.  This was completed by June 1884.  By May 9, progress was being made on the foundation.

A large modern paper machine was installed at a cost of $20,000.  This machine was known as the No. 1 paper machine and began producing paper in March 1885.  Records of the period showed mill employment was around 100 men.  The mill consumed approximately 30 cords of wood per day and produced six tons of book and writing paper and eight tons of chemical pulp, half of which was sold to outside mills.  The balance of pulp required by the paper machine was supplemented by rags cooked in a horizontal digester located near the lower mill's beater room.  The No. 2 paper machine was installed in 1887 and a second rag boiler was placed into operation.

The Island Mill
The Island Mill received its name because of its unique location on a large island located between a small stream, known as Spencer Creek, and the main stream of Ticonderoga Creek, now known as La Chute River.  During this time, the speed of the water caused this split in the outlet of Lake George which divided the water flow into these two separate streams.  Spencer Creek began above, or south of, the Montcalm (Exchange) Street bridge and flowed in front of the Adkins & Scott store at the corner of Lake George Avenue and Exchange Street.  It then traveled behind the Ticonderoga Machine Shop through the property which would eventually be occupied by Moore's garage. This stream gradually widened and traveled through a tunnel under the Island Mill beater room before once again rejoining the calmer waters of the main river just above the lower falls.

The division of the two streams required additional foot bridges as well as bridges to accommodate the teams and wagons of the time.  This large island created by the division of the streams was big enough for  houses, lumber yards, miscellaneous mills, and eventually the Island Mill at the lower end.

This clock tower in the Island Mill became a symbol of the paper company until its demolition in later years (photo: M Wright collection)

At the time of its completion in 1891, the Island Mill was still, in fact, located on this island.  This changed in 1907 when the mill power house was built.  At that time, the second river bed was filled in and the creek shut off.  

Trustees of the Ticonderoga Pulp & Paper Company approved plans for the company's new Island Mill on March 28, 1891.  Mrs. Martha Pinchin sold her property on the island to the Ticonderoga Pulp and Paper Company for the sum of $3000 in April 1891 and work was reportedly begun on the foundation of the new mill by April 9, 1891. The Island mill was built specifically for the manufacture of high grade paper.

Brick laying began in April 1891.  Lynch Brothers of Holyoke, Massachusetts was awarded the brick work contract.  Beginning in August of 1891, the brick work on the second story of the rear wing of the mill was completed and masons were at work on the second story facing Main Street.  

The Ticonderoga Agway building at the corner of Schuyler Street and Montcalm Street. Behind it ran the two streams of the creek, later one stream. (Courtesy Ticonderoga Heritage Museum)

Part of this Island Mill construction included a large brick clock tower.  It initially sat with a large hole until in late August of 1891 when the Ticonderoga Sentinel announced that the mill would install a large clock in the tower.  This clock and tower became symbolic of the Island Mill and with papermaking, in general, in Ticonderoga until its untimely destruction decades later when the mill installed the number 7 paper machine.  The paper company would later publish a monthly news bulletin entitled "Tower" magazine.  

Work on the mill's 120 foot high smokestack was underway and scheduled for completion by September 10.  However, upon reaching a height of 60 feet, the Bennetts, contracted out of Fort Edward, refused to work any longer stating the foundation was unsafe.  The foundation, however, rested on a solid ledge.  The crew left the job, ostensibly for the purpose of taking a better one at Sandy Hill.  While on the job, these workers created quite a stir among their fellow workers by stating they were paid 50 cents more per day than they were actually receiving.  The Bennetts workers leaving created a sort of panic, but after some difficulty, the mill acquired another work force.  

The Number 3 Paper Machine was installed upon this original construction.  The Number 4 Paper Machine was added and put into service in 1896.  The No.3 and No.4 paper machines manufactured book and writing papers initially from soda and chemical pulp which included rags. These machines were converted from the manufacture of book paper grades to more suitable and profitable work making Offset, Velum, Text, Cover, and Decalcomania paper.  Most of this was used for general printing, advertising brochures, and greeting cards.  By the late 1940's, the Island Mill, with its two machines, were producing more paper than the four machines of the Island and Lower mills previously made.

Boiler Explosion
One of the boilers used to furnish steam for the lower paper mill of the Ticonderoga Pulp and Paper Co. exploded between 6 and 7 pm, Monday evening, December 12, 1892 as reported in the December 15, 1892 edition of the Ticonderoga Sentinel. The shock was felt throughout a large portion of the village.

An alarm whistle was blown and the fire department responded. The boiler house, a brick structure, 50 feet square, attached to the main building, was completely demolished. The boiler appeared to have broken in two; one end was thrown upward some forty feet through the side of the main building into the beating engine room, the other end was thrown over the railroad trestle into the water, while the center was thrown upward striking the ridge of the roof of the main building, making a hole in the roof, and finally dropping to the ground between the rooms occupied by the paper machines. Twisted and bent iron pipe and other debris were scattered.

One large beam was driven endwise into the side of the mill forty or fifty feet above the boiler house. It was a 100 horse power boiler, and there were two others in the room, one of which was notably somewhat damaged. One fireman, Sylvester Provencher, was picked up about forty feet from the boilers at the edge of the water, insensible, and taken to the office occupied by W. V. Wentworth. He was attended by doctors Bond, Wilcox and Bailey. Six or seven gashes were cut in his head, his left leg was cut, and his legs, face, arms and body were scalded. He recovered consciousness and talked with the doctors, not complaining of suffering any pain except for a little in his leg, although badly cut, scalded and bruised. His wife was notified and she came and remained with him. Father O'Brien administered the rites of the church. He was conscious until a short time later when he died about 7am Tuesday morning. It was likely that the shock to his nervous system was so great that his nerves were paralyzed, which would account for his feeling of little pain. He had worked for the company about a year, was a reliable man and well-liked by all his fellow workmen and his employers. He was about 30 years old at the time of his passing, and left a wife, who had two children by a former marriage. It was fortunate for his family in their bereavement that he had left them in comfortable circumstances as he carried an accident policy for $1500 and a life policy for $1000.

The paper mill power house looking west with Illinois Central boxcar #19874 sitting on the siding.  Access to this location was via the Island Mill spur which split from the Ticonderoga Branch near the Pad Factory and proceeded into the Island Mill, crossing Exchange Street (Montcalm Street), and then following the river behind the Exchange Street business section. This spur ended t this facility, just before Frazier Bridge. (M. Wright collection)

Lewis Pelky had his hand on the door to enter the boiler room when the explosion occurred. He was thrown to the ground, the door frame formed a covering and he was released without any injury. Fortunately no one else was injured.

The boiler explosion stopped mill operations with paper in all stages of manufacture. The boilers were examined by a boiler inspector and were pronounced safe. It was difficult to assign a reason for the explosion. There were about 100 people employed in the paper department who had to remain idle until the damages were repaired. The president of the company, C. H. DeLano, sent Mr. Newton south to purchase a boiler. It was expected the mill would have one of the paper machines running in a few days and the other one in a few weeks. The accident resulted in $8,000 to $10,000 in damage, however the company was fully insured.

The mill powerhouse. (Ticonderoga Heritage Museum photo)

A view of the powerhouse area today. (M. Wright photo, M. Wright collection)

Mill Improvements
The Ticonderoga Sentinel reported on April 30, 1896 that the Ticonderoga Pulp & Paper Company commenced building a brick addition to the Island Mill.  This structure measured 80 feet wide by 75 feet 6 inches long.  The basement of the building would be used as a store room and the second story as a store room.  The brick work was done on contract by Henry Lee of Glens Falls.  The woodwork was completed under the supervision of A. C. Johnson, who was permanently engaged by the company as a master mechanic.  It was also in this same edition of the Ticonderoga Sentinel where it was reported the construction of a 30 x 75 foot carpenter shop at the lower mill which was equipped with a new outfit of tools.

The February 25, 1897 issue of The Paper Mill and Wood Pulp News reported on a visit to the Ticonderoga Pulp & Paper Company by the magazine's writer where he noted a number of improvements to the facility since his last visit.  The paper mill spent approximately $250,000 over the previous year in building and rebuilding the plant, increasing the water power, and adding new and improved machinery. The mill, originally constructed as a two machine mill, had only run as a one machine mill until about six months earlier.

The magazine writer visited the mill on a very snowy winter day.  It had been snowing for more than 24 hours and the magazine writer caught Clayton DeLano coming out of his office as he prepared to go over to the new Island Mill.  DeLano was all suited up in his high top rubber boots, thick overcoat, and slouch hat.  The writer explained how he was in the process of detailing the recent improvements in Ticonderoga's old and new mills.  With that, the writer and DeLano made off for the Island Mill.

The Island Mill was constructed in the shape of an "L" with the short arm along the main street containing an ornamental tower constructed in the angle.  The part of the mill on the street was devoted to the preparation of the stock, with the basement story containing a water wheel.  Two very large storerooms were located between the beater room and machine room.  The machine room's main story contained five 1,000 lb beating engines and two Jordan engines.  The main story measured 140 feet in length by 40 feet in width.

The tour with DeLano began in the machine room.  The machine room occupied the largest part of the arm of the "L" with dimensions of 60 feet wide and 160 feet long.  A row of windows on either side of the machine room made it light and airy.  The roof was supported with iron trusses. The machine room's main story contained five 1,000 lb beating engines and two Jordan engines.  The machine room now contained two machines, one of which had been running ever since the mill was constructed.  The second machine was a new 127-inch Fourdrinier machine with a 60 foot wire and 29 dryers built by Pusey & Jones Company of Wilmington, DE.  DeLano identified this as "the finest machine I ever saw."  The machine room floors were laid in cement with conduits at the base of each machine to remove all water and condensed steam.  The machine's driving train was located in the basement of the mill, which was built upon a solid rock foundation with a cement floor and heavy stone arches upon which the machines rested.  The driving train rested on granite piers and ran without vibration.  The older machine was a 102-inch machine with 50-foot wire and 16 dryers running 300 feet a minute.  There was an overhead trolley and track for handling the couch and press rolls.  The new machine had no trolley or track because the couch and press rolls were raised and lowered differently.

The drainers were located at one end of the basement and held all the pulp and the steam engines that drove the two machines.  Also located there was another steam engine that worked in connection with the water wheels to drive all the other parts of the mill when they were short of water power.   

The tour continued in the finishing room where the magazine writer noted considerable changes since his last visit, almost to the point of not recognizing it.  Because the mill was now more of a book mill than a newspaper mill, it required more space.  The extra amount of machinery and the different kind of machinery, by virtue of it now being a two machine room instead of a one machine room, made the surroundings very different.  

The finishing room measured 130 feet long by 50 feet wide.  It was nicely fitted and arranged with all new super-calendars, paper cutters, and everything necessary for a complete book mill.  The writer stated the Island Mill was a most superb book mill in every respect. 

The finishing room located at the Island Mill in 1897. (Paper Mill and Wood Pulp News photo, M. Wright collection)

The Ticonderoga Pulp and Paper Company constructed a new three story brick structure with heavy iron beams, 260 feet long by 40 feet wide.  This became the new storehouse and was built for the purpose to enable the company to store all their rags, sulphite pulp, and manufactured paper.  It also allowed the company to purchase raw material in larger quantities.  

For six months of the year, the company experienced a low freight rate by canal boats until the canal froze and the mill could not avoid the railroad freight rates.  By building this storehouse, the company was able to purchase its clay, alum, coal, sulphite, pulp, and other necessary materials to last through the winter.  

The storehouse was conveniently located right by the side of the canal where the railroad freight cars ran along the side of the doors.  When a shipment of machinery arrived, the mill used the trolley track running through the building to the cars or canal boats, and could hoist the machinery and carry it through the storehouse to any part of the paper mill.

The lower mill and storehouse in 1897. (Paper Mill and Wood Pulp News photo, M. Wright collection)

Another improvement included the rebuilt and improved soda pulp mill, making it a practically new chemical fiber mill.  The mill eliminated their four old digesters and set up five new welded digesters.  The mill increased their capacity of soda pulp from 15 tons to 25 tons a day.

Lower mill improvements included new machinery and additions.  Beating capacity increased by adding three new 1,000 pound engines, making a total of 9 engines.  

The new stone dam seen here in 1897.  This would allow the paper mill to increase its water power by 50%. (Paper Mill and Wood Pulp News photo, M. Wright collection)

The company also added ten additional feet of floor space to the finishing room of the old mill; improved their Fourdrinier machines by lengthening them and adding four new dryers to each of them, increasing their production of book paper in the old mill.  When the two mills were running full time, they could easily produce 25 tons in the old mill making 50 tons of book and cheap writing papers.  The rag room had a force of women assorting and cutting rags.  These were then dumped in chutes into the rotaries in the floor below.  

The mill increased their water power by 50% through the construction of a new dam.  This enabled the company to operate the lower mill more than three quarters of the time in a year without the use of steam engines.

In finishing up the tour, Clayton DeLano stated that the company was doing a very good business, running the mill full time and having a difficult time filling orders.  DeLano said they would have turned down orders if they had not had stock on hand for the regular and popular sizes of different grades of paper.  At this time, the officers of the Ticonderoga Pulp & Paper Company were listed as Clayton H. DeLano (president); C. S. Merrill (vice-president); and C. E. Bush (secretary and treasurer).  The directors were Clayton H. DeLano, C. S. Merrill, W. G. Dewey, R. W. Clapp, Warren Curtis, H. G. Burleigh, J. T. Outterson, C. E. Bush, and W. W. D. Jeffers.

The Clayton Delano home in 2009. (M. Wright photo, M. Wright collection)

Mill Housing
A number of homes in Ticonderoga date back to the early paper mill industry, constructed for mill managers and workers.  The Ticonderoga Pulp and Paper Company bought land, which is today known as the Lake George Avenue Historic District, from the Essex County Pulp and Paper Company in 1905.  That company purchased the five-acre site from Clayton Delano in 1893.  It was believed that Essex purchased the property for worker housing or offices rather than for a mill because it was located across the street from the Delano Residence. These twelve Lake George Avenue homes, located a short distance south of the intersection of Lake George Avenue and Montcalm Street, were constructed between 1919 and 1921 under the direction of local builder, William A. Gale, and still overlook La Chute River.  Gale was considered to be the foremost contractor in the area and is noted for having constructed Ticonderoga's first hospital.

The Ticonderoga Pulp and Paper Company also constructed ten homes along Butler Street (Amherst Avenue), two blocks east of the Lake George Avenue homes, between 1921 and 1923.  The company purchased a plot of land on Butler Avenue (Amherst) north of the Sheldon house, as it was known, in October of 1920.  The land was purchased from St. Mary's church, Mrs. G. B. Bascom, and Mrs. E. A. Sheldon and was then divided into nine lots.  Local builder, William A. Gale, supervised the construction of these homes which were then rented to mill management.  The mill constructed a sidewalk and curb in front of the Butler Street properties in July 1921.

International Paper Company purchased both of these mill housing districts in 1925 when the company acquired the Ticonderoga Pulp and Paper Company.  International Paper sold all of these homes to their tenants in the 1940s. 

One of the mill manager homes constructed on Lake George Avenue seen near the Lake George Avenue and Father Jogues Place intersection in 2009.  (M. Wright photo) collection)

Arlington Hotel Purchase
The Arlington Hotel started out as the Hall House and was located on the east side of North Main Street.  Sanborn fire insurance maps in 1912 show the hotel as the Arlington, sitting between two large livery stables.  

The Ticonderoga Pulp & Paper Company purchased the Arlington Hotel from M. J. and W. L. Hayes during the 1911 strike, sometime around August 17, 1911.  After this purchase, the hotel then came under the management of J. A. Davis.  The paper company used the hotel as a boarding house for non-resident papermakers as well as a club house.  

The Arlington Hotel seen here in 1910.  (postcard photo, M. Wright collection)

A fire broke out in the second floor during around 9 p.m. on Friday, August 11 from an unknown cause in a room over the kitchen.  The Ticonderoga fire department was called to the scene, but the blaze was easily extinguished before they arrived.   The hotel closed on Wednesday, May 1, 1912.  

The Arlington Hotel became the Ticonderoga Inn in its later life.  It would meet with a terrific fire.

Mill Moves Road
The Ticonderoga town board voted at a meeting on Saturday, September 20, 1913, to permit the Ticonderoga Pulp & Paper Company to swing the highway along the south side of the lower mill a short distance eastward to a point near the embankment.  Only that portion of the highway between the railroad crossing and the village line was affected by the change.  The change allowed the mill to put in a wood conveyor where the road was located.

A petition to change the route of the highway was the chief subject for discussion by the village trustees during their November 5, 1913 evening meeting.  It was surmised that because the paper company built a splendid road along the "dugway" when that road was changed, the petition to change the road would be granted.  Public sentiment, also seemed to be almost wholly in favor of the proposition.

The petition was presented to the village trustees and the issue set for discussion at two o'clock on Tuesday, February 17, 1914.  A notice of the hearing with full details of the changes requested appeared in the February 5 edition of the Ticonderoga Sentinel.  

There was no opposition to the proposition at the February 17 meeting.  No one appeared in opposition and waivers of interested property owners having been obtained, the assent of the trustees the change was obtained.  The Ticonderoga Pulp & Paper Company would bear the expense of changing the roadway.  The paper company would also do the work.  This meant that the new roadway would be better than the old one.

Men and teams were at work by November 19, 1914 changing the location of the roadway near the Arnold place on East Exchange street in accordance with permits granted by the town and village boards.  The crew began the work to eliminate the turn at the paper mill office by swinging the road to the south and along the bank near the railroad track.

Public notice for the moving of Exchange Street further to the South.  The photo on left shows how the road swings south.  (Ticonderoga Sentinel, M. Wright photo)

Continued Expansion
On September 26, 1918, Mrs. Evelyn Bailey sold her blacksmith shop and livery stable building  and sites on North Main street to the Ticonderoga Pulp & Paper Company.  The facilities were located between the Ticonderoga Inn and Ticonderoga creek.  During the same period, the paper company also purchased E. M. Wheeler's livery business and equipment.  Wheeler sold his stock of horses, wagons, and sleighs separately.

International Paper Company Takes Control
International Paper Company was incorporated on January 31, 1898 bringing together twenty pulp and paper mills in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, and New York.

The Riordon Pulp & Paper Company, Ltd of Montreal, Canada purchased a majority of the Ticonderoga Pulp & Paper Company stock on November 21, 1916.  This change of ownership, as announced in the November 29, 1916 issue of Paper, was unexpected and 

"...if the negotiations resulting in the transfer were conducted for any length of time, then it was also accomplished with unusual secrecy and freedom from public rumor."

The International Paper Company beach plant at the Ticonderoga mill. (IPCO photo, M. Wright collection)

When control of the majority of the stock passed to the new owner, the old company officers promptly tendered their resignations.  These officers and directors included: C. E. Bush, treasurer and general manager; T. S. Cooledge, vice-president; W. S. Wilcox, secretary; W. Dewey, W. W. Jeffers, C. H. DeLano, and Gustav Pagenstecher.  

Dr. C. S. Merrill, Allen Curtis and Thomas E. Warren continued on the board.  At a joint meeting, directors were appointed to fill the new vacancies including Charles Riordon, president; Carl Riordon, vice-president and managing director; F. B. Whittet, secretary and treasurer; George E. Challes, T. J. Stevenson, and Lawrence Macfarlane.  Warren continued in the management, assuring the company's quality and service.  The new connection with Riordon assured the Ticonderoga Pulp and Paper Company a complete supply of raw materials, the same as used for several years past and which was best suited for the special grades of paper which the company produced.

The lower mill on lower Montcalm with the towering bleach plant. (Ticonderoga Historical Society)

International Paper Company bought out Riordon Sales of Canada in 1919, which included a large interest in the Ticonderoga Pulp and Paper Company. 

Ticonderoga Pulp & Paper then became part of a larger merger of Canadian paper, pulp, and lumber interests according to a Montreal news dispatch issued on Sunday on May 30, 1920.  The dispatch stated, 

"Consolidation of the Ottawa river valley pulp, paper, and lumber interests is indicated in the announcement there today of a merger of the Riordon Pulp and Paper Company, Ltd., of Canada with Gatinaeu river lumber interests represented by W. C. Edwards company and Gilmore and Hughson company of Ottawa, Ontario.  The new combination will include the Riordon subsidiaries, Kipawa Company, and Ticonderoga Pulp and Paper Company."

The combined business would have approximately 12,000 square miles of timber limits, containing about 25 million cords of pulpwood, 1.2 million feet of standing pine, 150,000 horsepower water power, a pulp and paper output of 150,000 tons per year, and an annual pine lumber output of 125 million feet.

International Paper Company acquired a controlling interest in Ticonderoga Pulp and Paper Company in 1925.  Ticonderoga Pulp and Paper Company became International Paper Company's Mill #38.  Upon International Paper's acquisition of the Ticonderoga Pulp & Paper, the mill had the No.1 and No.2 paper making machines in the lower mill and the No.3 and No.4 machines in the Island Mill.  The original name, Ticonderoga Pulp & Paper Company, was retained until June, 1930, when International Paper formally assumed management control. 

On August 20, 1931, the Ticonderoga Pulp and Paper Company filed a certificate with the New York Secretary of State in Albany extending the existence of the corporation through a perpetual charter.  

In March of 1932, the International Paper Company transferred of all lands and waterpower rights of the Ticonderoga Pulp and Paper Company in Essex, Warren and Washington counties, to System Properties, Inc.  This alarmed the residents of Ticonderoga who misinterpreted the transfer as the first step toward the eventual closing of the Ticonderoga mills.  However, the transfer was merely made by the parent company to System Properties, Inc., as subsidiary and affiliated company and under the management of the International Paper Company.  In an attempt to assuage the alarm felt locally, The Ticonderoga Sentinel on Monday, March 28, telegraphed the International Paper Company, asking an immediate explanation of the transfer. In response the following day, C. A. Charlton, Vice President and Manager of Manufacturing for International Paper, issued a telegram stating the operation of the Ticonderoga mill was not affected by the transfer of the company's water power to System Properties, Inc.  Provisions were made in the transfer for a 30 year supply of power for the mill. , . The property and water rights in connection with the company's waterpower development at Fort Edward were transferred to Eastern Developments, Inc., another affiliated company.

Until 1940, the chief tonnage of the two paper mills, Lower Mill and Island Mill, consisted of high grade book papers used in text books, novels and similar publications as well as soda pulp for sale to other mills.  Possibly the most famous and well-remembered order ever filled by the Ticonderoga Mill was for 70 freight carloads of paper shipped by the Delaware and Hudson for the first edition of "Gone With the Wind."  This order was produced by the No.4 machine.

In 1940, the Lower Mill began manufacturing carbonizing tissue.  The mill eventually had four machines running full time on this type of paper.  During this period, two machines were transferred from the Fort Edward mill; one in 1944 and a second in 1945.  This carbonizing material was sold to converters for coating with carbon and was ultimately used in business forms.

By 1900, the Ticonderoga Mills employed approximately 100 men and produced 10 tons of book and writing paper every day.  In the late 1940s, the mill employed 680 persons, used 120 to 140 cords of wood, produced 85 tons of pulp, and an average close to 130 tons of high quality paper per day.  The mill purchased 30% of its wood requirements, a need of approximately 45,000 cords annually, locally with the remaining balance from Canada.  In 1948, this had changed to 90% of its needs locally and only 10% from Canada.

Operations
International Paper had three paper machines in operation by March of 1921. Two machines, #3 and #4, were located at the Island mill. One was in operation at International's lower mill.

International Paper produced book and writing papers made from soda pulp and rags.  The paper mill continued to produce soda pulp for high grade book papers for sale to other mills until 1940.  In 1940, a new papermaking technology made it possible to manufacture bleached and unbleached pulps from hardwoods.  The Ticonderoga mill shifted from the soda process to the semi-kraft process, allowing for the production of more profitable grades of offset, text, and other fine papers.  The kraft process converted wood into wood pulp consisting of almost pure cellulose fibers by treating the wood chips with a mixture of sodium hydroxide and sodium sulfide, known as white liquor.

International Paper announced a huge expansion program in 1948.  This program brought significant improvements to the Ticonderoga mill.  A new 6-ton digester would bring the mill into better balance requiring less pulp to make its many paper specialties.  The liquor-making equipment and buildings were enlarged to permit additional pulp capacity.  Three new high pressure boilers were installed, each having a capacity of 60,000 pounds of steam per hour, which with a new recovery boiler and new 4,000-kilowatt steam turbine, would completely modernize the mill's steam and power plants.  The mill installed a Cottrell electric precipitator, which in conjunction with the new recovery boiler, would remove 90% of the dust particles which before then escaped up the stack. Vacuum sevealls were installed which produced a virtually closed white water system resulting in a considerable saving in fibre and clay. In addition to all of this, the mill completed a number of changes and improvements in the beater room and on the paper machines.

Improvements
The D mill, which was one of the original pulp mills in town was expected to be torn down and replaced with a new one to increase the pulp production.  About twenty-five hands were at work on the improvements during the week of October 3, 1903.  A larger force was expected to be be employed at a later date.

Ticonderoga Pulp & Paper was chosen as one of eight International Paper mills in August 1935 to undergo extensive improvements. Plans called for the rebuilding of the mill's four paper machines at a cost exceeding $100,000.  The choice to update the mill was seen as an indication of a bright future for the Ticonderoga industry.  Additional personnel were already added to the payroll in March and the mill had more orders than the past six or seven previous years. 

International Paper was forced to make some major decisions by the end of World War II.  The Ticonderoga mill was one of the oldest and smallest in the company.  It was becoming obsolete.  In addition, the soft woods which the mill depended on through the years were no longer available due to economic reasons.  The company was left with a serious decision.  It would have to either shut down the mill, an action that would have had a drastic impact on Ticonderoga and its local employees, or make a substantial investment in the mill giving it a new lease on life.

The paper company decided that the Ticonderoga papermakers and their craftsmanship warranted this major investment.  This decision saved the mill and the local jobs and payroll.  The mill was converted to the kraft papermaking process in 1947 and a new pulp mill was built.  This was designed to use the hardwoods found in the surrounding forests of New York and Vermont.  The pulp mill also included new chemical recording system which helped to keep chemicals out of Ticonderoga Creek.

No. 5 and No. 6 Paper Machines
International Paper Company added two more paper machines when the No. 5 and No. 6 machines were transferred from the Fort Edward mill during 1944 and 1945.  These were sent to the lower mill.  The four machines in the lower mill were then converted from printing papers to carbonizing during the 1940's enabling a total tonnage of approximately 30 tons per day.  The No.4 machine was rebuilt in 1954 in order for the mill to concentrate on business paper production.  About this same time the mill undertook a construction project to complete a 4-stage bleach plant, digester, recovery, and wood yard extension.  The No.3 paper machine was then rebuilt in 1957.  These four lower mill paper machines were phased out in 1966 when the Androscoggin Mill started the operation of its No.2 machine, thereby meeting International Paper's carbonizing requirements.

New Bleach Plant
In the papermaking process, the bleach plant whitens the pulp for paper production.  International Paper Company erected their bleach plant in 1955.  This tile and glass block building was located in the lower mill and stood over eighty feet high.  The name of the company and company logo graced the top side of the building facing Tower Avenue.  During the evening hours, the company name and logo glowed to the surrounding community. 

In July 1965, the mill installed a 10-ton washer cylinder through into the top floor of the building by lifting the washer using a crane and inserting it in an opening in the wall onto the operating floor.

The bleach plant shown on left. (IPCO photo, M. Wright collection)

The new line kiln. A spur track runs under this facility. (IPCO photo, M. Wright collection)

New Lime Kiln
In October 1960 the mill added a new lime kiln to the lower mill.  Lime mud (calcium carbonate) was a byproduct from the digesters.  It was cooked in the kiln to form pure lime.  

The kiln had a total length of 250 feet and was shipped to Ticonderoga in three sections requiring eight railroad flat cars.  The three sections were lifted from the rail cars and set on roller supports, lined up, and welded together.  

The new kiln had a building housing the firing end and a feed end.  All controls and instrumentation were installed in this building.  The feed end building housed the induce draft fan, slurry feeder, mud thickener, and screw conveyor.  This equipment controlled the feed of the lime mud into the kiln.  

The kiln had the capacity to support a 250 ton per day Kraft pulp mill. 

New Finishing Room
Another mill addition came in 1963-64 with the new finishing room whose ground breaking occurred on April 1, 1963 by the Walsh Construction Company of New York City.  This was a $1,850,000 improvement program to increase the finishing room facilities.  The program involved the construction of a 100,000-square foot addition to the new Island Mill.  It included expanded railroad loading facilities to include railroad sidings for loading 12 cars at at time.  The railroad tracks entered the facility along the Island Mill spur.  It also included a truck trailer dock that had the capability to handle up to eight trailers at once.  The new addition permitted the mill to continue its overnight service to the New York metropolitan area on a larger scale to meet its increasing demands for the shipment of sheets of its commercial printing and business papers.  

The new building was located on the west end of the No.7 Machine Room.  The current finishing room building connected to the eastern end of the new finishing room.  The old machine shop was removed to make way for the new building.  The southerly stream bed was diverted to the northern side of the island in order to make room for the new railroad siding.  Also removed was the original mill water tower.  The converting plant was housed on the top floor of the building with the cutter room and merchant finishing facilities on the main floor.  The ground floor stored the necessary supplies needed for converting and finishing operations.

By late December 1963, all facilities of the old converting operations were relocated to the 3rd floor of the new finishing room in an around the clock, three-day move.  The schedule for the transfer of tools and equipment was planned so it would not interfere with the mill's normal work week.  The move began at seven o'clock Saturday morning, December 14, and ended on schedule 72 hours later.  

The finishing room project was completed in January 1964. 

New Sulphuric Acid Storage
The mill replaced its sulphuric acid storage tank in 1964.  The new tank, measuring 32' x 9', was manufactured in the welding shop and transported on a low boy trailer to the tank farm for installation.  The new tank stored 116 tons of acid used for the paper bleaching process.

Crews complete the installation of a new Sulphuric storage tank in the lower mill tank farm. (IPCO photo, M. Wright collection)

Reducing Air Pollution
The mill took three major steps between 1965 and 1968 to reduce air pollution.  Three scrubbers were installed in 1965 at a cost of $62,000 to handle non-condensable gases from the digester blow tanks.  In 1967, the mill installed a black liquor oxidation system to reduce emissions from the chemical recovery process at a cost of $200,000.  In 1968 the mill installed a smelt tanker scrubber at a cost of $50,000.

Mill Adds Pilot Plant
International Paper began introduced additional methods to reduce stream pollutants.  In March 1967, International Paper Company completed its construction of the pilot effluent treatment plant in the lower mill.  The building measured 35' x 45' and was 37' in height.  It was located in the lower mill where the effluents from all mill outlets were pumped in measured amounts for testing purposes.  The plan began operation in April 1967.  The system consisted of pumps located at all mill discharge points.  The pumps were controlled so as to deliver a mixture of effluents to the Pilot Plant in the same ratio that they were flowing into the stream.  The plant treated a small portion of the actual effluent flow.

Black Liquor System
The mill installed a black liquor oxidation system in 1967.  A. H. Lundberg Inc. built the system which was used to oxidize black liquor by bubbling air through slotted trays containing the black liquor.  Black liquor contained the impurities removed from wood during the cooking process, unused chemicals, and chemicals that could be recovered for reuse.  The system, when properly operated, could greatly reduce the quantities of odorous hydrogen sulfide and methyl mercaptan, but it could not completely eliminate the odor so many Ticonderoga residents lived with each day mainly because the human nose could easily detect minute quantities of these gases.  The plant began operation around June 1, 1967.

The No. 8 Paper Machine
A No.8 paper machine was planned during the mid-1960's due to a favorable sales forecast of the share of the fine paper market.  It became apparent to company officials, however, that the village of Ticonderoga was not adequate to support the necessary layouts to sustain the machine's requirements.  Air and water quality requirements and the increased water usage would help determine that a Ticonderoga site was impossible.  

In 1965, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation ordered International Paper to construct treatment systems for its plant in Ticonderoga.  Considerable deliberation ensued regarding the inability to build the No.8 paper machine in Ticonderoga and the Conservation Department's orders.  The company instead opted to build a new, more modern facility on the shore of Lake Champlain approximately 10 miles north of the site in downtown Ticonderoga.  The new mill would draw its water supply directly from Lake Champlain. 

Old Mill Operations Cease
On December 1, 1970, International Paper Company closed down a major portion of its facilities that had operated for 88 years in the Village of Ticonderoga, producing more than 93,000 tons of paper and consuming 95,000 cords of wood annually (more than half of which was comprised of wood chips purchased from small woodlot owners and company owned wood lots).  The new mill was expected to have three times the consumption and output.  The shutdown included the No.7 paper machine and the pulp mill.  The only remaining operations included the No.3 and No.4 machines and two power bailers.  

Old Mill Closes
International Paper held symbolic ceremonies marking the closing of the old mill.  With the cessation of pulp production, all emissions from the mill's stacks ended.  The mill's whistles and horns sounded as the last batch of pulp moved out of the mill, making the final shutdown of pulp cooking, bleaching, and chemical recovery operations.

The company closed all lower mill facilities at 7 a.m. Saturday, April 24, 1971, nearly two months ahead of their original schedule.  It was the company's goal to discontinue operations as soon as possible in order to eliminate all active discharges from the old mill in accordance with New York State's efforts to improve environmental quality.  This marked the first time in over 200 years that Ticonderoga had no industrial operations on Ticonderoga Creek.

Old Mill Demolition
The demolition of the historic lower mill actually began in June 1966.  By the end of September, the four paper machines and most of the auxiliary equipment was removed.  Buildings came down slowly as debris was removed..  Service lines to the pulp mill and steam plant had to be maintained as the mill was still in operation.

International Paper Company's Northern Division Headquarters received several bids to demolish the old mill in August 1972.  The division office began looking at the lowest possible cost for demolition before submitting a final proposal.  In addition, several companies had examined the property for possible purchase under purview of the Department of Commerce's policy of encouraging sale of vacant industrial sites, but there were no interested parties at that time.

Crews fill this Reading Railroad gondola with scrap metal from the dismantling of the lower mill.  The time frame is the 1970s.  Today this area is part of the Ticonderoga Bicentennial Park. (IPCO photo, M. Wright collection)

On April 9, 1974, the Times of Ti reported that Standard Machine and Equipment Company of Uniontown, PA began preparing to remove Mill #38 from the village.  The mill's old time office, located at the base of Champlain Avenue served as the demolition company's main office.  The upstairs section over the International Paper Company's administration business office served as the IP headquarters.

After a meeting held on Wednesday, April 4, 1974 between village building inspector, Floyd Scott, and members of the Village Board, International Paper representatives were given a demolition permit allowing work to begin immediately.

Constructing a New Mill
Construction of the new mill, International Paper Company Mill #10, started in the late 1960's.  In December 1969, a portion of the finishing room began operation.  In December 1970, the original mill in the village of Ticonderoga closed and the new International Paper mill opened its operations at its new location outside of the village limits.  This marked the first time in 200 years that no industrial activity occurred on La Chute River.  The new paper mill was built at a cost of $71 million and was dedicated in October 1971.

The new No.8 paper machine began operation in January 1971.  The No.7 paper machine in the old mill (Mill #38) was shut down during the first week of December 1979 for dismantling.  It was reassembled, moved to the new mill (Mill #10) and began operations in June 1971. Although the new plant would continue as a customer of the Delaware and Hudson railroad, the paper company no longer required rail services in Ticonderoga.

History of the Mills & Dams
A dam has existed at the outlet of Lake George since 1808.  Its principal purpose was to store water in order to provide power for industrial use.  Saw mills and grist mills used the water power in its early days.  Paper mills have been located along Ticonderoga Creek since 1878 and depended on the dam for water for the manufacturing process as well as water power.  

International Paper Company was composed of six separate mills and/or dams some of which were more industrial than others.  The company published a general location map of all mills at Ticonderoga in June 1926.  These included Mill "A," Mill "B," Mill "C," Mill "D," Mill "E" or Island Mill, and Mill "F" or Lower Mill.  Each dam or mill got its name from its position relative to the outlet of Lake George.  Dam/Mill "A" was the first dam down from the outlet.  Dam/Mill "B" was the second down from the outlet, and so on.

"A" Mill Dam
The "A" Mill was located at the outlet of Lake George and the beginning of Ticonderoga Creek (La Chute River) near the first waterfall (34' drop) and dam at Bridge Street (now Alexandria Avenue).  This was also known as the Lake George Mill.  A wooden dam was constructed on the rock crest of the outlet around 1800 which ran saw mills and the later pulp and paper mills.  Approximately a century later, Alexander Lee built a stone masonry dam with 10-inch wooden flashboards.  These were used to raise the level of Lake George high enough to provide a flow of 200 cubic feet per second for up to 140 days.

In it's first half-mile, La Chute River falls 99 feet from the outlet of Lake George.  The traffic between Lake George and Lake Champlain along with this wealth of water power combined to make Alexandria, the earliest settlement in Ticonderoga.  By 1810, the hamlet had two forges, a tannery, and several saw mills. 

The "A" mill was shut down due to a lack of orders and demolished in October 1898.  However, during the spring of 1903 International Paper began work on the "A" dam replacing the older dam on the same site.  It was constructed of stone masonry and was laid on the rock crest of a natural waterfall in the outlet.  

The "A" mill on the upper falls.  (Postcard photo, M. Wright collection)

The spillway of the dam was about 80 feet long and was about seven feet maximum height above the natural original rock.  It was equipped with a gate and penstock leading to the water wheel that formerly provided hydroelectric power, and four waste or flood gates to control the discharge of water.  Approximately one-half of the old dam was constructed 40 years earlier with the other half twenty years after that. 

"B" Mill Dam
The "B" Mill was located near Mill "A", but slightly northwest of it along La Chute River and past the base of the first waterfall (68-foot drop).  This was the location of the second dam and powered forges, graphite, and saw mills decades before any organized paper making activities.  It was also the starting point for the penstock supplying the "C" mill in 1893.  The Lake George Manufacturing Company constructed a cotton mill below the upper falls in 1872 hoping to capitalize on the textile industry.  The five-story mill ran 60,000 spindles, but was empty by 1884.  The Glens Falls Pulp Company purchased the cotton mill in 1884 and built a new brick and stone mill at this location in 1891 after fire claimed the original building.  By 1893, all of the pulp companies in this location merged into the Lake George Paper Company.  This was the first time in history that the entire upper falls was under the ownership of a single company.  In 1896 a new 252 foot dam was constructed in three sections.  This 20 foot high dam directed water into a 10 foot diameter penstock for the former Glens Falls Paper Company's "C" mill just down the river.

The level of Lake George has been controlled from the outlet at this location for more than 100 years.  In 1987, the  LaChute Hydro Company, a subsidiary of Enel North America, Inc., began construction on its Upper and Lower Hydroelectric Projects along LaChute River.  The upper project was located at the "A" mill location while the lower Project was located at the lower falls or "F" mill.  Both commenced operations in 1989.  The upper facility continues to control the level of Lake George in accordance with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.  The upper and lower hydroelectric projects, the only hydropower facilities on Lake George, generate enough clean electricity to power over 4,000 New York households as well as provide water for the lower falls and stimulate local fish populations.

The "B" mill below the upper falls.  (Photo: Ticonderoga Historical Society)

In 1971, the mill in this area was shut down when the new mill was constructed.  There had been a dam at this site in one form or another since the 1750's.  The existing masonry dam was built in 1903.  By 1974, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation began a state dam project in this area.  Demolition of the old paper mill buildings was well underway.  A. P. Reale and Sons of Ticonderoga had a $37,640 contract with the state to complete the demolition.  The center of the original masonry dam which regulated the Lake George water level was reconstructed.  Three new gates were installed, each capable of handling 300 cubic feet of water.

This is the "C" dam.  Today, one can see remnants of its former self when driving on Lord Howe.  (Ticonderoga Historical Society, M. Wright collection)

"C" Mill Dam
The "C" Mill was located north of Mill "B" on Lord Howe Street  and a short distance south of the outlet of Trout Brook.  It was the former site of a ground wood mill of the Lake George mill system.  This was the location of the third dam (23-foot drop) along the river.  The site required a broad dam high enough to make its power-generating "head" worthwhile while strong enough to hold back a lot of water.

The "C" mill, originally of the Glens Falls Pulp Company, and better known as the old cotton mill, was destroyed by fire on Friday morning, July 31, 1891.  

International Paper Company would later acquire the property as it did all paper making in the area.  The company installed an electric turbine in the east end of the dam.  A penstock carrying water from the upper dam supplemented the force of water coming over the 21-foot dam.  The dam supplied water for International Paper Company's #4C generator.

The original "C" dam created a significant amount of retained water which earned the name, Lord Howe Lake as Lord Howe road ran along side it.   The dam was lowered in the 1970's.  

Fire, believed to have been caused by a short circuit in a generator, completely destroyed the "C" Mill power plant on July 24, 1930. A man passing by the mill around 11:30 PM first noticed the fire. The wooden structure was ready fuel and by the time the alarm was turned in, the building was a mass of fire. 

The fire department could do little except save nearby structures and prompt action by them to stop the rapidly spreading flames prevented larger losses. 

The "C" dam and Lord Howe Lake. In the background a.  (Courtesy Ticonderoga Historical Society)

The blaze was one of the fiercest in the history of Ticonderoga. The flames poured from the windows and the intense heat was felt two hundred yards away. The sky was colored a deep red and was seen from miles away by residents in other towns who stated they they thought a terrific fire was destroying the entire business section of the village.

Although the plant formerly supplied power to the Ticonderoga Pulp & Paper Company, the fact that it had been cut out of this system ensured that its destruction caused no inconvenience to the paper company. No one was working in the plant at the time.

Fire struck again on July 16, 1931, believed to have been started by a short circuit in the generator and causing approximately $1500 damage. No one was in the building at the time and it was thought that the damage resulted from the same cause of the previous fire a year earlier. The Ticonderoga Fire Department quickly responded to the alarm. All damage was confined to the generator.

When International Paper Company built a new mill on the shore of Lake Champlain in the 1970s, the turbine house was dismantled and the dam lowered to decrease the pond depth.  The lake, or possibly more correctly, the pond, returned to its present size as witnessed today.  Today, earthen berms on either side of the river indicate the original height of the dam and give an idea of the size of the pond, or lake, it created.  Only the lower regulator remains of the double regulated Kaplan turbine that once produced electricity.  It sat in a vertical, cylindrical casing connected by a short pipe to the intake in the dam.

In 1987, LaChute Hydro, a subsidiary of Enel North America, Inc., constructed its upper generating station here known as the Upper LaChute Hydroelectric Project.  It was powered by a buried penstock running from the "A" dam.

"D" Mill Dam
The "D" mill was one of Ticonderoga's original pulp mills and   the location of the fourth dam (18-foot drop).  It was located a short distance northwest of the the railroad line into Ticonderoga and the Island Mill along Lake George Avenue. 

The Delaware and Hudson spur running from the upper falls to the Island Mill passed right behind the rack house shown on the right. There was also a short storage track at this location. 

In 1906, a huge 12-foot penstock built by Glogstron and North of Fair Haven, VT carried water from the "D" mill alongside the river, under the bridge, and above ground into the Island Mill.

This is the rack house at the "D" mill during 1966.  (IPCO Tower Magazine photo, M. Wright collection) 

A second view of the D mill, dam, and rack house. The D&H rail line passed to the left of this photo running south to the upper falls, north to the island mill, and east to the Ticonderoga yard (postcard photo, M. Wright collection)

Another view of the D mill, dam, and rack house in this Ticonderoga Pulp and Paper mill photo that was used for a photo postcard. (postcard photo, M. Wright collection)

"E" Mill Dam (Island Mill Dam) aka Richard's Dam
The Island Mill was located north of West Exchange Street and was also the location of the fifth dam (47-foot drop), and Richards Mill dam.  Richards operated a woolen mill 40 years before J. Q. A. Treadway took it over in 1861.  Treadway then built a new woolen mill at this location in 1865.  Forty years later, Eber O. Richards and son rebuilt the dam in order to power a pulp mill.  A foot bridge connected the island to the upper town.  The island mill needed a great deal of water to operate a new electrical power plant and power pulp operations.  

The dam here was fitted a concrete intake gate surmounted with a gatehouse.  The dam fed a double flume running into the mill.  Clogstron and North of Fair Haven, Vermont constructed a large penstock here in 1906.  This brought water from the "C" dam to the lower mill area increasing the volume of available water as well as the height of the water stack.  

The Richards mill and spillway.  This was the location of the "E" mill and dam. This location is behind the Black Watch public library in Ticonderoga. (Mark Wright collection)

Sand filters purified the water driving the hydro-electric generators and supplied water for pulp vats and paper machines. 

The creek that formed the island, Spencer's Creek, disappeared many years ago, replaced through the use of penstocks.  The entire LaChute river has narrowed from its former self into what is visible today.  The original configuration of streets and streams within Ticonderoga was much more complicated in its earlier history.  Spencer Creek, a name lost on many, but the oldest or more history-minded individuals today, at one time split from the LaChute river just before the Montcalm Street (Exchange Street) bridge until again rejoining the river where Champlain Avenue (Main Street) crossed the river (Frazier Bridge).  By 1906, Spencer Creek had disappeared, replaced by a penstock described above.

The "E" mill dam in 2015 and former location of Richard's mill . (photo: Mark Wright)

"F" Mill Dam (Lower Mill Dam)
The Lower Mill was located in Ticonderoga and bounded by the intersection of East Exchange Street and Tower Avenue.  This was also the location of the last waterfall and dam, "F" mill dam (30-foot drop), along Ticonderoga Creek, certainly the most famous and picturesque of the waterfalls in present day Ticonderoga.  The first industrialization of this area began with the construction of a French saw mill in 1756.  Samuel Deall used this mill to grind grain before the American Revolution.  

Before 1880, three major manufacturers competed for water at the lower falls.  They constructed a wing dam to divide the river.  A three foot weir (low head, overflow type dam) controlled the flow which then passed by a masonry wall that extended 75 feet into the waterfall.  The Ticonderoga Pulp Company received two thirds of the flow.  American Graphite Company and Horicon Iron Works shared the remainder.  

The Ticonderoga Pulp and Paper Company built their lower mill in 1883.  In 1898, a Victor wheel was installed and generated 565-horsepower.  Outlets for the penstock feeding the 39' wheel are still visible next to the modern hydroelectric plant, which now sits at the base of the waterfall.

The hydro project building located in the Bicentennial Park on a warm night in July 2011. (M. Wright photo)

International Paper Company turned over the dam that controlled the water level of Lake George to the State of New York on April 5, 1974.  Title to the 70-year old dam and 7.04 acres of contiguous land that provided access to it was accepted on behalf of the State by Commissioner of Environmental Conservation James L. Beggane.  IP also contributed $150,000 as a fund to redesign and reconstruct the dam.

The projected dam redesign involved the removal of the penstock, rebuilding the dam straight across the outlet, and replacing the wooden manually operated flood gates.

Today, the LaChute Hydro Company operates the Lower LaChute Hydroelectric Project from this location.  The lower LaChute plant functions as a "run-of-river" hydropower facility meaning that it only uses the natural flow of the river without any water storage.  The naturally flowing water is released by the Upper LaChute Hydroelectric Project near the old "B" mill and dam.  

In 2007, LaChute Hydro completed an equipment upgrade which increased the annual electricity generation by over five percent.  Despite these changes along the river, the natural beauty of the lower or "Centennial" falls near Bicentennial Park has been preserved.

The final waterfall along the LaChute River seen here in July 2015. 2015. (photo: Mark Wright)

Dorn's Transportation
Dorn's Transportation was based in Albany, NY and did considerable business in Ticonderoga and many times their vehicles could be seen in the Ticonderoga rail yard and International Paper Company lots.

In March, 1981 Walter Dorn, then Chief Executive Officer and principal stockholder of Dorn's Transportation, Inc. agreed on behalf of himself and the minority shareholders to sell Dorn's Transportation to Oneida Motor Freight, Inc. Oneida received the stock of Dorn's Transportation on September 17, 1981.  The sale was completed in 1985.

Seen here is a typical Dorn's Transportation truck. (Fred Gruin Jr. photo)

The machine shop in April 1963. Note the Dorn's Transportation trailer.  (International Paper Company, M. Wright collection)


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How to Replace a Mill
Over the years and especially after the mill moved from the town, it donated a considerable amount of property to the Village of Ticonderoga.  In January 1937, International Paper gave the Community Building the deed to the property adjacent to the eastern boundary of the building as a gift through James M. Garahety, superintendent of the Ticonderoga Pulp and Paper Company, then a subsidiary of International Paper Company.  The property extended from the state highway to the Delaware and Hudson Company tracks, consisting of approximately one and one half acres.  The area has been used for by Ticonderoga for many community activities over the years.  The current location of Ticonderoga's Community Building once housed the Ticonderoga Pulp & Paper Company's horse stables.

Land Donation - Sewage Treatment
In March 1970, the International Paper Company donated an additional 1.5 acres of land at the outlet of Ticonderoga Creek, the old Little League field, to the Village of Ticonderoga which added to a previous 2.2 acre parcel conveyed in 1969 comprising a total of 3.4 acres.  The Village used this land to erect sewage treatment facilities.  The additional land allowed the erection of a more efficient facility approved by the New York State Department of Health.  Acting Mayor, George Hebert (my uncle), accepted the donation on behalf of the Village.

Land Reuse Study
The Ticonderoga public viewed an unveiling of the Village's plan to reuse the former lands of the International Paper Company's lower mill on March 25, 1970.  The meeting, held in the Community Building auditorium, examined three different proposals and assumed the paper company would have no further use for the land once they vacated it following the completion of the new mill in 1972.  It was hoped the reuse plan would create a dynamic new image for Ticonderoga and avert the continued decline and deterioration of the village's business and commercial district.

The study took the entire 68 acres of the then present mill site and provided three separate areas of development.  The first of these areas included Area A, the site of the No.7 machine.  This plan called for the conversion of that building into a major shopping center structure, seen by the State planner as a way to doom the downtown shopping district as the area could not economically support two shopping areas.  Recommendations for this 16-acre area included remodeling the old No.7 building with all merchants fronting on the north side of Montcalm Street.  The current buildings would be demolished with the area used as a parking plaza and mall.  Montcalm Street would be widened and a new street would be added extending from the library and run behind the new center to intersect with Tower Avenue just south of the bridge.  Luckily, this plan was never implemented as it would have destroyed a considerable part of Ticonderoga's historic architecture.  No significant reuse ever occurred for this section other than a walking trail and additional parking.

The second area included Area B, occupied by the mill's site administrative offices and pulp plant.  Because this area had no industrial reuse potential, the vision called for the construction of an 18-acre lake with 1200 feet of public beach.  The lake would form from the damming of Ticonderoga Creek.  The area used as a dump at that time would be used to develop motel sites overlooking the lake.  Instead of a lake, Ticonderoga would eventually use this land for its Bicentennial Park.

The third reuse study option examined a 27-acre site used for pulpwood storage by the mill.  Planners suggested this site be used for construction of 100 low and moderate income housing units.  The study also recommended the extension of Algonkin Street from Champlain Avenue to connect with this site (not too far off from what actually happened to this site).

Land Donation - American Graphite
The Village increased its land holding on September 17, 1970 when the Ticonderoga Village Board unanimously accepted an offer from the Joseph Dixon Crucible Company to deed that company's property which once housed its former graphite processing plant on the north side of Ticonderoga Creek just before the lower falls.  The Board accepted the offer with an expectation to incorporate the property in the Ticonderoga Planning Commission's proposed plan to rebuilt the business district.

Following the Graphite Company's fire in 1969, the property along Tower Avenue sat as an industrial eye-sore and was the subject of many cleanup articles and discussions.  With the transfer of the property, the Village became responsible for the cost of all cleanup.  Part of this land would eventually become part of the Champlain Legacy Park, new Little League ball field, and Veteran's Memorial.

Demolishing the Mill
Crews began dismantling of one of the most visible symbols of International Paper in the village of Ticonderoga with the removal of the large silver ball shaped water tower in October 1974.  A huge logo of International Paper Company graced the side of the ball portion of the water tower.  Construction workers with Security Tank and Tower Company out of Henderson, Kentucky dismantled the 150 foot tower in two days.  

It was a unique process involving the removal of the top in one section.  Unfortunately the crew failed to locate a crane that could handle 12 tons and had to settle for a 150 foot boom crane that was capable of 8 tons.  This necessitated cutting the silver ball in half.  Two men had to climb to the top of the tower from the inside and climb out on a rope ladder in order to cut the ball down the sides.  

The contacted company actually purchased the tank and transported it back to Kentucky on railroad cars where it was reconditioned and sold.  Security Tank also removed the penstock from the "A" mill all the way down to the former filter plant.  The company had already sold 200 feet of the 9-foot diameter pipe by October 1, 1974. 

Land Donation - Bicentennial Park
On December 23, 1974, International Paper Company called together representatives of the community of Ticonderoga to formally announce they were deeding over 100 acres of land to the village of Ticonderoga.  The meeting took place at the Holiday Inn in Lake George.   

Dismantling the IPCO water tower. (Ticonderoga Sentinel. M. Wright collection)

According to the transfer, the land encompassed all IP Company property east of Tower Avenue.  The land bordered both sides of Ticonderoga Creek and included access to the scenic lower falls.  This would become part of the communities Bicentennial Park.  The former lower mill area was graded with the pulp and power group of the complex already leveled and in the process of being cleaned up and removed.  The No.7 machine was a skeleton, but the finishing and storage area in the Island Mill was still generally intact.  The company also donated the building once housing the main mill office (1888 building) to the village.  This was used as the Heritage Museum.

Land Donation - Skating Rink
International Paper Company donated land on Schuyler Street, known as Kiwanis Park, to the Village of Ticonderoga in 1975.  The land, previously leased since 1966, was used as a playground housing the Kiwanis Club's basketball court and an ice skating rink.  The ice skating rink location replaced the previous location down near the old EMBA little league ballpark.  Assistant mill manager, Frank Shearer, presented the deed to the village major, John C. Dreimiller.  

By 1977, most of the former International Paper Company mill and Joseph E. Dixon Crucible Company's American Graphite lands, both once booming and vibrant industries, was radically changed to more community minded uses.  A little league field was now sitting at the location of the old graphite company.  The previous field was taken when the village's water pollution abatement plant was constructed on that site.

The demolition of the lower mill. (photo: M. Wright collection)

The Odiferous Odor
No one who lived in Ticonderoga during the period when the paper mill resided in the village will ever forget those certain days when the smell from the mill became overpowering.  The heavy smell of sulfur (a.k.a. rotten eggs) was a smell not easy to forget.  One could say this was the smell of prosperity and industrial health, but people will always complain about something.  Complaints go all the way back in history.  John F. McCaughin entered a formal complaint with the State Department of Health over the odor emanating from the lower mill as far back as June 1922.  Acting upon orders from the state authorities, the local board of health began investigating the matter. 

When I was younger, the mill (#38) was located in its original location in the village of Ticonderoga.  There were days when you literally didn't want to breathe in downtown Ticonderoga because of the horrible sulfur smell.  I have such vivid memories of that smell.   They actually bring back many fond memories of childhood.  Today...I miss it...but only a little. 



The Baldwin Branch
The opening of the Baldwin Branch or the "Lake George Road" of the Delaware and Hudson Railroad on May 24, 1875, connected Montcalm Landing on Lake Champlain, via the eastern outskirts of Ticonderoga, to the rail terminus at Baldwin on Lake George located  approximately one mile below Cook's Landing.  This would somewhat complete Ticonderoga's rail connection to points north and south, but did not immediately bring tracks directly into the village of Ticonderoga itself.  When Baldwin Dock became the northern terminus of the Lake George steamers, it became financially desirable for the Delaware and Hudson Railroad to construct the five mile rail spur to Baldwin Landing in order to connect the Lake George and Lake Champlain steamboats.

Countless tourists loved traveling up and down the island-studded Lake George and do so today.  Many came to the region just to relax and enjoy the offerings of the Adirondack region.  This was during a period when the more affluent people fled the hot summer cities to get away from their busy lives.  The shoreline of Lake George contained numerous famous, opulent resorts and hotels.  Hotels such as Rogers Rock Hotel, Glenburnie Club, Silver Bay, Sagamore, Sabbath Day Point, Bolton House, Fort George Hotel, and others provided quiet seclusion and relaxation.  The new Baldwin rail service replaced the former stagecoach line run by Captain William S. Baldwin and enabled travelers to access the Lake George region in a more stylish and comfortable fashion.  By June 1880, the Plattsburg Republican was reporting that William Baldwin was again acting as a guide between the lakes on the open sided excursion cars.

Constructing the Baldwin Branch
The Essex County Republican announced on September 19, 1872 that the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company decided to connect Lake Champlain and Lake George by railroad and would begin work as soon as the New York & Canada road was in operation.  The Baldwin Branch of the Delaware and Hudson Railroad.

The April 4, 1874 issue of the Ticonderoga Sentinel stated that New York & Canada Railroad President Dixon and Chief Engineer Wentz were soon expected in Ticonderoga to examine the route of the projected Lake George Railroad and to inspect the work currently underway in the tunnel under Fort Ticonderoga.  

Ads began appearing in May 1874 for the sale of land, to be divided into parcels, in the coming season on Lake George near and about Stone's Bay, near the terminus of the proposed Lake Champlain and Lake George Railroad over which drawing room cars were expected to run from Albany and Saratoga during the year.  Perspective buyers were instructed to contact J. Q. A. Treadway in Ticonderoga or W. D. Treadway in New York City.

Securing a Right-of-Way
Delaware and Hudson Railroad valuation maps and information show the parties involved in securing a right-of-way for the railroad. A total number of 22 parties are listed, all whose property was granted to the New York & Canada Railroad Company between July 21, 1874 and July 8, 1875. The instrument of transferal was by deed.

Delaware and Hudson valuation maps show the right-of-way grantor and grantee information. (photo: M. Wright collection)

The Railroad's Inception
News of the branch line's inception appeared on June 6, 1874, when the Ticonderoga Sentinel announced that the Lake George Road was permanently located and work would begin at once.  The expectations at that time were for trains to begin running by the close of the traveling season, which was usually around August or September depending upon the weather and tourist travel.  The article announced the line as an estimated 4 miles, running from the dock at Port Marshall (Montcalm Landing) to the new dock at Coates' Landing (Baldwin).

D&H Alco RS-3 #4061 with a long mixed freight train.  You can see Lake Champlain in the left background. It is August 8, 1968 and the train has not yet arrived on the Ticonderoga Branch.  Engine 4061 entered service in 1952 and will serve another four years with the D&H before going to Precision Engineering in 1972.  (photo: M. Wright collection)

Work Begins
The Essex County Republican reported on May 21, 1874 that the Lake George railroad would probably not be built during the coming summer.  However, the Ticonderoga Sentinel reported on June 6, 1874 that the Lake George Road was permanently located and work would commence at once.  Expectations were that trains would be running before the close of the traveling season.  The road would be about four miles in length and would extend from the dock at Port Marshall to the new dock at George Coates' land (Coates Landing).

This proved accurate as a short time later, the Ticonderoga Sentinel reported that the work of actually building the new Baldwin branch to Lake George began on Thursday, June 11, 1874 on a portion of the line running through W. G. Baldwin's land.  Gangs of laborers were sent to work at short intervals along the route with plans to increase the force as fast as men could be spared from the New York & Canada railroad, which was just nearing completion.  

On June 20, 1874, the Ticonderoga Sentinel reported the work of filling in the railroad near Hale's was progressing finely and the section would soon be ready for the rails.

By June 29, the force on the Lake George road was increased with four large railroad gangs who were busy at work with still more help soon to be employed.  The Ticonderoga Sentinel announced a noticeable advancement in the construction of the line and new rail gangs increased again during the month of July.  On July 11, 1874, the Ticonderoga Sentinel reported that a large portion of the Lake George Road was already fenced in and grading work was rapidly progressing.  One week later, on July 18, the Ticonderoga Sentinel reported work was "going on rapidly" and new gangs were arriving daily with work "brisk" along the entire line.  The Ogdensburg Journal reported on August 24, 1874 that the Lake George branch was progressing.

Seneca Ray Stoddard, famous Adirondack photographer, referred to the new probabilities coming such as the line under survey to Ticonderoga, in his Adirondacks Illustrated book.

Coe Young, General Superintendent, Mr. Henry, Auditor, and Chief Engineer Wentz arrived in Ticonderoga on September 16, 1874 for an inspection of the railroad work.  General Diven and Assistant Engineer Seymour accompanied them.  It was during this same time that General Diven announced the closing of his business with the Delaware and Hudson.  The wages of the laborers were reduced and many workers discharged.  It was announced that the line to the lake would not be completed before the end of the season as it was decided to run to the old landing at Cook's the following spring.  By this point, the branch line, 2500 feet in length, had been built from the Lake George road (Baldwin Road) to the gravel bed on W. G. Baldwin's farm near the horse trotting track at the base of Cook's mountain (Ticonderoga was once known for the raising of excellent racing horses).  An engine was scheduled to go over the road on Saturday, September 19th.

On October 17, 1874, the Ticonderoga Sentinel reported that the railroad shanties were beginning to look deserted...a sure sign that the railroad was nearing completion and preparing to open.

Workers from a D&H work train camp pose for the camera at Montcalm Landing in 1925. The roof of the Fort View Inn can be seen above the rail car. (M. Wright collection)

Other Rail Activity
This was not the only railroad activity going on in the area.  On September 29, 1874, it was also reported that the work of driving piles across the bay for the branch railroad from the Addison Railroad to Burleigh's dock was being pushed forward rapidly.  By October, this trestle-work branch railroad across the mouth east of the creek was nearly completed and was soon in condition for running rail cars.  This effort was expected to increase the coal trade of H. G. Burleigh and Brothers who sold coal to Montreal dealers and to the Lake Champlain trade.  The new line would expand their product to Vermont dealers.  

Other Happenings
By May of 1879, H. G. Burleigh & Brothers erected a number of buildings including a large storehouse on their dock at Addison Junction for use as a central point for their large coal trade and other articles that passed through the Champlain Canal.  They added an office with a telegraph and had assets on the Vermont side, at Larrabee's Point in the form of additional coal docks.  The Vermont side of the lake (Larrabee's Point) also included industrial growth.  These included additional Burleigh coal docks, a steamship dock, a large 3-story stone store, a large hotel, and a fairgrounds known as Ethan Allen Driving Park owned by W. C. French.

Addison Junction was becoming a prominent business point.  The principal town highway terminated here at the ferry which crossed Lake Champlain to Vermont.  A post office was established around this time and new telegraph office and express officer were expected soon.

On Saturday, October 10, 1874, the Ticonderoga Sentinel reported that the stages stopped running on their old route between Lake Champlain and Lake George.  As the Ticonderoga Sentinel reported on October 17th: 

"Our citizens cannot but look upon their departure from the line without a feeling of regret.  For a number of years they have regularly appeared with the opening of the traveling season till they have become traveling landmarks, so to speak.  The rattle of their ponderous wheels, the sharp crack of the driver's whips have been heard and looked for with pleasure and interest.  The forms and faces of the gentlemanly drivers have become as familiar as the coaches themselves and they too will be missed.  The traveling public will miss the worthy proprietor of the line, will miss the genial face, the lectures and the story of the 'Union Tree' and more perhaps the gentlemanly and bland call for 'your tickets gentlemen'."

Branch Opens
The Baldwin Branch opened on May 24, 1875.   Although opened, the new branch line was not really ready for passenger train service as reported a week later in the Ticonderoga Sentinel.  The Delaware and Hudson Railroad was also still in the process of constructing a new passenger station on the Lake George terminus of the line.  The Ticonderoga Sentinel announced the station would become known as "Baldwin."  For a few short days, stages resumed their old position on the road transporting passengers between the two lakes.  

Delaware and Hudson passengers traveling to the Ticonderoga area frequently stayed at the Ticonderoga Inn.  (Ticonderoga Inn brochure, circa 1912, M. Wright collection)

The first train over the new railroad line occurred on Monday, May 31, 1875 and consisted of an elegant coach and baggage car drawn by the steam locomotive "Plattsburgh."  Regular trains began running during the first week of June.  Trains made two trips a day between Lake Champlain and Lake George.  

Delaware & Hudson Alco RS-11 number 5008 leads a southbound passenger train train past Fort Ticonderoga siding towards Whitehall, NY on a December day in 1974. Fort Ticonderoga is visible in the mid-right background. (photo: M. Wright collection)

William G. Baldwin, the former supplier of stages between Lake Champlain and Lake George prior to the railroad line's emergence, became the first Superintendent of the Baldwin Branch or Lake George road.  The Ticonderoga Sentinel said he was known far and wide as the, "genial, gentlemanly and model stage owner."

Although the line to the Lake George Baldwin station was open, there still was no passenger service yet into the actual village of Ticonderoga.

To meet travel demands, two boats per day ran through Lake George.  The first boat left Ticonderoga for Caldwell (Lake George) at 6:30 a.m. and 3:30 pm, returning at 11:00 a.m. and 8:30 pm respectively to connect with the Lake Champlain steamers.

Montcalm Landing
The initial point for the Baldwin Branch begins near Montcalm Landing.  In the late 1800s, it was hoped the new dock at the mouth of Ticonderoga Creek would become the finest on Lake Champlain in arrangement and throughout construction.  Ticonderoga was expected to be the head of navigation for the large steamers and the new dock was constructed with that view in mind using all the latest improvements and experiences associated with modern dock architecture, at least for that time period.

Completion of the railroad and canals would increase tourist traffic to the area.  The Champlain Canal officially opened in 1823 and connected the south end of Lake Champlain with the Hudson River.  This 60-mile canal soon helped turn Lake Champlain into a busy thoroughfare with products such as timber, produce, iron, stone, and more moving to the Hudson River.  Leisure travel soon became affordable and the tourists came to see such sites as the ruins of Fort Ticonderoga.

Some poor soul (unknown) waits at Montcalm Landing on a cold, winter day.  This combination passenger and freight station was built in 1895 and became the main station at Montcalm Landing after the the trestle facility on Lake Champlain.  Date and photographer unknown. (James Cawley photo - Ticonderoga Heritage Museum: M. Wright collection)

This old lantern slide shows the pier comprising Montcalm Landing running on Lake Champlain.  Double tracks are clearly visible with both tracks passing inside the main building.  (glass slide: M. Wright collection)

Montcalm Landing Station & Dock Construction
Work began in 1873 on the new steamship and railroad dock just below Port Marshall near the foot of Mount Defiance.  The lake here was deep and narrow and protected by the hills on all sides forming a first-class harbor.  

The construction contractor was Mr. L. Witney of Keeseville, New York, but the immediate supervision of the work was under Mr. E. S. Adsit of Burlington, Vermont.

This new facility was located 425 feet from shore, 525 feet overall.  The dock was a huge 100' x 300' with a footing composed of 1500 pine piles forty feet in length.  Twenty-seven of those were driven into the lakebed.  The piles were capped with heavy, hewed pine timber running crosswise and five feet apart.  

 

On the lake side of the dock was 2500 yards of crushed stone filled in among the piles.  The front was faced with hewed timber and the entire structure was floored with 3" plank.  There were 57 fender piles of white oak thoroughly balanced and bolted making the structure look giant-like in length.  

The structure included a row of 17 white oak stubbing posts.  Ten tons of bolts were used in its construction.  Two 27' wide and 1550' long bow-shaped trestle approaches connected the dock with the shore employing 850 piles.  Double track rails were laid upon the trestle and trains were run out upon the dock and through the main building.

This postcard view shows Montcalm Landing with the full railroad platform on Lake Champlain.  This view is from the top of Mt Defiance.  (postcard photo, M. Wright collection)

A public trestle roadway 425' long and 16' wide extended from the shore to the dock.  It was constructed upon piles, floored with 3-inch pine with a safety railing on the sides.  There is an excellent photo of Montcalm Landing on page 145 of Jim Shaughnessy's book "Delaware & Hudson".

The dock was under the charge of Mr. E. A. Northup who was eventually promoted to freight cashier at Saratoga in early July of 1876 .  The Ticonderoga Sentinel indicated that Northrup was well liked.

The Essex County Republican reported on May 21, 1874 that work on the Port Marshall dock was "progressing finely."

The July 18 1874 issue of the Ticonderoga Sentinel reported the plans for the Coate's landing dock and the bridge near the mills were ready and work would begin on both structures soon. 

As the dock at Montcalm Landing was completed in September of 1874 and the rails continued on the Baldwin Branch, there was a feeling of excitement in Ticonderoga.   

An excerpt from the September 12, 1874 edition of the Ticonderoga Sentinel explained it all.

"She is waking up. For years the old place has indulged in a little of the "Rip van Winkle" and seemed perfectly happy dozing away, oblivious to everybody and everything...with the first sound of the coming railroad, with the first thud of the shovel and pick that turned the clay for the iron roadway, a change in Ticonderoga was noticeable. She began to wake up and look about saying to herself, "the Rip van Winkle days are past." With the promise of a railroad the impetus was given to manufacturing, machinery was set in motion and spindles began to make music. Real estate that three years ago could have been bought for a song, now is refused at fancy prices. New streets have been laid out and new residences have come into existence, we can almost say, by the hundreds. Schools and churches have received attention. The former is in a flourishing condition with able teachers and a growing attendance. The latter too is marching on, able men occupy the pulpit and another spire points heavenward, under which congregations will soon pass.

All this waking up is due to the railroad; the nearer the rails come, the more life and activity was noticeable. Doubtless by the time this article is in print the iron horse will have found its way up over the hills..."

The Plattsburgh Sentinel reported on December 11, 1874 that the new dock at Ticonderoga was constructed and a branch track had been laid to it returning to the main line on the north side.  Beginning in 1875, Champlain  steamboats would go no further south than Ticonderoga where connections to trains would be made both ways.

  

A Delaware and Hudson northbound passenger train approaches Montcalm Landing and slowly eases onto the trestle over Lake Champlain in 1881.  (postcard photo)

This dock at Port Marshall was overhauled and greatly improved in March 1882 according to the March 31 issue of the Ticonderoga Sentinel.  It did not specify any of the details other than stating, 

"...it will be put in excellent condition."

This would not last and major changes would occur in another twelve years which would eliminate the old wharf station and railroad trestle.  

From information printed in the Ticonderoga Sentinel on April 21, 1892, traveling to the Montcalm station had challenges associated with it.  There were concerns regarding the need for a fence along a portion of the railroad at Port Marshall.  A majority of the horses were afraid of the locomotive engines.  At a certain location along the road, it appeared to the frightened horses as if the trains were coming down upon them, and so they tried to escape by turning toward the mountain.  Anyone who ever had an occasion to drive over the road recognized the necessity of a fence.  Some claimed it was only by chance that previous accidents had not been more serious and frequent.  It was reported that a great number of people dreaded to drive to the village by the road at Port Marshall.  Unfortunately, there was no other road into the village from this direction.   

It was the opinion of many in the area that it was the responsibility of the railroad company to build a fence to alleviate the problem and that steps were needed to compel the railroad to do so at once.  If the people waited for the railroad to take the necessary safety measures on its own volition, they could "wait until doomsday."  The public's claim was that the condition of the road was a "crying evil" that the railroad company had known for several years and had taken no steps to remedy. They were insistent that there should be no further delay in constructing a fence.

Those concerned claimed the village was "gridironed with railroad tracks," a bit of an exaggeration.  While the public recognized the railroad was a necessary aide to the area's manufacturing interests, it was not by any means an absolute blessing, for a railroad company never does anything for a community without full payment in return, and if it has a monopoly, it knows how to be oppressive...some pretty strong language when, in fact, the railroad probably simply did not want to allocate financial resources to this project or perhaps the public's concerns were buried in railroad bureaucracy.  The public believed there was little relief in Ticonderoga for some freight, and for people going west, as they did have the advantage of competition by applying to the agent of the Vermont Central at Addison Junction.  No closure was discovered so it is unknown if the railroad ever built this fence.

The Plattsburg Sentinel and Ticonderoga Sentinel both reported that the Delaware and Hudson began making extensive changes and improvements at the Montcalm Landing wharf station.  They began dredging and filling in about the old dock at Fort Ticonderoga.  The old dock and trestle work was in the process of being removed around November 24, 1894.  The dredging work was for a new steamboat dock which extended out and perpendicular to the shore in a slip type similar to the ferry slips in New York so that steamers would be able to enter the slip.  The railroad began creating enough space in order to move the main line track out twelve feet.  The track of the Ticonderoga railroad was also extended alongside the regular line to the site where a new depot would be built.  The new smaller station included an arcade.

The railroad continued to use this new steamboat dock, main line station and arcade on the shore along the main line for many years.  The canopy on the steamboat dock was removed and replaced on each end of the arcade on September 18, 1939.

This seldom seen view of the rear of Montcalm Landing station circa early 1950s.  (photo: Taken by Clarence H. Myers, station agent and telegraph operator.  Gift of Barbara A. (Myers) Riley. M. Wright collection)

With the discontinuance of regular steamboat service, the steamboat dock was retired from service and planking removed on November 28, 1939.  By June of 1940, a Ticonderoga Sentinel article discussed needed improvements to the dock, stating that it was unsuitable to permit the convenient landing of small cabin cruisers and similar craft which traveled on Lake Champlain each summer. During past seasons, these boats had utilized the dock as a mooring place while the owners purchased supplies in Ticonderoga stores.  This created a source of considerable revenue.  At the time, the paper estimated that a relatively small amount of money could improve the dock to an extent whereby boats could safety dock and passengers and crew could walk ashore without great inconvenience and danger which was involved then on the partially-demolished structure.

It was hoped that the property, still owned by the Delaware and Hudson Company, could be improved, although it was realized that the railroad might raise objection against any movement to encourage small craft to utilize the dock.  However, the existent conditions did discourage boat operators during a time when this immediate area catered more and more each year to the tourist trade.

Others proposed new uses for the old railroad dock.  The Ticonderoga Sentinel announced in June 13, 1940 that arrangements were underway to obtain permission of the Delaware & Hudson Company to anchor a seaplane float, sponsored by the Town, and built by the N.Y.A. Work Center, off the old Fort Ticonderoga station steamboat dock.  

This view of the front of Montcalm Landing station circa early 1950s looking south.  (photo: Taken by Clarence H. Myers, station agent and telegraph operator.  Gift of Barbara A. (Myers) Riley. M. Wright collection)

By July 25, the seaplane float was installed at Thatcher's near the old Montcalm ferry landing.  The float was approached from the land by a 70 foot catwalk which had a railing for protection.

In November 1940 the railroad added an outhouse and ramp to the station building.  Finally, on February 19, 1963, this station was removed.  It would be replace with a small Amtrak station that would initiate a whole new negative rhetoric in the future.

Dr. James Corscaden Family wife Julia and 3 children (Jim, Julia and Helen akka Chubby) wait at Montcalm Landing as the southbound train rounds the corner approaching the station.  (Seddon Beatty photo. M. Wright collection)

Station Name Changes
The changing names associated with railroad stations along the Delaware and Hudson Railroad from Montcalm Landing, which was named Fort Ticonderoga, then Montcalm Landing and finally re-named Fort Ticonderoga, to Addison Junction, which was named Addison Junction and then Fort Ticonderoga, confused passengers and media from their inception to 1933.  Not only the name changes, but also the nonsensical station name itself associated with its specific location.  

The Ticonderoga Sentinel reported on June 7, 1900 that the confusion for strangers coming to Ticonderoga caused by the names of railroad stations in the area caused no end of trouble.  In addition, ticket sellers at distant points seemed to be confused about the final station name of "Fort Ticonderoga" and the Ticonderoga village. 

Passengers purchased tickets for Fort Ticonderoga station and had their baggage checked as if they would be landed in the village.  When they left the train at their destination, however, no village was in sight.  To add more confusion, rail passengers for the village changed cars at Fort Ticonderoga station in the daytime and landed at Addison Junction at night, finishing their trip by stage.  The station name, "Fort Ticonderoga", was misleading as a name for a station as the fort was only dimly visible across the bay a mile away.  Passengers were neither in Fort Ticonderoga nor in the village of Ticonderoga.  When Howland Pell was in town during the summer of 1900, he requested Robert Dornburgh to draw up some petitions, which if circulated and largely signed by the townspeople, could result in a in a change of name for some of the stations, which hopefully could be less confusing to strangers.

Specifically, for the Montcalm Landing area, The dock facility at Port Marshall, as it was referred to at the start of the project, experienced the majority of these interesting name changes during its history.  It was most commonly known as Montcalm Landing to older residents and historians and Fort Ticonderoga to current residents due to the later and final name change.  Early timetables (1875-1876) printed in the newspaper did not reference the station because through trains did not stop at this location.  The Delaware and Hudson Railroad, in their 1928 inspection of the lines book, "Passenger and Freight Stations," stated that there was no authentic record or why Montcalm Landing was so named, except probably for the fact that General Montcalm commanded the French forces of old Fort Carillon nearby.  The nearest station listed at the time was Addison Junction.  

Montcalm Landing began life as Montcalm Landing station, but was officially designated as Fort Ticonderoga at the end of its life as a station.  The station at the junction point of the Delaware and Hudson Company and the Addison Railroad was known as Addison Junction until its name changed to Fort Ticonderoga and remained that until the end of its life as a station.  By 1877, the name Fort Ticonderoga, for the Montcalm Landing location, appeared in the timetables printed in the September 28 issue of the Ticonderoga Sentinel (the previous week's paper of August 31 and those before it did not list Fort Ticonderoga, only Addison Junction), but eventually disappeared altogether in the newspaper.  The explanation given in the March 28, 1879 issue stated that the paper meant to publish it, but was too overcrowded and so had neither the space, nor the time to publish it.  Besides, the paper stated, 

"Neither do we care to publish it for the D. & H. C. Co. are not inclined to favor members of the press as do other roads throughout the United States."  

The April 20, 1911 edition of the Ticonderoga Sentinel provided the first indication of an official name change by the Delaware and Hudson Railroad.  In that edition, the newspaper stated that it had it on good authority that the railroad proposed to change the name of the Fort Ticonderoga station to Montcalm Landing and that the new name would appear in the railroad's time tables that coming fall.  The then current station name of Fort Ticonderoga identified it with the village, an identification that would be lost with the proposed change.  Many believed this change would result in confusion to travelers and be antagonistic to the business interests of the village.   It was suggested that the Business Men's association address the matter.  As the newspaper stated, 

"If the name of the station has got to be changed let it be some name that will identify it with the village to which it owes its existence, such as Ticonderoga Junction, for instance."  

Ticonderoga Junction would have been an impossible name as this already existed since 1891 as the initial point of the Ticonderoga Railroad from the Baldwin Branch.  A local illustrated the feeling of those in Ticonderoga regarding the proposed 1911 name change. When told of the proposed change he stated, 

"If they change Fort Ticonderoga to Montcalm's Landing, why not call the Village Lord Howe's Grave?"

This comment had some merit.  However, the confusion was not complete.  Now that the name of "Fort Ticonderoga" was off the list of station names, it could be applied to another station...and it was.  The name of the Addison Junction Station would appear on the next issued time table as Fort Ticonderoga, a name that, due to its location, everyone would concede as fitting and proper.  This name would remain until the station was closed by the railroad in 1933...and the name was swapped again with Montcalm Landing for the final time.

A Delaware and Hudson work train sits on the siding at Montcalm Landing in 1925. This photo looks to the south.  (M. Wright collection)

A Business Men's Association meeting was held on Thursday afternoon, May 4, 1911 in the Hook & Ladder room.  During the meeting, one of the topics discussed was the proposed railroad station name change.  Objections to the proposed change were apparently "emphatically manifested."   C. L. Ross, I. Rothschild and I. Ledger were appointed a committee to communicate with the railroad remonstrating against the change and suggesting that the station be named Ticonderoga Junction.  

The Delaware and Hudson Railroad requested the Rutland Railroad Company to change the name of its Addison Junction station, then called Ticonderoga by the Rutland, to Fort Ticonderoga.  

All of this in order for it to correspond with the name of the Delaware and Hudson station, which would appear in the next time tables as Fort Ticonderoga.  

The fact that the Rutland Railroad Company was to construct what would practically be a new bridge at Addison Junction made this an opportune time to revive the old project of having a driveway in connection with the bridge. C. A. Stevens, A. G. Adkins and I. C. Newton were appointed a committee to take the matter up with the railroad company in an endeavor to secure this greatly desired means of passage across the lake.  The same committee would also endeavor to remedy ferry conditions at Addison Junction.

By May 18, 1911, the Delaware & Hudson company replied to W. G. Wallace, secretary of the Business Men's Association.  In a letter, the railroad company declined to reconsider their decision to give the name of Montcalm's Landing to the Fort Ticonderoga station.  The railroad held  that the name they chose was better  than Ticonderoga Junction, as suggested by the association.  The committee refused to be deterred in their efforts to secure a name for the station that would more closely identify it with the village of Ticonderoga. 

Despite the best efforts and strong wishes of the Business Men's Association, the Delaware and Hudson would continue with its plan and the name change would stand.

The Delaware and Hudson's Laurentian is northbound leaving Fort Ticonderoga.  (Mark Wright collection)

Ticonderoga Sentinel announcement of station change in 1933. This would seal the name for this location once and for all until the final Amtrak station was removed in 1993.  The station name of "Fort Ticonderoga" would then move to Pell's Crossing a short distance north of Montcalm Landing. (Ticonderoga Sentinel)

The September 7, 1911 edition of the Ticonderoga Sentinel announced that after October 1, 1911, the name of the station at Fort Ticonderoga, the junction of the branch line to Ticonderoga village at the the main line, and also the Lake Champlain Transportation Company terminal, would change to Montcalm Landing.  Addison junction, two miles north, would change to Fort Ticonderoga.  In announcing the change of names, the railroad company stated,

"The restoration of historic old Fort Ticonderoga, undertaken by public spirited individuals, has made it advisable for the accommodation of visitors to this historic spot to make the above changes, inasmuch as the destroyed ruins can be reached to best advantage from the present Addison Junction station, which on the date named will, as stated, become Fort Ticonderoga.  The name adopted for the Landing where the interchange of passengers between the Champlain Transportation Company and the Delaware & Hudson takes place namely, Montcalm's Landing, commemorates the landing of the French at this spot in 1757."

On October 5, 1911, the Ticonderoga Sentinel announced the station name change to its customers.  The Delaware and Hudson Railroad changed its timetables on October 1. 

The Delaware and Hudson name changed again from Montcalm Landing to Fort Ticonderoga beginning on April 1, 1933.  As would be expected following the tumult of the 1911 name change, the latest change was met with the unanimous approval of the local residents as evidenced in the March 30, 1933 Ticonderoga Sentinel which stated, 

"Residents of Ticonderoga should be gratified at the announcement this week of the Delaware and Hudson Company that the company beginning April first will change the name of the Montcalm Landing station to Fort Ticonderoga.  The latter name means a great deal more to the average tourist than Montcalm Landing and both Ticonderoga and the Fort will benefit by the change."

The station name of "Fort Ticonderoga" would remain at the Montcalm Landing location for the remainder of the station's life and final closure in 1954.  The name "Fort Ticonderoga" would remain into the Amtrak years when the only station present was a small cabin-like structure.  Even when the Amtrak station was moved up the line to Pell Crossing in 1993 with a new station, it retained its "Fort Ticonderoga" label.

Changes Through Time
The Delaware and Hudson Canal Company began running a special train at the end of September, 1876.  This service continued until the close of navigation for the season.  The train ran from Baldwin to Fort Ticonderoga, connecting the Lake George and Lake Champlain steamers.  The train arrived at Saratoga at 3 p.m. and stopped only at Whitehall at 1:40 p.m. and Fort Edward at 2:30 p.m.

This view of the Ft View Inn is how it appeared in July 1999.  The previous hotel porch seen in the previous photos is now enclosed. This is the restaurant seating area of the business.  (M. Wright photo)

The Lake George Branch began re-grading the line in May 1882 to prepare for the approaching business season.  Rail regular train service began running on Monday, May 29 at which time the Vermont began running on Lake Champlain and the Horicon began running on Lake George.  Beginning with this season, all mail cars were furnished with an ax, saw, and hatchet by order of the US Government for the use of agents in the event of an accident.  New timetables took effect on June 19.  All summer coaches on the Delaware and Hudson Canal Co. were thoroughly overhauled, newly refinished, reupholstered and placed into service on the line.  A fire ax was added in each car.

By July 23, 1891, the Lake George mail, usually carried by a team of horses from Ticonderoga to Baldwin, was carried by the Baldwin branch trains.

Phone Communication
The Public Service Commission received a joint petition in February 1911 from the Ticonderoga Home Telephone company and the Ticonderoga Telephone company which asked for the approval for a transfer of a portion of the plant of the Ticonderoga company to the Home company.  Both companies operated in the village of Ticonderoga.  The two companies decided that a single system would be more advantageously and efficiently operated.  Ticonderoga Home company agreed to pay $9,200 for the Ticonderoga company's equipment.

In July 1911, the Delaware & Hudson Company installed telephones in the stations of Addison Junction, Fort Ticonderoga and Baldwin.  When Ticonderoga had two telephone companies, field instruments were place in the stations without charge.  As soon as the two Ticonderoga telephone companies merged, they were taken out because the railroad company refused to pay for them.

Defiance Siding
A passing siding existed south of Montcalm Landing from milepost 98.97 to milepost 100.05.  This was known as Defiance Siding in 1928.  By April of 1940, the siding name had simply changed to MD Siding according to employee timetables.  Delaware and Hudson Railroad information from 1969 denoted that the siding was bracketed by LC Cabin and TI Cabin on the south and north ends respectively.  Michael Kudish confirms this in his book, "Railroads of the Adirondacks" as do 1916 Delaware and Hudson right of way and track diagrams which were corrected over time.  

This view of the Ft View Inn is how it appeared in July 1999.  The previous hotel porch seen in the previous photos is now enclosed. This is the restaurant seating area of the business.  (M. Wright photo)

There were numerous spur tracks and crossovers at Defiance siding.  The siding had a maximum capacity of 65 cars. The railroad added a derail to passing track "A" on May 22, 1948.  Track "A" was later removed in January 1955.  Track "B" was reclassified to a second main track (track #1) on July 7, 1966.

The railroad maintained a number of facilities at this siding.  A tool house was removed in July 1931.  A 35,000 gallon water tank, required for the steam locomotives of that era, was removed in January 1934 and replaced with a 50,000 gallon water tank from Ballston Spa.  On August 27, 1937, the railroad moved a section tool house from The Addison Junction station location, past the north end of the Fort Ticonderoga tunnel, to north end of Defiance siding.  A portion of the pump house on the north end was removed in October 1939.

Timetables from 1928 show a watering facility and two stock pens at milepost 99.35.  The railroad trestle over the water was removed around 1928 according to railroad track schematics.

This postcard view shows Montcalm Landing (date unknown) with a passenger train under steam.  By this time, the bow-shaped trestle approaches are gone, but the public trestle remains and is used to dock the steamers.  Note the small spur track in the distance to the right of the mainline near the dock.  The steamship "Vermont" sits at the dock awaiting passengers.  (postcard photo, M. Wright collection)

Delaware & Hudson maintenance of way Hi-Rail truck K143 sits on the siding at what was once Montcalm Landing in July 1968.  This truck was used for tunnel clearance.  The right side of the Fort View Inn is visible at the extreme left of the photo.  (photo: M. Wright collection)

A postcard view from the Fort View Inn shows Montcalm Landing in the early 1900s. The steamer Vermont is docked.  Note the D&H Co. wooden boxcar and wooden hopper car on the siding.  (postcard photo, M. Wright collection)

The Fort View House
The Fort View began as a carriage house, the Fort House, in the late 1800s before becoming a hotel, known as Wicker's Hotel.  The Lake Champlain steamers "Champlain," "Adirondack," and "Vermont" used Montcalm Landing to drop off and pick up passengers.  It continued as a seasonal resort towards the latter 1800s, open from June through November.  Joel Wicker operated the establishment during the period around 1875.  Gilligan and Stevens leased the property in 1884 from the Pell heirs, promoting it for fine drives, good livery, four mail deliveries each day, and New York newspapers delivered each morning.

More recently, the Fort View House became a local watering hole and restaurant.  Today, it's known as Ye Old Fort View Inn and is still located near the rail siding on State Route 22.

The Fort View provides a nice view of active railroad tracks (if you're a rail fan) once owned by the Delaware and Hudson as well as Fort Ticonderoga which sits just across the waters of Lake Champlain past the outlet of Lake George.   

Attempts to Discontinue Fort Ti Station (Montcalm Landing)
On January 16, 1933 the Delaware and Hudson Railroad filed a petition with the Public Service Commission under section 54 Railroad Law, seeking to discontinue its Fort Ticonderoga station under case number 7701.  A public hearing was held in the village of Whitehall on Thursday, January 26 at 11:30 a.m. 

The Public Service Commission approved the request in February 1933, but required the railroad to continue handling carload freight at the station under the supervision of the agent in Ticonderoga.  One train stopped regularly at the station daily in each direction on flag. There was practically no passenger business at the station. Revenues at the station in 1932 amounted to $569.54 with station expenses of $2,434.01, expenses exceeding revenue to the amount of $1,844.37. Station business had been handled by a clerk under the supervision of the agent at Ticonderoga for some time. The postoffice was still located in the station, but assurances were given that other arrangements would be made for handling the mail. There was no telegraph office in the station. It was testified that the the company paid out $2.68 for every dollar taken in at the Fort Ticonderoga station during 1932.

All witnesses who testified at the hearings held on the railroad's application stated that public convenience and necessity would not require the continuance of the station. The Ticonderoga Chamber of Commerce adopted the resolution and asked the Delaware and Hudson to apply the name "Fort Ticonderoga" to the station then known as Montcalm Landing. The resolution stated that the interests of the public would not be impeded by discontinuing the Fort Ticonderoga station. In view of these conditions and all of the testimony offered, the commission authorized the discontinuance of the station. 

The Delaware and Hudson announced in May 1939 that railroad service to Fort Ticonderoga would not be curtailed as anticipated once the new railroad schedules were issued.  The Ticonderoga Chamber of Commerce was disturbed over information they received to the effect that a new trains scheduled by the railroad would not make stops at the Fort Ticonderoga station.  E. T. Gillooley, Delaware and Hudson general passenger agent stated that the railroad would maintain service to Ticonderoga in the same degree as previous years although changes in the schedules were made and a new train added. 

New timetables, effective April 30, 1939, noted the schedules were the same as the Spring timetable of the previous year.  Changes made in the schedules of trains 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, 9, and 10 included only adjustments to account for the change to Daylight Savings Time.  The new schedule, effective June 25th, introduced a new train, number 39, would operate from New York City to Plattsburg arriving at Fort Ticonderoga at 2:10 p.m.  Southbound train number 34, the Laurentian, would have a conditional stop at Fort Ticonderoga arriving at 1:53 p.m. to discharge passengers from Montreal. 

Embarrassing Fort Ti Station
By 1939, the Fort Ticonderoga station had become an antiquated building and an eyesore.  Towns people felt the look of the station created an unfair and unfavorable impression upon passengers aboard trains stopping at the station.  At this time, the station appeared as a simple wooden structure serving as "the junction for a backwoods hamlet rather than a modern, bustling community which is Ticonderoga" as reported in the editorial section of the April 20, 1939 edition of the Ticonderoga Sentinel.  The Transportation Committee of the Ticonderoga Chamber of Commerce, consisting of Elliot Spalding, Joshua Lowe, and Stephen J. Potter, recommended that the railroad complete important alterations and improvements to the station.  

This 1891 Delaware and Hudson advertisement appeared in the December 24, 1891 edition of the Ticonderoga Sentinel.  (M. Wright collection)

The Delaware and Hudson finally consented to the Transportation Committee's recommendations.  On April 12 1939, the Transportation Committee happily reported that the Delaware and Hudson began making improvements.  Committee member Eliot Spalding reported that a Mr. Burch of the railroad had informed the town that a force of men had begun work on the station canopy.  

Upon completion of these remedial changes in June, the canopy was extended 50 feet to the north and 50 feet to the south. 

The Ft. View House still stands and is now known as the Ft View Inn.  This postcard view shows how it looked years ago.  Date unknown.  (postcard photo, M. Wright collection)

New Life for Montcalm Landing
In March 1947, James J. Malaney, a Ticonderoga bus operator, made an application to the Ticonderoga town board for a franchise to operate bus routes during the summer of 1948 from Baldwin Dock on Lake George to Fort Ticonderoga and Montcalm Landing. At the same time, George H. Spring, executive director of the local Chamber of Commerce, stated that the Lake George Steamboat Company informed him that it planned to conduct two daily round-trips on the lake between Lake George Village and Baldwin Dock.

The March 13, 1947 issue of the Ticonderoga Sentinel announced that Ticonderoga, Inc., which operated the Lake Champlain steamer, "Ticonderoga," secured tentative permission from the Delaware and Hudson Railroad Corporation for the use of the railroad company's boat dock at Montcalm Landing.

Malaney's application for the bus franchise and the announcements of the two boat transport companies suggested a potential revival of the former "through tours" from New York City to Canada, with passengers traveling via Lake George and Lake Champlain and through Ticonderoga. The two round-trips on Lake George would enable residents and summer visitors of the community to take the Lake George trip from the Baldwin Dock terminal and return the same day via boat from Lake George Village. The Chamber of Commerce had long pointed out the advantages to the community of opening the Montcalm Landing boat dock to the operators of the Lake Champlain steamship, "Ticonderoga." The Chamber of Commerce explained that tours on the lake could then include the village and its attractions as one of its stops.

Here is another postcard photo of the Ft. View House at Montcalm Landing.  Notice the nice switch stand lamp in the foreground.  Date unknown.  (postcard photo, M. Wright collection)

A public hearing on the Malaney was scheduled for Monday, March 24, at the Community Building. However, a group of fourteen local taxi drivers protested that the bus service threatened to drive them out of business. This postponed the hearing until March 31 at which time no decision was reached, but delayed until April 3, 1947. At the meeting, the Ticonderoga town board approved the application, but with two restrictions which limited permission the bus service from May 20, 1947, to September 30, 1947, prohibiting the bus from carrying passengers from the railroad station to the village or vice versa. The bus could carry passengers from Baldwin Dock to the railroad station and from the station to the boat dock. The bus would also provide service between the village and Fort Ticonderoga and between the village and Black Point Beach on Lake George. The restrictions prohibiting bus service between the village and the railroad station was considered a response by the board to local taxi drivers. The petition was forwarded to the Public Service Commission for approval.

Railroad Bid to Close Ft. Ticonderoga Station
The Delaware and Hudson Railroad Corporation petitioned for authority (Case 22014) to discontinue all services and faculties at its Fort Ticonderoga station, except for the handling of carload freight. The petition, issued in December 1961, would completely cut off Ticonderoga from all railroad transportation. Ticonderoga passengers had only two trains available, the Laurentian, leaving for the north at 1:58 pm and for the south at 2:43 pm. The night Montreal Limited did not stop at the Fort Ticonderoga station, even on signal. The afternoon Laurentian trains continued to operate north and south, but they would not stop here, even on signal, if the Public Service Commission authorized the closing of the station.

By December 28, 1961, a movement began to formulate action to oppose the closing of the station. An editorial regarding the closure in the Ticonderoga Sentinel stated, "This should not and must not happen. The Delaware & Hudson may come up with figures showing lack of patronage as they did in the case of the morning and evening trains. But, it should be pointed out that the railroad line has a lucrative freight, business in Northern New York, including this area, and should not be permitted to spoon off just the cream. A public duty is involved."

On January 3, 1962, J. P. Hiltz Jr., vice president in charge of operation and maintenance for the Delaware and Hudson stated in a letter to the Ticonderoga Chamber of Commerce that passenger train service to Ticonderoga would continue daily even if the Public Service Commission granted the petition to close the Fort Ticonderoga station.  Hiltz explained that if the station was closed, it was the railroad's intention to place passenger tickets on sale at the Ticonderoga agency (freight office on Champlain Avenue), formerly the main Ticonderoga station when branch service was maintained between Ticonderoga and Montcalm Landing.  In addition, the two daily Laurentian trains would continue to stop at the Fort Ticonderoga station.  The letter, however, did not mention a heated or lighted station at the Fort Ticonderoga location although it was assumed in a phone conversation with a railroad official that such a necessary shelter would be maintained by the railroad for the convenience and comfort of passengers.  Upon the original notification of the petition to close the station, locals assumed that the north and southbound Laurentian trains would also discontinue service, but the railroad confirmed this was not the case.

A delegation of 18 Ticonderoga and area governmental personnel attended the Public Service Commission hearing on January 9, 1962.  During the meeting, it was announced that the railroad proposed to sell, rent, or lease the Fort Ticonderoga station building and to construct a three-sided unheated and unlighted shelter without lavatory facilities if the petition to close the station was approved.  Although tickets for the Laurentian would be sold at the former Ticonderoga passenger station, the railroad would not provide service for the checking of baggage.  Ticonderoga Town attorney, John Lawson, stressed that further curtailment of railroad service would deter the growth of the area.  Station service was urgently needed particularly during the summer months when there was a heavy influx of tourism.

A February 14 hearing date was postponed due to a request for adjournment by attorney Lawson until June in order to complete the Planning Commission's final report and to allow time for the presenting of tourist industry witnesses who could not attend the February meeting.  The postponement was denied and the February 14 hearing was not held with the case close, however, the examiner complied with a request for Lawson to file a memorandum reviewing evidence in the case.  The memorandum reviewed the earnings from the Fort Ticonderoga station which showed a profit for the years for 1958 and 1959.  Profits decreased in 1960 due to the discontinuance of the northbound and southbound evening trains according to Lawson. Testimony revealed that 50% of all passenger traffic on the line occurred in July, August, and September and a partial report for 1961 did not reveal the earnings for these critical months.  It was assumed that the profit for the entire year would be much greater, comparatively, when final returns were tabulated.  The testimony is the case was voluminous at over 239 pages.

The Public Service Commission gave the Delaware and Hudson a green light on May 25, 1962 to discontinue resident agency service at the Fort Ticonderoga station.  The railroad was required to continue passenger service and provide a suitable enclosed shelter which would be heated when necessary vs. a three-sided unheated shelter as originally proposed by the railroad.  The railroad had to continue the handling of carload freight at the Fort Ticonderoga siding under the jurisdiction of the Ticonderoga station agent.  Less than carload business handled at Fort Ticonderoga was routed via Ticonderoga.  Although the railroad had not intended to handle baggage, it agreed to make special arrangements to receive and forward "camp baggage" at Fort Ticonderoga station for the convenience of vacationists. The Commission also directed the railroad to transfer jurisdiction over its non-agency station at Dresden from Fort Ticonderoga to Ticonderoga.

Fort Ticonderoga Hotel - Pavilion
William Ferris Pell (1779-1840), the first private owner of the Fort Ticonderoga peninsula, created his personal estate, the Pavilion, surrounded by an arboretum and pleasure grounds.  He purchased these 546 acres, which comprised the Fort Ticonderoga garrison grounds, in 1820 from the New York State Columbia and Union Colleges for the sum of $6,008.  The State had owned the property since 1785.  Pell's first Ticonderoga summer home, the Beaumont, was destroyed by fire in 1825.  The Pavilion was constructed upon the same site in 1826.   From the early 1840s through the end of the 19th century the building was rented to a number of people who operated the building as a hotel.  Stephen H. Brand operated the hotel from 1868-1893.  One of Pell's daughters, Mary, lived in the north wing until her death in 1884.

The Fort Ticonderoga Hotel, also known as the Pavilion, circa 1895.  (M. Wright collection)

Pell converted his home into a hotel to take advantage of the burgeoning New York City tourist travel to the area.  The Pavilion served as a hotel, known as the Fort Ticonderoga Hotel, from approximately 1839 to 1898.   The hotel welcomed thousands of travelers who passed through Ticonderoga while traveling by steamboat on Lake George and Lake Champlain.  Famous visitors included Robert Todd Lincoln and Seneca Ray Stoddard.

William Ferris Pell's great-grandson, Stephen Hyatt Pelham Pell (1874-1950) and his wife Sarah Gibbs Thompson Pell (1878-1939) began the restoration of Fort Ticonderoga in 1909, opening it to the public in that same year.  They also undertook the restoration of the Pavilion and used this as a summer residence for many years.  After Stephen Pell's death in 1950, his son John occupied the house through 1987.

Seneca Ray Stoddard described his journey through the Adirondacks in his "Ticonderoga Illustrated" published in 1873.  Upon reaching the ruins of Fort Ticonderoga, Stoddard referred to the Fort Ticonderoga Hotel stating, "So, let us hasten to the hotel, down among the locusts, where a good dinner is awaiting, after which we can moralize, and paw among the ruins to our heart's content."

Stoddard described the Fort Ticonderoga Hotel as one which, "was built in 1826, by William F. Pell, for a summer residence, and first occupied as a hotel in 1840, at which time the grounds were thrown open to the public.  The central portion is two stories high, with a double piazza; the front supported by massive columns on which vines climb to the roof above; on either side extend long, low wings with glass enclosed verandas, and rooms en suite at the extreme ends.  The house faces the east, and is fronted by an extensive lawn covered by locusts and Lombardy poplars through which a plank walk leads down to the steamboat dock and a road runs through the fields to the depot a little to the north [Addison Junction], over which a free carriage conveys guests to and from all trains.  The house is open day and night; the principle business is the dinners, which are first-class and partaken of by hungry travelers while waiting for the boats; and altogether it is a very enjoyable place."  

A description of the Fort Ticonderoga hotel from the 1873 edition of  "Adirondack Illustrated" written by S.R. Stoddard and published approximately two years before the completion of the Baldwin Branch.

An 1868 advertising hand bill (credit: Fort Ticonderoga) noted that the hotel was newly furnished with rooms which were airy, large and contained suites or private parlors.  Daily meals included fine trout, bass, pike, pickerel.

Before completion of the Montcalm Landing facility, Lake Champlain steamers landed at Fort Ticonderoga landing just below the old fortress ruins.  Tourists stayed at the Fort Ticonderoga Hotel where a boardwalk connected the hotel with the dock.  Upon completion of Montcalm Landing in 1874, it became the new Lake Champlain northern steamship terminus.  Steamships began stopping at the new dock on the lake instead of the dock at Fort Ticonderoga landing.

The Fort Ticonderoga steamship landing.  The plank walk leads from the dock to the Pavilion.  Date and photographer unknown.  (photo: M. Wright collection)

Montcalm Landing Road
The Baldwin Branch crossed today's State Route 22 before entering the village limits of Ticonderoga.  When this road was originally proposed, it was called simply the Ticonderoga - Montcalm Landing Highway or the Ticonderoga - Putnam Road as construction ended at the Putnam town line.  Before Route 22 construction began, it was discovered in July 1921 that due to an error in the original maps furnished by the State Highway Department for the project, there was a conflict with the Delaware and Hudson, which claimed the land at the Montcalm Landing station.  The railroad stated that, in fact, 

"...there is no properly dedicated highway at that point, though one has existed as far as memory can go back."  

 

D&H Alco RS-3 #4073 leads the Ti local or "Ti Job."  The local is pulling 3 full cars of coal and other freight on a bright August day in 1969.  (photo: M. Wright collection)

Initial Discussion
A committee of supervisors began meeting in June 1921 in preparation of the construction of two roads, the Ticonderoga-Montcalm Landing road and Whallonsburg-Essex roads.  The committee, accompanied by County Attorney R. B. Dudley began obtaining releases from land owners whose lands were crossed by the proposed roads.  The committee also included supervisors D. M. Johnson of Lewis, L. Warren Pratt of Moriah, and S. W. Barnard of St. Armand.  The committee simply obtained the releases from land owners and left the property damage for adjustment after the completion of the roads.
  

The Ticonderoga-Montcalm Landing road, running from Ticonderoga to the Putnam town line, a distance of 3.53 miles, was constructed with federal and state approval of the plans and specifications. The roads department of the United States Department of Agriculture gave its approval on June 25 with the of the State Department of Highways giving its approval given the following day.  The road was advertised for bids.

Road Dispute
An unfortunate circumstance arose in July 1921 that threatened to postpone the road construction into 1922.  An apparent error was introduced into the map of the road as furnished by the State Highway department which conflicted with Delaware & Hudson claims to land at the Montcalm Landing station. 

The Baldwin Branch leaves the D&H mainline (dashed lined to the left), crosses State Route 22 and heads towards Ticonderoga through the woods.  (satellite photo: M. Wright collection)

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The property was used for many years as a highway before the railroad was built.  However, The Delaware and Hudson claimed the land from the rock ledge (easily visible today) just north of the station, as part of its right-of-way. The State Highway Department, State Senator Ferris, local Assemblyman Porter, and railroad supervisors met on Monday, August 8, 1921 with Delaware and Hudson president Loree at Montcalm Landing to resolve the issue.  The railroad company asserted that there was no properly dedicated highway at that point though one had essentially existed there as far as anyone could remember, being used as a highway for many years before the railroad was built.  The railroad nevertheless claimed it was a part of their right of way.  County highway officials hoped that the problem could be straightened out in time to permit building of the road in 1921 as planned.  Failing this, the committee hoped to complete the Ticonderoga-Hague road as scheduled in 1922 in the place of the Montcalm Landing road.

This issue was finally resolved and after several delays due to work and weather problems, construction began on the road on April 10, 1922.  Most of the construction was completed by early August 1923 except for the construction of guard rails and ditch work. 

Work Begins
The contract for building the Ticonderoga-Montcalm Landing road was awarded to Fred E. Ellis of Melrose, Massachusetts in October 1921.  The Ellis bid was $144,171.50, which was $17,000 under the engineering estimate of $161,640.50.  Ellis was reputed to have been among the most efficient and experienced of road builders, having constructed over a million miles of road in New York state during the previous year.  By mid-October, Ellis had rented the Jeremiah Snyder house near Montcalm Landing in order to house his workers.   

Ellis wanted to push the work with all possible speed and, with plenty of good men available, anticipated accomplishing much of the work during the fall.  Ellis planned to start the work at the big rock ledge near Montcalm Landing station.  However, by October 27, no actual work had started in the construction because  engineers had not yet finished laying out the grades.  Ellis expected operations would be under way within ten days or two weeks with work continuing as long as  weather conditions permitted.  The crews already received a carload of road-making equipment at Montcalm Landing with machinery and tools expected within a few days. 

By December 22, 1921, Ellis had a force of men erecting a building near Montcalm Landing to house a blacksmith shop shop, compressor plant and engine room.  The building was located beside the road a short distance from the rock ledge. The next step was to begin cutting away the ledge, but contractors could not complete this before the first of March with completion of the road by July 1922.

R. H. Jones, foreman for Ellis, arrived in Ticonderoga on Tuesday, March 21, 1922 to begin making plans to start the work. Work began, although on a small scale, on Monday, April 10, 1922.  The existing road condition was bad, no more than a puddle of mud.  Approximately 20 men, some of them local, were initially engaged in working on culverts while Ellis waited on employing a larger force of men until conditions improved.  But, by early June, workers were suddenly at a shortage.  Later in the month, heavy rains seriously interfered with the construction bringing work almost to a standstill.

Work continued into May 1923 where work was confined mostly to blasting away the ledge north of the Montcalm Landing station.  By June 14, workers had extended the road to the Montcalm ferry location.

 

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Delano Junction
The junction of the Baldwin branch and the mainline of the Delaware and Hudson, also known as Delano Junction, was 99.89 miles north of Albany at the eastern base of Mount Defiance (also known as Sugar Hill or Rattlesnake Hill) 0.39 miles north of the Lake Champlain Transportation Company's dock (also referred to as Fort Ticonderoga by the railroad due to its proximity to the "great stone fortress" with the same name) at the mouth of Ticonderoga Creek.  This junction was under the jurisdiction of the Ticonderoga station (D&H station number 45) located on the Ticonderoga Branch in the Town of Ticonderoga.  This junction was also located shortly before the 439' tunnel under the roadway leading to historic Fort Ticonderoga (Fort Ticonderoga is also known by its French name - Fort Carillon.  It was long thought that the fort was named this because the rapids nearby sounded like the musical peal of bells or carillon - a musical instrument typically housed in a bell tower.  It is also argued, however, that the name actually came from the name of a French trader based there. 

Delano Junction to Baldwin Dock
The Baldwin Branch split from the Delaware and Hudson mainline at Delano Junction, just north of Montcalm Landing.
  This was known as survey station P.S. 0+00 on railroad valuation survey maps.  It proceeded northwesterly, crossing NYS Route 22 and headed up a smart grade towards the outskirts of the main village of Ticonderoga in the direction of Baldwin Dock, survey station 236+04, and the nearby Rogers Rock Hotel.  

The railroad served a number of rail side businesses, none of which necessarily co-existed at the same time.  For the purposes of this historical research, a business is assigned to the Baldwin Branch if its spur or location is located after survey station 0+00.  These include (last known business names) the Carillon Mill, Dairyman's League, Carney's Incorporated, Ticonderoga Feldspar Company, Academy Station, E. J. Monroe, Catlin's Feed, Pond Lumber and Coal, Delaware and Hudson coaling tower, International Paper Company A Mill, Standard Oil Company, and Baldwin Dock. 

Carillon Mill
On November 3, 1892, the Ticonderoga Sentinel reported that the Carillon Manufacturing Company was contemplating building a pulp mill at Wright's Point that would employ from 75 to 150 hands, at wages varying from $1.25 to $1.50 per day. The company owned thousands of acres of spruce timber in Canada and splendid water power, but, under the then present tariff on pulp, it preferred to build a mill and give employment to men at Wright's Point.

Carillon Mill operated by the Ticonderoga Pulp & Paper Company (1916 Delaware & Hudson right of way and track map, M. Wright collection)

The Ticonderoga Pulp & Paper Company operated the Carillon Mill at Delano Junction just north of Montcalm Landing. Two spurs split from the main line and slowly curved to the east until reaching the shore of Lake Champlain. One spur was 807 feet in length with another 1157 foot track to the south of that. In between these two spur tracks was a pulpwood trestle with and engine house on the east end at the shore of Lake Champlain.  The railroad removed the tracks serving this facility on May 31, 1929.

If the pulp tariff was removed from pulp in order to compete with the Canadian manufacturer who could hire men for 75 cents a day, the company would have to do one of two things - hire men at Wright's as cheap as the Canadians could at 75 cents a day, or build a mill in Canada and make the pulp there.  It took about two tons of wood to make one ton of pulp.  There could be a saving in freight by boating pulp.

Dairymen's League Spur
The Delaware and Hudson Railroad began a milk train service for the Champlain Division on October 1, 1927.  The train ran from Rouses Point to Whitehall, at which point it was combined with trains from the Susquehanna and Saratoga divisions of the railroad.  Milk stations were located along the line at West Chazy, Beekmantown, Peru, Essex, Westport, Crown Point, and a seventh station near Fort Ticonderoga just north of TI cabin.  The Champlain Division was to use a 5-car train scheduled to arrive at Montcalm Landing at 1:10 p.m.  The first train was led by one of the Delaware and Hudson's newest type of engines (No. 566) composed of Dairy League tank cars, a baggage car, and passenger car.  The train left Rouses Point at 9:00 a.m. Saturday, October 1, 1927.  Nearly 400 cans of milk were picked up at the first two stops.  A large crowd gathered at each station as the train arrived.

The Ticonderoga Dairymen's League was organized on Monday, May 16, 1927 by directors H. J. Kersaw and H. E. Ripley of the Dairymen's League.  Officers were elected and included president, Horace D. Smith of Streetroad; vice-president, Charles E. Craig of Putnam; and secretary-treasurer, Dean Richmond, of North Ticonderoga.  The elected Board of Directors included Horace D. Smith, Thomas J. Cook, and Hershel Dolbeck of Ticonderoga; and Clarence Paige and Charles E. Craig from  Putnam.

The Dairymen's League ordered seven glass lined tank cars, each rated at 6,000 gallons, for the service.  The League also appropriated $210,000 for the construction of milk station.  The railroad installed a 432 foot spur extending to the north serving the Dairymen's League Cooperative Association.  

Ground was broken mid-July for the preliminary construction work for the erection of six milk receiving plants including the Ticonderoga plant.  The total cost of the six plants was approximately $132,000 or $22,000 for each site, plant, and siding.  Construction was uniform for all six plants.  Each plant was 87 x 30 feet and 24 feet high.  They were frame concrete construction, each equipped with a 300 can, glass-lined storage tank suspended on steel and provided with the most modern equipment to facilitate the handling of the milk and maintain the purity.  The plants were equipped to load by a moveable pipe which stretched from the upper floor of each plant into the tanks on the cars and then from railroad tank car to railroad tank car.  Sewage disposal tanks were installed at each plant and wells were bored from 100 to 300 feet to ensure pure and adequate water supply.  A frame ice house was built at each site with 600 tons capacity.  Each plant had a daily capacity of 600 cans of milk and was designed to run with a minimum of labor.

Carillon The 432 foot Dairymen's League spur (1916 D&H valuation survey map; M. Wright collection)

The milk was brought to the station by the farmers in cans of ten gallons each, and there moved into the plant over rollers which facilitate the handling of the cans.  The milk was then poured into a large container, where it was weighed and the various necessary tests were made. The milk, if approved, was then removed from the tank, and a special pump forced it through iced pipes into the large, glass lined tank on the second floor of the plant.  The milk temperature was approximately 38 degrees when placed in the tank.  No more than two degrees was lost before it was placed in the railroad tank cars.  When the milk arrived in New York each evening, ready for the consumer, it registered about 42 degrees.  The farmer delivered milk each morning before nine o'clock, and as soon as the product was poured from the cans, the containers went through a special process of cleansing, and the farmer received clean cans back before leaving the station.  Approximately 450 gallons of milk were shipped daily from the Montcalm Landing plant.

By September 22, the Ticonderoga plant, constructed near Montcalm Landing, was nearly complete except for the water supply.  Although a very deep well was sunk here, no water was found.  The plan was to drill deeper, but until that time, water was piped in from a nearby spring.  E. C. Harrington became the plant superintendent and had moved his family into the Forcier house on Lake George Avenue in Ticonderoga.

Carney's Incorporated
The first business serviced by the railroad on the Baldwin Branch after departing the main line
at Delano Junction a small oil storage facility owned by Carney's, Incorporated.  Carney's established a railroad siding at Delano Junction in 1962 a short distance from Montcalm Landing on the Montcalm Road. This spur, approximately 258 feet in length, proceeded in a southwesterly direction on the east side of the rail line.  A section of property was conveyed to Carney's, Inc. at this location on August 3, 1962.   In July, the first railroad tank car containing liquefied petroleum gas was unloaded at this location into the massive 30,000 gallon bulk storage plant.

Ticonderoga Feldspar Company
The first business serviced by the railroad on the Baldwin Branch after crossing NYS Route 22 was the Ticonderoga Quarry, a small feldspar mining business operated by the Ticonderoga Feldspar Company, Incorporated.

Mr. Fred Provoncha, a Ticonderoga native and local history and geology expert , was an excellent source of this information.  A Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines report entitled, "The Condensation of Gasoline from Natural Gas" by George A. Burrell and others printed by the U.S. Government in 1915 provided additional information.  Other sources included the Ticonderoga Sentinel and a second U.S. Interior Department document, Bulletin 420, entitled, "Economic Geology of the Feldspar Deposits of the United States" by Edson S. Baston, published in 1910. 

A sample of pegmatite from the Ticonderoga Feldspar Company mine on the Baldwin Branch.  (Gift of Fred Provoncha, M. Wright collection)

Pegmatites are extreme igneous rocks which form during the final stage of a magma's crystallization.  Extreme reflects the fact that they contain exceptionally large crystals.  They sometimes contain minerals rarely found in other types of rocks.  The composition of most pegmatites are similar to granite with abundant quartz, feldspar, and mica.

Feldspar is a group of rock-forming tectosilicate minerals which make up approximately 60% of the Earth's crust.  Feldspars crystallize from magma as veins in both intrusive and extrusive igneous rocks.  It is a common raw material used in glass making, ceramics, and as a filler and extender in paints, plastics, and rubber.  It was also ground up and added to chicken feed as roughage to aid in food digestion. 

The first announcement of this new pegmatite deposit appeared in the May 23, 1907 issue of the Ticonderoga Sentinel.  M. Y. Ferris, former superintendent of the International Mineral Company, while prospecting on the Wilson property about a mile from Ticonderoga, located this other large deposit of feldspar.  Ferris was instrumental in organizing the Ticonderoga Feldspar Company, Incorporated, in which E. T. Downs and several other parties had an interest. 

The Ticonderoga Sentinel identified the location of the deposit to be on the branch line of the Delaware and Hudson railroad into the village (aka Baldwin Branch).  The Bureau of Mines report stated the Ticonderoga Quarry was located one mile southeast of Ticonderoga on the south side of the railroad between Ticonderoga and Montcalm Landing.  All sources seemed to be in agreement and  Mr. Provoncha confirmed these sources as the location of the Ticonderoga Feldspar Company mine which he has visited many times.

The mine was situated in a small glen facing northeast and was reported as having very abrupt walls and a single opening on an eastern hillside.  The face was about 60 feet in height and 30 feet wide.  The mine was worked to a depth of 20 feet in 1910.  The company's small mill at the mine was equipped with a Blake crusher and a vibratory screen.   It was reportedly rumored that Alex J. King leased land for the erection of the mill and that a tram car would lead from the mine to the mill. This was also mentioned in the May 23, 1907 edition of the Ticonderoga Sentinel.  Upon the deposit's discovery, machinery for a mill was built and shipped to the site.

The location of the Ticonderoga Feldspar Company was approximately 1500 feet northwest of the NYS Route 22 rail crossing.  Evidence of the old Baldwin Branch roadbed is still visible.  (Delaware & Hudson valuation survey map. M. Wright collection)

Bulletin number 420 of the "Economic Development of the Feldspar Deposits of the United States," printed by the U.S. Department of the Interior, also reported that this small quarry was opened about a mile southeast of Ticonderoga. The material was not typical pegmatite, but a coarse-grained hornblende granite which locally becomes slightly pegmatitic. It was intrusive in impure gray limestone. The quarry was a single opening on an eastern hillside and showed a breast 60 feet high. A small mill was erected at the mine, equipped with Blake crusher and vibratory screen. 

The newspaper reported that the proposition looked exceptional and it was hoped that this new business would provide another thriving industry for the town.  The extensive and high quality deposit was free from mica and could be worked at a comparatively small cost.  The purity of the feldspar permitted its use for pottery purposes, however, the surface spar was converted into roofing material.  

Delaware and Hudson Railway Company valuation survey maps from 1916 clearly show the mine's location.  On this map, seen on the left, the survey marks the location of a small cutout and abandoned stone crusher approximately 1500 feet from the NYS Route 22 road crossing, up the Baldwin Branch roadbed.  This would have been the Blake stone crusher.  Upon visual inspection by walking up the abandoned railroad right-of-way, one can see the existence of a cutout on the left side of the rail line (east side of the hill) with a steep grade of ruts, nearly vertical, up to the quarry level.  According to Provoncha, the left side of the roadbed in the cutout is artificial, composed of talus and overburden from the quarry.

When the Ticonderoga Sentinel article was first published, it claimed that the railroad would construct a spur from the branch line to the mill.  A spur to the actual mill would have to begin further north along the line due to the grade difference.  There was not enough room into the cutout area at the base of the face along the right-of-way for any kind of spur. There is no record of a spur ever existing or taken out of service at this location within the valuation survey map.  It is surmised that, in actuality, a chute could have been swung out to load any processed product from the mill if shipped by rail from this point, but this is only conjecture. 

After passing the quarry, the rails continued towards the Defiance Street crossing, passing through this section of woods near the base of Mt. Defiance.  This is the old roadbed.  (photo: Fred Provoncha)

The "Economic Geology" report indicated that at the time of the author's visit in April 1909, the quarry had not been operated for many years, although it did not specify the exact period of time.  Because the dike (sheet of rock that formed in a fracture in a pre-existing rock body) was so completely charged with medium coarse-grained pegmatite with massive intrusions of calcitite and large amounts of finely crystallized hornblende, the mine report stated that the production of pure feldspar would be very expensive if not quite impossible.  This was the reason for the mine's closure; it was too expensive to mine based on the value of the material.

The Ticonderoga Feldspar Company was still listed as a Ticonderoga tax liable Essex County business in the January 23, 1908 edition of the Elizabethtown Post. with an assessed real estate value of $400.

There were other pegmatite deposits in the Ticonderoga area, but none of these were on the railroad.  These included those of the Ticonderoga Mining & Milling Company; Barrett Manufacturing Company; Lead Hill mines on Chilson.

Ticonderoga Mining & Milling Company

 

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Barrett Manufacturing Company
Although not right on the branch line, The Barrett Manufacturing Company also operated a pegmatite mine in the area and
reportedly hauled its material to the railroad in Ticonderoga.  The quarry and mill of this company was located one and three quarter miles northwest of the railroad at Ticonderoga.  Mr. Fred Provoncha states this was near today's Ticonderoga golf course.  The quarry was an open pit near the eastern base of a hill and was about 300 feet long from the northeast to the southwest and a 150 feet in average width.  It's maximum depth was approximately 35 feet with an average depth of 20 feet.

The rock here was typical granite-pegmatite with some gray quartz intergrown with other minerals.  The most abundant feldspar was pearl-gray potash feldspar (microline).  About one fourth as abundant as the gray microline was a light green soda-lime feldspar (oligoclase), similar to that found in the Crown Point Feldspar Company quarry whose remnants are seen today as the tall cement spar silos along the road from Ticonderoga to Crown Point and parallel to the mainline of the Delaware and Hudson railroad.  Graphite granite was abundant and and biotite, the principal iron-bearing mineral, was scattered irregularly and abundantly through the rock.  Black tourmaline was also occasionally found in the quarry

Excavation at the quarry was accomplished by using steam drills.  The pegmatite was then hauled by tram cars to the mill, a few yards distant.  There it was placed into storage bins and eventually to a Blake crusher to 20-inch crushing coils and to Jeffery vibrating screens.  These screened the material to various desired sizes.  All of the product was used in the manufacture of ready roofing material, poultry grit, facings for cement blocks, and other products.  None of the material was pottery grade.  The crushed and sized product was hauled by wagon the one and three quarter miles to the railroad at Ticonderoga.

Scrap Dealer
The tracks proceeded to cross Cossey Street.  Shortly after crossing Cossey Street, but before Defiance Street, the railroad served what
information seems to suggest was a scrap dealer although I continue to research further details.  This could have been Adolph Disken as Disken did operate a scrap yard in that area when I was a kid.  I once tried to get that business to donate some aluminum during an aluminum can collection drive when I was in 5th grade at Saint Mary's Catholic School in Ticonderoga.  A short spur servicing this business split from the main line running southwest for approximately 519 feet.  The Delaware and Hudson Railroad identified this spur as Track "B" in its right of way and track maps from 1916.  The railroad removed this track on June 25, 1962 although it is unknown if it was actually continued to service any industry up to that point.

E. J. Monroe Wholesale
The main line continued in a southwest direction crossing Defiance Street and The Portage (South Main Street).  Between Defiance Street and The Portage, the railroad serviced a spray painting and woodworking business later to become the Frank Fish Wholesale Groceries business. 
Frank Fish, born in Dresden, NY August 31, 1871, sold groceries and coal, both of which the Delaware and Hudson Railroad delivered to his business.  Fish owned large red barns to store the coal as well as a huge house directly behind the wholesale business.  

My uncle ended up purchasing the Fish home and lived there until his death.  The home still exists today on the corner of The Portage and Battery Street although it is no longer in my uncle's family.   

The business later became, and I always knew it as, the wholesale business of E. J. Monroe.  E. J. Monroe, or as we called it - the Wholesale, was founded in 1947.  Monroe purchased the wholesale business and renamed it the E. J. Monroe Wholesale, a Crane wholesale distributor of plumbing supplies.  The exact date of this sale is not known with any greater precision.   This date was at least as early as 1962 as that is the date corresponding to reports of Monroe opening a Vermont franchise to join the Ticonderoga store.

This view looks east. The Baldwin main and spur track ran along this road parallel to the wholesale business. (M. Wright photo) 

E. J. Monroe was president and director of this wholesale distributor of plumbing and heating equipment business.  He owned additional branch stores in West Rutland, Vermont and Plattsburg, New York.  These businesses operated under the official name, Monroe Wholesale, Inc. 

The wholesale building had a loading track on the east side of main track and parallel to it that made for easy loading and unloading through a large freight door.   The railroad identified this as Track "C."  Approaching from the northeast, a switch was located just before Defiance Street with a second switch just past the track's crossing on The Portage.  Delivery and pickup was possible by pulling or shoving freight cars onto this loading track.

 

Frank Fish advertisement from 1914.  (M. Wright collection)

Although these switches were functional during my childhood (mid 1960s to 1970s), I never witnessed their use or any freight cars sitting on the siding at the Monroe building.  A portion of sidetrack "C" was removed from service at the point of switch west of Defiance Street on March 2, 1964.  Track "C" was eventually sold to Varney, Inc. on August 4, 1976.  E. J. Monroe is now owned by Blodgett Supply Company, Inc.

My uncle purchased a home for my grandmother on the west side of The Portage, very close to the wholesale, soon after joining the U.S. Marines in the 1940s.  The home was located on the western side of the intersection of Defiance Street and The Portage.  One of my closest aunts lived in this home for years to care for my maternal grandmother and grandfather.  My grandparents eventually transferred the home to this aunt who lost her husband in Italy in 1943.  

George Hebert's former home (my uncle), the old Frank Fish home, during winter. The railroad tracks are in the foreground.  Monroe's is on the left.  You can see the whistle post sign that directs trains when crossing The Portage. This is the Academy Station location. (M. Wright photo) 

I spent a majority of my youth playing with a cousin and other friends in this area.  My mother and I eventually moved into this house with my Aunt around 1974.  This created essentially two separate living spaces within the house.  My aunt continued to care for the home when my mother moved south until my aunt's eventual passing in 2004.  Following this, the home transferred to my next oldest brother where it remains today. 

This is where the Baldwin Branch crossed The Portage just after the E. J. Monroe building.  These are the infamous crossing lights that would activate on a whim.  Traveling Southwest (right) is Champlain Avenue and then the coaling station.  Monroe's is just off the left edge of the photo.   Academy Station would have been located in this approximate location.  (M. Wright photo)

During my youth, I can remember the freight trains crossing The Portage near E. J. Monroe's on their way to Pond Lumber & Coal Company and Catlin's Farm Supply, customers further to the southwest along the line.  Originally, the road crossing at The Portage was wooden planks.  The railroad replaced these with macadam paving on March 1, 1927.  The rail crossing on Defiance Street had no protection at all except for simple railroad crossing bucks.  The Portage crossing however, had crossing bucks, dual flashing red lights, and a very annoying warning bell.  The railroad added these two flashing light signals on February 2, 1931. 

 At this same location, the crossing lights (milepost 101.65) on The Portage would sometimes begin flashing when there wasn't a train within 20 miles.  As kids, my friends and I used to look for the train and wave the cars through to help the motorists.  I don't know who was dumber, my friends and I or the people who believed us and drove over the somewhat protected/unprotected crossing.  

We meant well, but anyone trusting their life at a railroad crossing to a bunch of kids probably should have thought better of it.  The crossing lights remained for years following abandonment of  the line until they were finally removed during the salvage operation in 1981.  I assume they were scrapped, recycled, and became someone's toaster or automobile.

The E. J. Monroe building in June 1988.  Monroe's was a "Crane" wholesaler and supplied other plumbing items.  The main track and spur ran parallel to the front of the building crossing both Defiance Street (on the building's left) and The Portage (on the building's right).  The photo was taken from the front yard of my Aunt's home (formerly my grandparent's home).  My mother and I moved into this house with her around 1974.  (M. Wright photo)

Academy Station
The first passenger station in the Ticonderoga area, located 2.05 miles from the junction with the Delaware and Hudson main line near Montcalm Landing and a half mile from would eventually become Ticonderoga Junction, was known as Academy station to the local residents and on all railroad timetables, steamship timetables, and Delaware and Hudson Railroad official lists.  

The name Academy comes from the Ticonderoga Academy which was the first high school in Ticonderoga and located a short distance to the north along The Portage.  The Academy was constructed in 1858 and remained until 1906 when the Central School (where I attended Kindergarten - the last class to do so) was built upon the Academy's site.

Demolition of the Central School began in the Spring of 2001 and was completed later that summer.  The demolition of Central School was probably one of the saddest changes witnessed in Ticonderoga other than the actual removal of the railroad tracks.  The Ticonderoga Emergency Squad built its facilities on this location beginning in July 2011 and opened them in 2012.

Academy was a non-agency station (no local railroad agent on duty to sell tickets, receive freight, or aid customers) located approximately near the present day E. J. Monroe Wholesale parking lot at the corner of Defiance Street and The Portage (South Main Street).  Academy was the Ticonderoga station before 1891 and the only structure Ticonderoga residents could claim for a station before construction of the Ticonderoga Branch and the first passenger station was erected in the Village proper.

It was typical of the Ticonderoga Sentinel to print short news accounts of building progress during this time and any notice of new railroad construction would surely have been mentioned several times.  Unfortunately, the great fire of March 31, 1875 destroyed many of the towns records including newspapers.  Therefore, any articles or news information related to the construction and eventual removal of a structure at Academy may have been lost. However, a little over a week after the opening of the Baldwin Branch, the June 4, 1875 edition of the Ticonderoga Sentinel listed a very short article stating the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company was erecting a passenger depot on the Lake George branch "in this village."

An early map of the area, circa 1876,  indicated some kind of a physical structure at the Academy station location along what was denoted as the Lake George & Lake Champlain Railroad The constant confusion of "Lake George Branch" and "Lake George & Lake Champlain Railroad" would complicate research until the railroad finalized the name Baldwin Branch in all of its publications and timetables.  

Academy shown on this 1876 map denotes a physical structure at the location along the Lake George & Lake Champlain Railroad. This map was created very soon after the opening of the Baldwin Branch in 1875. (M. Wright collection)

In 1884 and again in 1891, M. L. Burleigh produced two large 20" x 28" birds-eye map sketches of Ticonderoga which identified many prominent locations in Ticonderoga to include physical structures, paper and pulp mill facilities, the river, lakes, mountains, railroad tracks and streets.  The first of these lithographic views, the 1884 version, was first announced in the January 5, 1893 edition of the Ticonderoga Sentinel.  The map sold for $1.00 and depicted a structure at the Academy location, identifying the station as the Lake George Railroad Station.  This map illustrates a 3-track configuration near the station and portrayed an accurate depiction of the rails laid into Ticonderoga to Baldwin Dock.  

In the 1891 map, the Ticonderoga Branch was included and on this map along with the Baldwin Branch.  The station on the revised map in this area is renamed Academy Station.  

Upon completion of the Ticonderoga branch of the railroad in 1891, passenger and freight station facilities were constructed in the Village of Ticonderoga.  However, for the period of 1875 to approximately 1892, passengers bound for Ticonderoga were discharged at Academy Station.  

This brings into question, exactly how long did the physical structure known as Academy station remain?  Academy would eventually become a station in name only as it was removed at some time and no physical structure remained at this location sometime after the creation of the Ticonderoga Branch. 

Academy station is depicted as #18 on the 1891 version of the Burleigh lithograph map. Shown here are three tracks which close to a single track after crossing The Portage. (M. Wright collection)

Academy station was mentioned in the newspaper via short news bursts which indicate some station probably existed for a short time after the creation of the Ticonderoga Branch.  On February 4, 1892, the Ticonderoga Sentinel questioned why people didn't shovel of their sidewalks relating that one of the newspaper's readers had stated there was a splendid opportunity for work in that line from Academy Station to Upper Falls.  In addition to this, the October 6, 1892 edition of the Ticonderoga Sentinel mentioned that R. H. Leonard's tenement house near Academy station was occupied by the following families: M. S. Porter, H. Burt Hams, Ed. Lee, Edward Mercure and Grant Foote. However, it seems the station may have been in existence to at least 1893 as the July 13, 1893 edition of the Ticonderoga Sentinel mentioned that a gravel walk was being laid to replace the plank walk from George Hams' residence to the railroad, near Academy Station. No information was found on the fate of the station and when it was finally removed.  Academy Station became simply a pick up and drop off point for railroad passengers.  The Baldwin branch train only stopped at Academy station on signal or when flagged by passengers to stop.

Evidence indicating the presence of a physical passenger structure at Academy Station is documented in an August 11, 1898 edition of the Ticonderoga Sentinel where there was talk of getting up an entertainment of some kind to raise money for the improvement of the "excuse-for-a depot" at the Academy station. It was reportedly a disgrace to the town, and needed to be examined by the railroad. The Ticonderoga Sentinel admitted that the depot was only used for a few months during the year, but one could only imagine what strangers would say and think to see such a "tumble down, rack of thing," which the town people had to see during the whole year.  This occurred after the rail line was laid into the village in 1891 and the construction of the first combination freight depot and station.  It is uncertain why any cost would be desired to improve the "excuse-for-a-depot" at Academy.

During my mother's youth in the late 1920s and early 1930s, Delaware and Hudson passenger trains did exactly this, stopping near the wholesale building location to pick up and drop off passengers on the way to Baldwin Dock on Lake George or headed back to Lake Champlain.  Other than the Upper Falls flag stop (aka Alexandria), Academy was  the closest station to the community of Alexandria, which was really the most robust and thriving settlement until the "downstreet" location (lower village) surpassed Alexandria.

There was some public concern in the period around 1896 regarding the crossing at Academy station. The Ticonderoga Sentinel reported on April 30, 1896, that Academy crossing was a dangerous location.  A fatal railroad accident which occurred on Tuesday, April 28, 1896 was still fresh in the minds of those concerned. 

The sentiment of the article was to urge the managers of Delaware and Hudson that it would be well for them to remember Academy crossing was a dangerous place, made so by raising the track. It was only by the merest chance that a serious accident did not occur there the previous fall. 

The officers of the Company were notified more than once by the village trustees, but their notices were ignored. The article stated people were willing to put up with a great deal from the railroad company, but for all that, they should not submit to "a death trap on the highway."

Academy shown on this 1912 Delaware and Hudson steamship timetable.  One can see how the Baldwin Branch circumvented the base of Mt. Defiance to obtain access into Ticonderoga and the lake shore. (M. Wright collection)

Ticonderoga to Alexandria
The mainline track continued southwest passing many homes and a great sliding hill where we used to play as kids in the winter.  It traveled behind Alexandria Grammar School (constructed in 1896) on the corner of Champlain Avenue (William Street) and Carillon Road (James Street) and near the Ephraim Blood residence on Champlain Avenue, which my friends and I always thought looked like a haunted house.  If there was a drop of paint on that house, I never saw it and never remember going anywhere near it alone when I was much, much younger.  During high school, I always walked a little faster when I came to this point following the tracks to school.  That may have also had something to do with people coming out of that house to shout at us to keep off their property as we walked along the railroad tracks, which were literally right outside the back door.  

This is Alexandria school which served this area of Ticonderoga for years.  The railroad tracks passed behind the school about 50 or so feet down a small embankment.  Champlain Avenue is off the left side of the photo while Carillon Road borders the front of the school.  (postcard photo, M. Wright collection)

The tracks passed between the school and Blood's home and then immediately crossed Champlain Avenue (William Street).  The railroad replaced the wooden plank street crossing at William Street with bituminous coal on June 16, 1930.

Railroad Coal Station
The railroad was serviced by a locomotive coaling station and trestle located in an area along Calkin's Place (4th Street) between Pine Street (Oak Street also formerly identified as Flannery Street in the 1906 Sanborn map) and Newton Street (Crow Street) just west of Champlain Avenue between Champlain Avenue and Lake George Avenue.

The railroad added a 147 foot spur track servicing the facility around February 21, 1921.  This was the only coaling facility on the Baldwin Branch of the railroad and the only one within miles of Ticonderoga.  At one time, L. H. Benjamin operated a portion of his Benjamin Fuels business here buying coal from the Delaware and Hudson railroad.

The Delaware and Hudson Company's official list of January 1, 1922 specified the  coaling tower as a platform type station having a capacity of 100 tons and capable of holding two freight cars on the single track that served the facility.  Sanborn Fire Insurance Company maps from 1923, corrected in 1936, confirm the spur and its approximate length.  

A good view of the Delaware and Hudson coal tower. (Jean Rayno-Dick photo, M. Wright collection)

Delaware and Hudson Railroad valuation maps also state the length of this spur, identified as track "D" on the valuation maps, as 147 feet.  The switch for the spur was located to the east of the beginning of the spur track, which itself ran in a westerly direction into the coal trestle.  

The remains of the old coaling station in 1992.  I seem to remember the tower itself still existed around the mid-1970s.  It may have been demolished in 1981 when the line was torn up.  (M. Wright photo)

Interestingly enough, Sanborn 1906 insurance maps do not show the facility and Delaware and Hudson official lists from 1917 only indicate a track capable of holding 2 rail cars and no actual coaling station.  

There were several structures making up this facility including the coal trestle/shed, two oil tanks near the end of the coal trestle, four oil tanks to the west of the trestle, two concrete coal tanks, scales, and an office.  The railroad's 1934 official list shows the coaling station as out of service.  

The railroad removed the spur track servicing the coaling station, identified as Track "D" on the 1916 Delaware and Hudson Railroad Right of Way and Track Map, as well as a number of other spurs in the area, on June 17, 1937.  This permanently removed the facility from service and prevented the storage of any freight cars at the facility.

I walked along the trestle as a child in early 1970s.  The tower was still present, but long out of service, along with the trestle and the stone trestle support piers which were fairly intact.  

All rails along the Baldwin and Ticonderoga branches were eventually removed in 1981.  When I revisited the site around 1992, the coal tower was gone.  All that remained were the stone piers and portions of the trestle footing for the tracks.  A visit today  will reveal the stone piers and a few wooden trestle supports as the only remains.  The best time of the year to see these ruins is very early spring or winter when all of the foliage is gone allowing a clear view and a physical access. 

The remains of the coal facility in July 2015. (M. Wright photo)

During the summer, much of the old coal facility is covered in dense brush as nature continues to reclaim the site.  Access along the old right-of-way is also challenging depending on the direction from which one approaches.  Many private homes have claimed the old railroad right-of-way either through purchase or simple annexation.  The coaling location is accessible from Pine Avenue off of Calkin's Place, but only through the approval of the current land owners.  

Access is also available from following the old railroad roadbed from Champlain Avenue and following the line until the old facility is on the right and below the grade.  Access from Lake George Avenue and moving east is challenging with several structures and foliage blocking the old roadbed.

This December 1992 view shows the trestle and concrete coal tank remains.  Today, the coal tank is gone.  (M. Wright photo)

Paper Mill Property
In 1906, a spur split to the north side of the mainline before crossing Lake George Avenue, and proceeded southwest approximately 75 feet until splitting a second time into two spurs.  

The right branch of this split, identified by the railroad as Track "E" on the 1916 Delaware and Hudson Railroad Right of Way and Track Map, turned slightly west and traveled 922 feet into paper mill property passing what would become the International Paper Company office.  The track terminated approximately 700 feet north of the "A" mill's power house.  

A portion of this spur appears to have been double track with a point of switch just after crossing Lake George Avenue via a macadam crossing.  This track was possibly a storage track and had another point of switch further to the west.  This spur was removed on June 17, 1937.

Ticonderoga's Defiance Hose Company's super pumper pours a steady stream of water on the smoldering ruins of the former Catlin's Farm Supply.  In all, four area fire companies fought the early morning blaze, in a process called Mutual Aid, that saw flames shoot 200 feet in the air.  The railroad track is in the foreground.  (Times of Ti Photo,  M. Wright collection)

Holden Grain & Feed Company
The left branch of the spur serviced the Holden Grain and Feed Company as it was known in 1912 via a short spur track approximately 300 feet in length, according to Sanborn Fire Insurance maps, and designated as 289 feet on Delaware and Hudson Right of Way Track maps from 1916.  This track eventually ended just before Lake George Avenue.  Railroad right of way maps show this property was conveyed to Charles C. Holden on June 13, 1940.  These same right of way maps show that the railroad designated this spur as Track "L." The railroad removed this track on June 17, 1937.

This sketch of Catlin's appeared in Ford Magazine in a 1973 article written by Sloan Wilson.  (M. Wright photo)

The feed company was later known as the Catlin Feed Store when I was young.  William H. Catlin took over the feed store operations around 1957.   By 1960, the tracks serving this area were much more simplified with only the single track running alongside the feed company. 

Catlin used to obtain all of its supplies via the Delaware and Hudson railroad.  When the railroad began showing signs of pulling out of Ticonderoga, Catlin's was forced to investigate other delivery modes.

I remember seeing a freight car or two on the Catlin siding several times during my youth.  The line was in existence at least as late as 1974 when it was cited in a New York State report on abandoned rights of way.

I remember going to Catlin's store at least once with my father when I was very young.  I know that he used to buy our eggs from this business.  I'm not sure what else my family may have purchased there, but we did have a cat named "Coalie" and a yellow canary named "Smokey" when I was around 2 or 3 years old so perhaps he also bought pet food.  I can still remember that feed store smell.

The former Catlin building was destroyed by an early Friday morning fire on September 6, 1974.  The fire, of suspicious origin, endangered several homes as well as the Pond, Lumber and Coal company.   Catlin's Farm Supply was rebuilt at a different location just outside the main village.  The business now resides near the south entrance of the Ticonderoga Wal-Mart store along Wicker Street.

Shown here is the track running alongside Storehouse No.3.  The next track to the right continues to the waterline and runs along storehouse No.2 and finishing building No.1.  The next track to the right is the main line.  Following this track towards the upper left leads to the Pond Lumber  & Coal yard.  The right most track is the spur to the mill's storehouse No.1. The left most track serviced boiler house.  (1912 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map, M. Wright collection)

"A" Mill Facilities East Side
The main line of the Baldwin Branch continued about another 300 feet before another spur branched off to the southwest (right of the main), crossed Lake George Avenue, and immediately split into another two spurs after reaching the west side of Lake George Avenue.  Both branches serviced International Paper Company's "A" mill (formerly the Lake George Paper Company) on the east side of the Lake George outlet overlooking the "B" mill near the Upper Falls.  The Lake George Pulp and Paper Company was organized in 1882.  The first newsprint ever produced in the Town of Ticonderoga was produced by this mill in 1883.  

The right spur, identified as Track "F" in right of way maps, traveled 900 feet and slowly curved north before proceeding to the northwest side of the paper mill, west of the horse shed, storehouse No.3, No.2 finishing room, and machine room No.2, until entering the mill's power house (boiler house) on the hill overlooking the bottom of the upper falls.  Track "F" was removed on June 17 1937.

A very long spur to the left traveled approximately 360 feet along side the mill's storehouse number 3, stopping at finishing building number 2.  There was a long loading platform, approximately 150 feet in length alongside the railroad spur beginning northeast of storehouse No. 3.

Continuing southwest,  the main line of the Baldwin Branch crossed Lake George Avenue.  At one time, there were four railroad tracks crossing Lake George Avenue comprising the main line and spurs.  The original wooden planking rail crossing here was replaced with macadam on April 5, 1928.  What followed were a series of complicated track arrangements.  After crossing Lake George Avenue, the mainline switched to the left with the right track extending straight ahead, passing along the loading platform which ran on the southwest side storehouse No.2 and finishing room No.1, before ending at the edge of the water.  The main line, which had switched to the left continued to the entrance to the plate girder bridge (still remaining) over Ticonderoga Creek.  The remainder of this complicated track setup served the lumber and coal business as well as the paper mill's No.1 storehouse.

Storehouse No.1
A 240 foot spur traveled southwest on the left side of the main line of the Baldwin Branch and ran parallel to the main line.  The switch for this spur was located southeast of Storehouse No.3.  In 1912 the spur track serviced the paper mill's storehouse No.1 on the south side of Ticonderoga Creek.  The storehouse had a loading platform that extended the length of the building and running along side the track.  The railroad identified this track as Track "J" in the Delaware and Hudson Railroad Right of Way Track Maps of 1916.

Storehouse No.1 was located northeast of the Ticonderoga Village Water Works pumping station.  By 1916, the spur served what was identified as M. H. T. Company.  Track "J" was removed on June 17, 1937.

This is where the Baldwin Branch crossed The Portage just after the E. J. Monroe building.  These are the infamous crossing lights that would activate on a whim.  Traveling Southwest (right) is Champlain Avenue and then the coaling station.  Monroe's is just off the left edge of the photo.   Academy Station would have been located in this approximate location.  (M. Wright photo)

Pond Lumber and Coal
The main line traveled another 410 feet, also crossing Lake George Avenue before another switch enabled trains to either continue forward 425 feet along side the mill's storehouse number 2 and finishing building number 1 or switch left (southeast) to continue on towards Baldwin Dock.  The tracks continued no more than 50 feet before access to another customer was made by way of a switch leading to a spur running approximately 635 feet to the northeast, crossing Lake George Avenue in the opposite direction, and into the Pond Lumber & Coal Company as it was called during my childhood.  The Delaware and Hudson Railroad identified this track as Track "H" on its 1916 Right of Way and Track Maps.

This Ticonderoga Sentinel ad from January 9, 1958 announced the change of ownership from Holden to Catlin.  (M. Wright collection)

Pond Lumber & Coal was known as the Wallace Brothers Coal Company in 1912.  This business consisted of a lumber shed, coal shed, office, store, and smaller shed.  

The next owner was Herbert Wheeler.  Wheeler sold the business to F. C. Pond who took over on November 17, 1924.  Pond, of J. E. Pond & Son was involved in the lumber manufacturing business in Crown Point.  Pond incorporated the business under the name of Pond Lumber & Coal Company.  He enlarged the business erecting a storage shed, conducted a lumber yard at the coal elevator, and carried a stock of tile, cement, wallboard, and other building products.  The lumber yards and other Pond interests including the J. E. Pond & Son business supplied the Ticonderoga business. 

The Pond Company was badly damaged by fire on January 28, 1938.  The morning fire was attributed to an electric motor located at the top of a coal shed.  Andrew Lewis, company foreman, discovered the fire as he and a crew of workmen were unloading a railroad carload of coke.  The blaze began a considerable time before its discovery.  When discovered, the entire upper part of the structure was a mass of flames.

Ticonderoga's three fire companies responded immediately.  Two nearby hydrants had insufficient pressure to supply both pumpers, and a line from one of the pumpers was carried to the outlet of Lake George, a considerable distance away.  Water was pumped from the Lake to the fire truck.  Intense cold hampered The firemen throughout the morning. 

The fire caused considerable damage to the company's coal plant and elevator at an estimated loss of $12,000.  The destroyed buildings were constructed years earlier, and their wooden walls, partitions and roofs made the property an easy victim to the fire.  All of the company's lumber supplies were salvaged and records were saved, but a small structure containing a quantity of roofing materials was destroyed.  Although 500 tons of coal were saved, the fire consumed another 100 tons.  Fireman had the blaze under control by early afternoon, but the ruins continued to smolder throughout Friday night and Saturday.  Fire companies returned to the scene Sunday morning when the flames rekindled and momentarily endangered adjacent buildings.  The fire was completely extinguished by Sunday night and the company eventually rebuilt the destroyed structures. 

All of the tracks in the Lake George Avenue crossing area had disappeared by 1960, except for the spur into Pond Lumber & Coal.  I went here several times with my mother while I was growing up.  I don't remember what we purchased there, but it surely was not coal.  The only coal associated with the business at that time was in their name.

Plate Girder Bridge
The main line of the Baldwin branch continued and passed the village water works pumping station to the southeast and crossed over Ticonderoga Creek above the Upper Falls on a plate girder bridge.  This location is the outlet of Lake George.  Here, Lake George empties into Lake Champlain via Ticonderoga Creek (La Chute River) through a series of water falls.  

The railroad bridge was identified by the Delaware and Hudson Railroad as bridge No. 18 in its right of way and track maps and still extends over the water outlet.  Today this bridge is a part of the LaChute River Walk, actually the trail's southern terminus.  

The Delaware and Hudson's plate girder bridge spanning La Chute River still stands today as seen in this July 1999 photo.  (M. Wright photo)

"A" Mill Facilities West Side
Once on the west side of the LaChute river, Sanborn Fire Insurance Company maps (1906 and 1912) show a single 175 foot spur which left the main traveling slightly northeast before ending shortly before the dam and flumes (see photo). 

Delaware and Hudson Railroad right of way and track maps from 1916 show two spurs in a similar location, just southeast of the ground wood mill "A."  The railroad identified one of these tracks, 325 feet in length, as Track "M."  A similar track, Track "K", 274 feet in length, existed right next to Track "M."  Track "K" was removed on June 17, 1937 according to right of way maps.  Track "M" may be the remaining track in the photo. 

Sanborn Fire Insurance Company maps from 1923 and those corrected to 1945 show a much longer spur in this same area.  Sanborn maps also show all of the mill spurs and many of the mill structures on the east side of the water in the upper falls area had disappeared by 1945 except for the single spur.

The paper mill constructed a beater room sometime between 1923 and 1945 on the west side of this spur.  The 1923 Sanborn maps show the beater room and ground wood mill.  The 1945 Sanborn maps denote the ground wood mill as the generator room and the beater room as storage.

It's a late winter afternoon judging from the long shadows to the northeast.  Seen here is the railroad bridge over La Chute River and Alexandria Avenue crossing.  One rail spur runs northeast into the "A" mill complex.  The smaller building on the left is the Ground Wood Mill "A."  The larger building is the beater building.  All other mill facilities on the east side of the river are now gone.  Lord Howe Avenue runs from the intersection to the upper left of the photo.  The road to Baldwin Dock leaves the intersection to the bottom of the photo.  (photo courtesy Ticonderoga Heritage Museum)

Alexandria to Baldwin
Upon crossing Ticonderoga Creek, the tracks continued to the southwest crossing Alexandria Avenue (Cemetery Road) on the way to Baldwin dock located 4.77 miles from the junction with the main line near Montcalm Landing.   The original road crossing here consisted of a solid wooden plank.

Standard Oil Company
After crossing Alexandria Avenue, there was a short spur approximately 300 feet long that serviced an oil storage business.  This business began in early July 1909 when the Standard Oil Company began erecting a large gasoline tank near the railroad crossing here.   The tank was eight feet in diameter and thirty feet high.  A smaller tank was erected near the Fort Ticonderoga railroad station at the same time.  The Delaware and Hudson Railroad constructed a spur here on June 10, 1933 for the A. W. Yell & Company, a Sinclair Gasoline wholesaler.  It later served the Ti Oil business.

In 1960, this business consisted of a loading platform along the spur with two oil tanks next to the platform.  Another three oil tanks and various structures were located near these.  Oil storage tanks remain in this area today as part of the former Ti Oil business.   The Delaware and Hudson removed this oil company spur on March 2, 1964.  In 1974, this location contained the Firestone Carport and Ti Carwash.

Obtaining the Right of Way
Many individuals granted the right of way for this section of the line to the New York & Canada Railroad (grantee), later acquired by the Delaware and Hudson, beginning on July 21, 1874 and continuing through September 4, 1874.  The grantors included Charles H. Bennett, John O'Brien, William G. Baldwin, Francis Wear, Andrew J. Cook, Veranus Richmond, Betsy Stone, and George W. Coates.  One grantee was as late as April 4, 1882 (James H. Stone et. al.).  This grant was for the land that contained the point of switch into the station area.

Continuing to Baldwin
The main line of the Baldwin Branch crossed from the Ticonderoga Village limits to the Ticonderoga Town limits shortly after passing the oil company siding.  The tracks traveled approximately one mile before crossing Pine Springs Road.  Continuing about one and a half miles, mostly through open meadow, the rails crossed Essex Country Road 5 (Baldwin Road), traveling in a westerly direction.  The tracks again crossed the county road and continued along the Lake George beach front for approximately a quarter mile.  The tracks then proceeded southwest crossing the county road approximately 300 feet before arriving at Baldwin Dock on the east side of the county road. Today, no rails exist to Baldwin Dock and many of the current residents along the old roadbed have  acquired title to the old roadbed that crossed their property.  Many of the abutting property owners have since improved the properties and dwellings.  

The main line track approached the dock facilities having a point of switch so that two tracks entered the station area.  These tracks combined again near the boiler house and the single track continued to the end of the dock.

Baldwin Dock
The opening of the Baldwin Branch of the Delaware and Hudson Railroad in 1875 connected Montcalm Landing on Lake Champlain, via the outskirts of Ticonderoga, to the rail terminus at Baldwin on Lake George located  approximately one mile below Cook's Landing.  When Baldwin Dock became the northern terminus of the Lake George steamers, it became financially desirable for the Delaware and Hudson Railroad to construct the five mile rail spur to Baldwin Landing in order to connect the Lake George and Lake Champlain steamboats. Countless tourists loved traveling up and down the island-studded Lake George and do so today.  Many came to the region just to relax and enjoy the offerings of the Adirondack region.  This was during a period when the more affluent people fled the hot summer cities to get away from their busy lives.  The shoreline of Lake George contained numerous famous, opulent resorts and hotels.  Hotels such as Rogers Rock Hotel, Glenburnie Club, Silver Bay, Sagamore, Sabbath Day Point, Bolton House, Fort George Hotel, and others provided quiet seclusion and relaxation.  The new Baldwin rail service replaced the former stagecoach line run by Captain William Baldwin and enabled travelers to access the Lake George region in a more stylish and comfortable fashion.  

Constructing Facilities
The Delaware and Hudson Canal Company began building its new depot at Baldwin in March 1882.  The depot was 250 feet in length.  At the same time, the steamboat company began erecting a new 100-foot long and 40-foot wide covered walkway to the dock.

The railroad structure at Baldwin station was denoted as "Arcade" in the Delaware & Hudson publication "Passenger and Freight Stations."   "Arcade" actually refers to the metal canopy covering the concrete floor near the old wooden landing.   

The old warehouse at Baldwin Dock. (M. Wright collection)

Passengers to Baldwin
The Delaware and Hudson Railroad served Baldwin with one or more passenger trains daily during the summers of 1875 through 1932.   The railroad ran two trains in each direction beginning the end of June in 1877 as stated in the June 29 edition of the Ticonderoga Sentinel. This was the beginning of summer travel. Trains left Montcalm Landing at 12:15 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to connect with Lake George boats. The return trains left Baldwin at 12:20 p.m. and 3:40 p.m. to connect with the New York & Canada (D&H) trains at Fort Ticonderoga, or Montcalm Landing.

A 1927 Lake George & Lake Champlain steamer timetable shows the southbound Lake Champlain steamer Vermont arriving at Montcalm Landing at 12:15 p.m. daily.  A Delaware & Hudson train arrived at 12:15 p.m. at Montcalm Landing to pick up the passengers.  The train then left Montcalm Landing at 12:30 p.m. arriving at Baldwin Dock at 12:45 p.m..  

The Lake George northbound steamer Horicon arrived at Baldwin at 12:55 p.m. daily.  Departing Horicon passengers could then board the awaiting Delaware & Hudson train which left at 1:00 p.m. for the 15 minute trip to Montcalm landing arriving at 1:15 p.m..  Passengers then boarded the steamship Vermont leaving at 1:25 p.m. to continue their journey north up Lake Champlain to other points such as Burlington, Vermont.  

What will become the new steamboat Ticonderoga is on its way to Baldwin Dock in 1949.  Seen here about to cross the railroad crossing at the intersection of Algonkin St. and Lake George Avenue, it will eventually run on Lake George.  This was the last Ticonderoga to run and was a former World War II vessel assembled in three sections at Baldwin.  (Ticonderoga Historical Society, M. Wright collection)

Passengers who arrived at Baldwin Dock via the Delaware & Hudson train then boarded the Horicon to continue their southbound trip to other points such as Lake George (Caldwell).  The southbound Horicon left Baldwin Dock daily at 1:15 p.m.

Baldwin Turntable
The Baldwin dock yards contained a 54' hand powered turntable at the northeastern end of the property, just behind the foreman's dwelling, and close to the edge of Lake George.   

The turntable was near the point of switch (223+68 identification from D&H valuation maps) which created a double track into the station area.  

The railroad removed the turntable and track on December 7, 1925.

The only remaining trace of the Baldwin Dock turntable.  This picture shows the back yard of the former foreman's home.  The light partial ring is the old turntable wall.  The turntable pit was filled in and nature has slowly claimed the area. (Mark Wright Photo)

The End of Baldwin Mail Service
The United States Postal Service announced the discontinuance of mail service from Ticonderoga to Baldwin on January 4, 1932.  The official announcement, under the head of the discontinued service, read as follows: 

"Discontinued - Ticonderoga to Baldwin, 6 round trips a week, 1 trip 1 way, morning and evening during the period each year that postal clerk is employed on Ticonderoga and Lake George Railway post office from May 1 to about October 31." 

Under the heading of changed service, a further announcement was also made relative to service between Ticonderoga post office and Montcalm Landing, and between the local post office and Baldwin.  The announcement read: 

"Ticonderoga at Montcalm Landing Station, 1.13 miles.  Service is restated to be as follows: Between the post office at Ticonderoga, N.Y. and Montcalm Landing, 1.13 miles (as often as required); also between the post office at Ticonderoga and Baldwin, 3.5 miles (as often as required) during the period of year postal-clerk service is in effect on Ticonderoga and Lake George Railway post office."

Relocating the Road Crossings
On October 22, 1935, the New York State Public Service Commission approved and adopted a request from the Essex County Board of Supervisors and directed the relocation of the Baldwin Branch railroad crossing on Alexandria Road to a point approximately 349 feet northeast of its then present location.  The County desired to locate this highway farther from the shore line of Lake George to avoid having the highway damaged by high water or storms on the lake.  The order required the County to surface the crossing with bituminous for a width of 24 feet between the rails and for two feet from the sides of each rail.  The Essex Country Board of Supervisors assumed all cost for the work.  

The request claimed that regular steamship service on Lake Champlain was discontinued and that there were no regular passenger trains to Baldwin any longer and only an occasional freight over the crossing.  It was proposed that the views of those few remaining trains would be better improved at the new proposed crossing.  All interested parties expressed a willingness to relocate the rail crossing as directed by the County.  Following the crossing relocation, the previous crossing was closed to traffic.  

Baldwin Dock (December 1992).  Gone are the glory days of the steamboats docking here with their passengers.  The sign on the remaining structure says, "Ticonderoga Landing, Lake George Steamboat Co."  The remaining arcade shown here is now gone.  (M. Wright photo)

Discontinuance of Baldwin Station
The great depression had a significant impact on all steamship traffic on Lake George and Lake Champlain and therefore all rail traffic to Baldwin.  Baldwin passenger service was discontinued at the end of the 1932 season.  Following the end of steamship traffic on Lake George in 1932, Baldwin began to lose its importance.   The year 1933 became the defining year as traffic on both lakes became a losing proposition to the tune of approximately $200,000 the previous year.  

In 1935, no carload freight was forwarded or received and the entire business at Baldwin consisted of less than a carload shipment according to a 1935 railroad report.  Business in 1936 consisted of one outbound carload shipment of freight and one less-than-carload shipment.

In 1937 there were no less-than-carload shipments forwarded or received and there were only a few outbound carload shipments of scrap metal transferred from the Lake George boats.  No further scrap metal shipments were expected. 

On February 24, 1939, the Public Service Commission granted the Delaware and Hudson's application for permission to discontinue their station at Baldwin in the Town of Ticonderoga, county of Essex.  The granting of the petition permitted the removal of Baldwin from the railroad's traffic schedules and resulted in some small savings associated with the printing and keeping of records.  There was no station building at Baldwin during this time.  It had become customary to load and unload any freight directly into and out of rail cars on the track as there had been no agent at Baldwin since the closing of the steamship traffic in 1932. 

Abandonment of the Baldwin Branch
Following the closure of Baldwin station, the next logical step for the Delaware and Hudson Railroad was to seek abandonment of the rail line.  On June 6, 1939, the Delaware and Hudson Railroad filed an application with the Interstate Commerce Commission in Washington, D.C. for a certificate of public convenience and necessity permitting the abandonment of the Baldwin Branch and its rail system in Ticonderoga.  The application specifically listed the line as the portion of its so called Baldwin Branch extending from Valuation Station 130-54 in the village of Ticonderoga to Valuation Station 236-04, Baldwin, a distance of approximately 1.998 miles, all in Essex County, New York. 

Removing the Track
The Delaware and Hudson Railroad sold the Baldwin property to the Lake George Steamboat Company on September 28, 1939.  The entire right of way beginning just before the Village and Town line all the way to the end of the Baldwin Branch was conveyed to Henry Finkle on February 18, 1941.  The tracks leading to Baldwin Dock beginning just south of Alexandria Road near the oil storage site were removed on November 9 1939.   

The old Baldwin Branch line to Baldwin Dock is still apparent in this satellite photo, It is visible crossing Alexandria Road (top right) and traveling to the left, curving towards the bottom left of the photo. (Google Earth)

A portion of the right of way parcel #10 and all of #11 were sold on March 29, 1929.  The remainder of right of way parcel #10 was sold on December 11, 1939.  Right of way parcels #2 through 9 were sold on February 5, 1942.  Right of way parcel #1 remained in service for the Ti Oil Company.  The spur track servicing this facility was finally removed on March 2, 1964.

Inventory of Abandoned Railroads
The New York State Department of Transportation conducted a study between 1972 and 1974 to inventory abandoned railroads within the state.  Their report, "Inventory of Abandoned Railroad Rights of Way," was published in 1974 with no copyright notice and remains in the public domain through the New York State Library.  Region #1 of this report (map code 1-4) discusses the Delaware and Hudson Railroad, Baldwin Dock to Ticonderoga section of abandoned right of way.  The report stated, 

"The southernmost end of the line is found just west of the County Road at Baldwin Dock. The roadbed proceeds northeast and crosses the County Road 300' north of the starting point. It then continues along the beach front for l/4 mile before crossing the County Road again. Upon interviewing a local resident (Mr. Hopkins, a retired D & H railroad engineer), we found out that most of the residents (8) of the beach front properties have acquired title to the railroad bed where it crosses their land. After crossing the County Road in an easterly direction, it continues about 1 l/2 miles through mostly open meadow until it crosses Pine Springs Road. Upon interviewing the owner of Pine Springs Park (residential homes), Mr. Jes Harpp, we learned that his deed also conveys a portion of the railroad bed. Approximately l000' beyond Pine Springs Road, 2 power lines cross one identified as TIC-Sanfd and the other as TIC-RED, both exit from a nearby Niagara Mohawk Substation. The roadbed continues another mile or so to Lake George Avenue and ends at Pond Lumber & Coal Company where the tracks are in place and used for deliveries."

The report listed no structures remaining intact.  Because most of the roadbed was very close to existing grade, the researchers were not able to establish if any of it had been removed.  The terrain was described as generally a flat meadow.  Most of the abutting property was unused meadow.  It was surmised that because a large number of parcels had been transferred to abutting owners and subsequently improved in some cases with dwellings, the cost to repurchase the land for recreational purposes would be very high on an overall acreage basis.  Access to the former right of way can be obtained at Baldwin Dock and Pine Spring Park Road.

Commemorating the Baldwin Branch
In May 2006 the Town of Ticonderoga issued a set of cachet covers commemorating the Baldwin Branch Station of the Delaware and Hudson Railroad. 
These were part of a number of various postal covers issued on Ticonderoga subjects as part of the Champlain 2009 celebration.  Postage included a combination of 33 cent "All Aboard Trains" series of famous locomotive commemorative stamps, bird definitive stamps (1, 2, or 3 cent), 2 cent Locomotive 1870's definitive stamps, and the 3 cent 1955 Fort Ticonderoga bicentennial commemorative stamp.

Each cover was postmarked in Ticonderoga using a special postmark. The large postmark feature a steam locomotive and tender and text stating, "Baldwin Branch Station," "Ticonderoga NY 12883," "May 2, 2006," and "Champlain 2009."  It also included a graphical depiction of Lake Champlain on the right.

This first postal cover postage included an "All Aboard Trains" locomotive commemorative stamp and two 3 cent bird definitive stamps.

The cover entitled, "A Ticket to Anywhere..." depicts a Delaware and Hudson passenger ticket to Montcalm Landing, a Delaware and Hudson passenger ticket to Fort Ticonderoga, and a Delaware and Hudson baggage ticket.

This is cachet number 1.  (M. Wright photo, M. Wright collection)

This second postal cover postage included an "All Aboard Trains" locomotive commemorative stamp, a 3 cent 1955 Fort Ticonderoga bicentennial commemorative stamp, a 2 cent Locomotive 1870's definitive stamp, and a 2 cent bird definitive stamp.

This cover, entitled "The Bridge Line to and from New England and Canada," includes pictures of the Delaware and Hudson bridgeline shield, a Delaware and Hudson 500-mile ticket book and ticket, and a Delaware and Hudson baggage ticket.

This is cachet number 2.  (M. Wright photo, M. Wright collection)

The third postal cover postage includes an "All Aboard Trains" locomotive commemorative stamp, a 3 cent 1955 Fort Ticonderoga bicentennial commemorative stamp, and two 2 cent Locomotive 1870's definitive stamps.

This cover commemorates the importance of the railroads to the local commerce and is entitled, "Bringin' the goods to a young growin' land." Artwork includes a Central Vermont Railroad way bill and a Delaware and Hudson freight bill labeled Ticonderoga.  It also included the old circular Delaware and Hudson bridgeline shield and the Central Vermont Railroad logo.

This is cachet number 3.  (M. Wright photo, M. Wright collection)

The fourth and final postal item in the set was a post card.  The front of the card included the standard postal cancellation and the phrase, "All Aboard!"  Postage included a 2 cent locomotive definitive stamp, a 2 cent bird definitive stamp, and a 20 cent Cog Railway 1870's stamp.

The reverse of the post card depicted a nice little system map of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Railroad Company. 

These commemorative items were available from the Ticonderoga Post Office for a short period of time.

This is front of the postcard depicting a stamp of a steam locomotive and cancellation dates.  (M. Wright photo, M. Wright collection)

The reverse of the post card.  (M. Wright photo, M. Wright collection)



Baldwin Dock
Baldwin Dock was located at the north end of Lake George and at the south end of the Baldwin branch of the Champlain Division of the Delaware and Hudson Railroad.  The branch extending from Ticonderoga to Baldwin was originally built for the purpose of forming a link between the Lake George Steamboat Company and the Champlain Transportation Company, which operated boats on Lake Champlain. 

The Baldwin Dock area was initially known as Coates' Landing in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.  James Coates was a Scottish founder of the largest thread and garment making industry in Europe in the last half of the 1700s.  

This photograph shows the Baldwin Dock steamboat landing with several passengers awaiting the arrival of their steamboat.  Easily visible is the "arcade." The rail tracks are further into the background.  (Delaware and Hudson photo, M. Wright collection)

An Introduction
After the Revolution, Coates and his son traveled to the Colonies and established a tailor's shop on this point.  The name was changed to Baldwin when the steamboat company purchased the property from Mr. William G. Baldwin in 1863.  Other opinions have stated the name comes from a Captain in the British Army during the French and Indian War, named Alexander Baldwin.  Baldwin Landing eventually became the northern terminus for the Lake George steamboats.  The earlier, smaller steamboats had to run nearly a mile further past Baldwin, which became impossible for the larger steamboats due to a combination of their larger drafts and the very shallow waters beyond Baldwin consisting of a windy, uncertain channel. 

The Delaware and Hudson Railroad connected Baldwin terminal with the town of Ticonderoga approximately two miles away and with Lake Champlain at Montcalm Landing.  

A dock facility was built at Baldwin in 1875 and was enlarged and improved over the years.  An extensive number of buildings were constructed as well.  These were all detailed by the Delaware and Hudson in its Lake George Steamboat Company's "The Steamboats of Lake George 1817 to 1932."

This original photograph was taken by vacationing tourists in the early 1900s. Because the tourists took several other photos (which came into my possession), including one of the sidewheel steamer Ticonderoga at Lake George (Caldwell), and knowing that the Ticonderoga burned shortly after leaving Baldwin Dock in 1901, this photo probably was taken before this time. Depicted here is the Horicon docked at Baldwin.  (photo: M. Wright collection)

Perhaps it's difficult for anyone today to fully appreciate the activity at Baldwin over a century ago.  However, Thomas Reeves Lord's book, "Still More Stories of Lake George Fact and Fancy", relates the report of a noted nineteenth century Lake George writer, Max Reid.  Reid stated,

A busy day at Baldwin Landing as the Sagamore approaches a dock full of passengers.  (M. Wright collection)

"...at the landing at Baldwin one is beset with a feeling of loneliness, although it is far from being a lonely place.  For a short time each day the place is all action.  The steamer is in sight up the lake; the rumble of the incoming train is heard; the steamer approaches with a wide detour and makes for the dock.  Men prepare to retrieve the lines and a gangplank is lowered to connect passengers with shore.  The train arrives and soon two streams of passengers are hurrying along the dock, from train to steamer and from steamer to train, in needless haste, forgetting that the transportation company is as anxious for their patronage as they are for their transportation.  Soon the steamer sounds its whistle and slowly pulls away from the dock; the long train of cars steams away, and this little pocket of the mountains is left to silence once again." 

Baldwin's Beginnings - Cook's Landing & The Baldwin Shipyards
The first beginning of the busy landing at Baldwin hails back to Cook's Landing located approximately a mile north of Baldwin (or Coates' Landing) on Lake George.  The operation of a steamboat line required a shipyard for the maintenance and mooring of vessels.  From the earliest days of steam boating on Lake George, vessels were repaired at Cook's Landing.  Cook's Landing was not an elaborate site, which was appropriate because only one steamboat at a time operated on Lake George until the line was taken over by the Lake Champlain Transportation Company in 1866.  The old Cook's Landing shipyard consisted of a wooden landing stage and two or three frame sheds along the shoreline.  One shed was used as a carpenter shop and the other as an equipment storeroom.  The real estate, which consisted of about half an acre, was rented annually from Mr. Andrew J. Cook who dwelt in a house adjoining the old shipyard. 

The Lake George Steamboat Company decided that eventually a change would be necessary for steamboat operations.  On March 17, 1875, the Company purchased a parcel of land (indicated "A" on map) at Baldwin situated about 150 yards west of the railroad terminus from Henry G. Burleigh of Whitehall.  This parcel was approximately 200 feet square and contained about one acre.  Although the company was in the possession of the land at Baldwin, it strangely made no immediate effort to develop the property into a shipyard.  The land remained neglected for 25 years.

The foreman's house at Baldwin Landing.  (Lake George Steamboat Company, M. Wright collection)

The Lake George Steamboat Company still retained Cook's Landing as its repair yard and it was still suitable for the wooden boats of lighter draft still in operation at the time.  Ten years after the first land purchase, the steamboat company purchased a second parcel (indicated "B" on map) of land at Baldwin.  This was about 300 yards farther to the west along the lake front and conveyed to the company on December 10, 1885 by Charles M. Wardner.  The shoreline was only about half as wide as the original parcel.  Its area was about the same due to its greater depth.  The first and second parcels did not adjoin one another.  This second parcel was also referred to as the "Old Shipyard."  The property was intersected by the Ticonderoga - Rogers' Rock Highway.   

A small frame dwelling located at the northeast corner of the yard was assigned to the Foreman in charge of the yard.  The Foreman's dwelling was completely rebuilt in 1915.  It was always occupied by the Foreman, Mr. George H. Loomis and his family.

Construction continued with the building of a set of hauling-out ways.  Two frame sheds were also erected for storage of tackle and equipment. 

In 1903, the old shipyard at Cook's was abandoned.  From that time until the development of the new shipyard at Baldwin, the steamboats lay at the Baldwin dock for winter quarters and when hull repairs were required.  Ships were then taken to the "Old Yard" and hauled out on the ways for launching. 

In the first week of March, 1910, a crew of men was at work rebuilding the Baldwin dock from the water up and raising it by two feet.  The Lake George Steamboat Company began negotiating with Commodore H. B. Moore for the purchase of the Coates Point property.  Securing this property was expected to result in the company using it for the boat yard which was currently located between the Moore and Smith cottages in Heart Bay. 

In the Fall of 1909, management realized that the new steamboats being planned such as the Horicon II would be larger and heavier than any ships previously constructed and a more adequate yard would be required for the launching and maintaining of these boats.  This led to the development of the "New Baldwin Shipyard."

The Coates Point property was first reported as belonging to the Lake George Steamboat Company on April 21, 1910.  The steamboat company obtained the property from Commodore H. B. Moore in exchange for the old shipyard.  Owners of cottages on Coates Point were uncertain of their futures and whether they would have to move.

On April 27, 1910, the steamboat company purchased a strip of land running about 600 yards along the lake front from Commodore Harrison B. Moore (indicated "C" on map).  The Company paid a sum of $5,000.00 for the property and also deeded the "Old Yard" to Mr. Moore since it no longer had any need for it.  The Company was quite fortunate in its purchase of the "New Yard" since it was adjacent to the steamboat landing and the highway.  It also surrounded on three sides the original parcel purchased in 1875 and connected the first and second parcels.  There was ample accommodation and proper grade for the installation of hauling-out ways on the western edge of the property.

The Baldwin shipyard shop facilities.  (Lake George Steamboat Company, M. Wright collection)

The The Baldwin Dock powerhouse and cradle.  (Lake George Steamboat Company, M. Wright collection)

The Lake George Steamboat Co. began moving material and one building from the old boatyard, between the Moore and Smith cottages to the new site on Coates Point on Monday, May 9, 1910 as reported by the May 12, 1910 edition of the Ticonderoga Sentinel.  The company planned to put in ways about seventy five feet from the Tintsman line, which necessitated the removal of the Cull camp. The new steamer, Horicon, would be assembled on these ways. The railroad track was extended from Baldwin dock across the bay to the yard.  None of the other camps on the point, with the exception of the Cull camp, one of the finest camping sites on this end of the lake, were disturbed by the work.

On Thursday, September 1, 1910, the Delaware and Hudson Railroad had a crew of men busy in the construction of a new road to the Baldwin dock in order to eliminate the steep, crooked, and sandy hill used at that time.  The new road was constructed along the side of the hill in back of the clubhouses. 

A haphazard condition existed in regard to the ownership of the lake front at the steamboat terminal from 1910 until 1928.  Due to a changing shoreline, some of the shop buildings were partially on Delaware and Hudson Railroad property and partially on reclaimed land abutting the railroad right-of-way over which the railroad claimed ownership.  The Delaware and Hudson Company deeded the strip of land (indicated "D" on map) to the Lake George Steamboat Company on August 24, 1928 in order to remedy this condition.  The railroad, however, reserved to itself in perpetuity, the privilege of maintaining tracks and operating trains over its present right-of-way.

This final transfer of property completed the holdings of the Lake George Steamboat Company at Baldwin and also protected the railroad's investment at that point.  Immediately after obtaining title, the Company began work on the development of the new shipyard.  The first developments were the ways and steamboat landing.  The shed in the "Old Yard" used to store tackle and equipment was moved to the "New Yard" and used for similar purposes.  

The Delaware and Hudson Canal Company railroad coach #13 "Lake Champlain" is visible at Baldwin Dock.  The Lake George steamer Horicon sits docked for arriving and departing passengers.  This picture was captured and preserved on an old stereo card.  (stereo view card photo, M. Wright collection)

The storage shed was used in connection with the marine railway.  The old wooden landing was rebuilt with a substantial foundation, concrete floor, and was covered with a metal canopy.  The new landing was "T" shaped and carried out 100 feet from the shore line with a 125 foot face.  A crib was constructed immediately to the north for additional protection in mooring the steamboats.

The steamboat company made a new shore line south of the steamboat landing by connecting a freight dock.  This straightened the curve of the old shore line and added approximately 1,200 square yards to the area of the shipyard.  A small building at the shore end of the steamboat landing, formerly used as a saloon, was converted into a lunch room and cigar stand for company patrons.

A cluster of small buildings was erected to the south of the lunch room.  These consisted of a boiler house, scrape shop, carpenter shop, storehouse, paint shop, and blacksmith shop.  Later, a small oil house was erected between the carpenter shop and storehouse.  An ice house, lumber shed, and garage were constructed north of the lunch room and completed the buildings in the "New Yard."

The Baldwin Branch of the Delaware and Hudson Railroad terminated at Baldwin Dock.  This early photo (date and photographer unknown) clearly shows the dock and supporting facilities that existed at that time.  Note the rail line to the right of the picture.  (postcard photo, M. Wright collection)

On September 18, 1924, the steamboat company increased its holdings at Baldwin by purchasing a coal dock and trestle at the southerly end of the dock from the American Graphite Company of New Jersey.  The trestle connected to the tracks of the Delaware and Hudson Railroad.  It was leased to the railroad for the hauling of coal to points up the lake. 

The Baldwin Shipyard boundaries contained several acres of desirable shore front property which was not required for operating the shipyard.  The Lake George Steamboat Company leased these lots for the erection of summer cottages.  These leases were first extended to the company's employees and later to the general public. 

In 1928, this colony included 15 cottages and provided the steamboat company with an annual rental fee of $555.00.  This thriving summer colony developed by the company still exists today although all cottages and homes are privately owned. 

The Baldwin Marine Railway
In July of 1927, the only equipment for hauling out vessels at Baldwin were the old ship-ways built in 1910 for the launching of the Horicon II.  The hauling of a vessel was a tedious and expensive operation due to the fact that the motive power was furnished by teams of horses.  Seventeen years of use and exposure weakened the structure and the purchase of new equipment was imperative.  A contract was let and the Crandall Engineering Company of Boston was chosen to construct a marine railway and drydock to replace the old ship-ways at a cost of $50,000.  The Lake George Steamboat Company began building a new drydock facility at Baldwin in September 1927.   This Baldwin marine railway became the model for the larger unit constructed at Shelburne Harbor two years later.  The railway consisted of three units - the cradle, the track, and the power.

The Sagamore slips back into the waters of Lake George after being lengthened at the Baldwin Dock yards.  The Mohican I is and Rogers Rock Hotel are in the background.  (Fred Thatcher photo, Delaware & Hudson by Jim Shaughnessy)

The cradle was the unit upon which the ship rested while being hauled out upon the track and where it remained when not water-borne.  The Baldwin cradle had a total length of 205 feet with an extreme width of 60 feet.  It was equipped with set of eleven keel blocks upon which the ship rested.  On either side of the keel blocks were a set of bilge blocks operated by chains and hand-winches from the docking platform at the outer edge of the cradle.  

In order to haul a vessel, the cradle was run to the outboard end of the track where the water was a depth of six to twelve feet over the keel blocks.  The water-borne vessel was centered on the cradle and the prow secured to the inboard end of the cradle.  

The cradle was then steadily hauled ashore with the ship settling to rest on the keel blocks with the bilge blocks drawn in against the hull to steady the vessel while it rested in the cradle.  The cradle was constructed mostly of long-leaf yellow pine set on structural steel beams.

The track upon which the cradle moved was 540 feet in length.  Approximately 380 feet of this track was under water.  The track was constructed of re-enforced concrete from the upper end to the water level.  From the water line to the outer end it was built of wood consisting of three tiers of timber resting on piles.  The rails consisted of flat steel plates of various thickness and securely fastened.  The rollers under the cradle were built of cast iron and were nested in frames fifteen feet long connected together interchangeably. 

The Delaware and Hudson Railroad assigns a Dickson-built Mogul No. 313 to deliver the steam yacht Ellide to Baldwin Dock in the 1890s.  The boat rides on a flatcar along a makeshift launching track near the steamboat dock. A winch on the flat car allows the boat to roll gently down the ramp into the water.  The D&H maintained a similar permanent "marine track" in the village of Lake George (Caldwell).  (Fred Thatcher photo, Delaware & Hudson by Jim Shaughnessy)

The marine railway was operated by steam.  The cradle was hauled over the track by a single chain of manganese steel.  The chain was huge and weighed 7.5 tons.  The engines were a pair of link-motion reversing steam engines.  The boiler operating the railway was the boiler of the old harbor tender Mariquita of the Champlain Transportation Company, originally installed in the Mariquita in 1873.

It required 30 minutes to haul a vessel from the moment it was placed on the cradle until it was high and dry at the inboard end of the track.  The hauling out of a vessel the size of the Horicon II once required nearly a month to get the vessel ashore.  This slow progress was accomplished using seven teams of horses and winding the hauling ropes around the winches.  Several broken chains and sheaves were also replaced before the vessel was successfully hauled out. 

The total cost of hauling a vessel on the old ship-ways was approximately $3,000 including labor and material.  The cost of fuel and labor on the marine railway was about $40.00.  

Lake Steamships & Travel
Baldwin Landing has a rich history of steamboat travel along Lake George.  In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Baldwin served as the home port for one of two steamships. 

The May 29, 1894 edition of the Ticonderoga Sentinel announced that the steamers Vermont on Lake Champlain and Horicon on Lake George commenced their regular trips on Monday, May 27.  The local train was doing the work on the Lake George branch railroad. It left the village station at 11:45 to meet the train from the south and the Vermont and returned to the village station, leaving again at 12:12 for Baldwin to meet the Horicon.  It then returned from Baldwin and again left the village station at 12:53 to meet the train from the north and leave passengers for the Vermont at the Fort Ticonderoga dock. No stops were made at Academy station.  

The Baldwin boat would leave the terminal at 8:00 a.m. and head south picking up and discharging passengers while the second boat would head north performing the same duties.  Upon reaching the opposite ends of the lake, the two steamships turned around and repeated the process for the return trip.

Baldwin dock, was quite a popular and busy location during my mother's younger days (she would have been about 10 when passenger traffic ended in 1932).  I remember she would tell me how she used to fondly wave to the passenger trains crossing The Portage near E. J. Monroe's on their way to Baldwin dock. Traffic was heavy in those days with both passenger traffic to Baldwin Dock and freight traffic to the upper mills of the paper company and a few businesses along the Baldwin Branch.

This steamboat coupon entitled the bearer to a 25 cent discount off the regular 75 cent round trip ticket price to ride the steamboat Mohican from Ticonderoga Landing to Lake George and back.  The ticket was issued by the Ticonderoga Chamber of Commerce.  Passengers boarded at 10 a.m. and arrived back in Ticonderoga at 7 p.m.  (M. Wright collection)

The Ticonderoga
An increase in lake travel around 1882 necessitated the construction of another Lake George steamship, the side-wheeler Ticonderoga.  The Ticonderoga replaced the Ganouskie on the lake.  Construction materials were placed at Cook's Landing and the Ticonderoga was on the lake by the spring of 1883.  The ship was 172 feet long, 46 feet in breadth, 9 feet depth of hold, and displaced 500 tons.  Its very large engine and large paddle wheel allowed her to run at 20 miles per hour and could accommodate just under 1,000 passengers.

The Ticonderoga was one of the most beautiful and best appointed boats ever placed upon the northern waters.  The steamboat company spared no expense in making the boat perfect for the work assigned to it.  

The ship was expected to match the Horicon in speed and in some respects was more convenient, having larger dining accommodations.  The Ticonderoga was a little smaller than the Horicon, but was expected to be large enough to satisfy all demands.  It contained rich carpets and furniture and many decorations.  A large picture of the ruins of Fort Ticonderoga hung in one of the wheelhouses.  The second wheelhouse had a picture of Mount Marcy.  The Ticonderoga made her trial voyage on Monday, June 30, 1884.  

The Horicon and Sagamore seen here are docked at Baldwin Landing on Lake George.  This view  is from a picture post card circa 1906.  (postcard photo, M. Wright collection)

Unfortunately, the Ticonderoga met with disaster on August 28, 1901 when it was destroyed by fire just after leaving Baldwin.  The ship made it to Rogers Rock Landing where everyone disembarked safely.  In February 1904, a number of men began work at Roger Rock to remove the remains of the steamer.  A second Ticonderoga was christened in April of 1906, but this vessel ran along the waters of Lake Champlain.  This one now resides in the Shelburne Museum in Vermont.

The Ganouski
In late December 1884, plans called for the 75-ton Ganouski to be raised at Baldwin the following year and loaded onto three railroad flat cars using skids.  It would then be taken down the branch line to Port Marshall where it would be launched on Lake Champlain.  It would be used for excursion parties and towing on the lake.

The Sagamore
The Sagamore was built in 1902 at a cost of $200,000, and at the time it was considered one of the most luxurious passenger boats in northern New York.  The 224-foot craft had a capacity of 1,500 passengers.  Its engines could attain a speed of about seventeen miles per hour and for many years the boat was popular in the regular traffic schedule on Lake George and was utilized many times for excursions.  

The steamship was constructed to fill the gap left when the Ticonderoga was destroyed.  The surviving Lake George steamship, Mohican, could not fulfill its duties and those of the Ticonderoga.   Following the Sagamore's construction, she was found to be too top heavy.  The work of lengthening the Sagamore after her unsatisfactory first season began.  The ship was sent to the "Old Yard" at Baldwin in the winter of 1902-1903, cut in half, and a 20-foot midsection added.  The Sagamore was launched from Baldwin in 1903.

The northbound Sagamore arrived at Baldwin Dock at 7:20 p.m. daily except Sunday and 7:15 p.m. on Sundays with limited stops.  The southbound Sagamore left Baldwin daily at 7:15 a.m. and 12:50 p.m. on Sundays with limited stops to Lake George (Caldwell). 

The Horicon lies docked at Baldwin Landing on Lake George while passenger cars of the Delaware and Hudson Railroad discharge passengers and await new passengers for the trip back to Montcalm Landing on Lake Champlain. (postcard photo, M. Wright collection)

The steamer Sagamore was the flagship and pride of the Lake George steamboat fleet for many years for freight and passenger service.  It was dismantled at Baldwin Dock in June 1936 by the Lake George Steamboat company, a subsidiary of the Delaware and Hudson company.  Despite the constant drop in passenger volume and freight tonnage, caused by the increased use of the automobile, the Sagamore maintained its schedule each summer until 1927, when near-disaster overtook the boat.  Leaving Glenburnie in a dense fog, it struck a reef at Anthony's Nose, and with its hundreds of passengers, barely managed to return to Glenburnie, where it was beached and later, after temporary repairs had been made, towed to the Baldwin dry dock.

The Sagamore returned to its schedule the following year, but since that time passenger and freight trade on Lake George had dwindled to the point where it was necessary to withdraw the Sagamore from service.  The flagship of the fleet, Horicon, was slightly larger and more modern than Sagamore, but it still suffered the same fate.  

The Mohican II
In 1907 the Delaware & Hudson Railroad hauled the hull plates of the new steamship, Mohican II, from the T. S. Marvel Shipbuilding  Company in Newburgh, New York to Baldwin dock.  The hull plates were riveted together at the Baldwin shipyard.  The Mohican II was later launched from Heart Bay at Baldwin on Saturday, December 14, 1907. The daughter of the Delaware and Hudson Company and the Lake George Steamboat company president, L. F. Loree, Miss Louise Loree, arrived at Baldwin to christen the steamer.  President Loree and his party arrived at Baldwin at 10:30 a.m. in a special train consisting of the observation engine Saratoga and private car numbers 200 and 500.  President Loree, in company with Vice President O. S. Sims and other officials, spent a little time at Baldwin inspecting the steamers Sagamore and Horicon and the company's shops and terminal facilities there, after which the party went to the launching ways, where the hull of the new boat was ready for its initial plunge.  The company erected a launching stage at the bow of the new boat, upon which the official party assembled.  Under the careful direction of T. S. Marvel, the last supports and blockings were removed and the steamer began to move.  Miss Loree broke the customary bottle of champagne from the front of the launching stage and uttered the words, "I christen thee Mohican." 

In a short period of time, the graceful craft was resting on the waters of Lake George.  Among the others present were Miss Loree's mother and brother; General Manager D. A. Loomis and Mrs. Loomis; General Manager Fasset of The United Traction company and Hudson Valley railway; James MacMartin, Chief Engineer of The Delaware and Hudson Company; W. J. Mullin, General Traffic manager; O. H. Booth, cashier; Andrew Fletcher, President of The W. & A. Fletcher company, contractors for the hull and machinery; J. W. Millard, naval architect who designed the boat; T. S. Marvel President of The T. S. Marvel Shipbuilding company, who subcontracted the hull; Capt. J. H. Manville of the steamer Sagamore; Capt. Wesley Fiukle of the steamer Mohican who would command the new Mohican; Walter P. Harris and Elmer Wildee, pilots of the Sagamore; John L. Washburn and A. A. Fisher, pilots of the Horicon; and other employees, friends and patrons of the line.  After serving lunch, the party was sent through Lake George by special steamer, where they remained over night and inspected the Fort William Henry hotel property.

The Mohican was a twin screw propeller with an overall length of 115 feet, width of 26 feet 16 inches, and top speed of 15 miles per hour.  The hull was constructed of steel.  On the quarter deck was located the purser's office, the lunch counter, and the officer's quarters.  Aft on the main deck opening from the quarterdeck was the ladies' cabins.  The quarterdeck was covered with rubber tiling and the ladies' cabin was carpeted.  Both of these rooms were finished in butternut and cherry to show the natural wood.  The main stairway reached from the main deck to the promenade deck.  The pilot house and quarters for officers was located on the forward promenade deck.  The promenade was open in order to afford excursionists an unobstructed view of the scenery.

The propelling machinery consisted of two inverted, direct-acting, compound engines, high pressure cylinder, ten inches in diameter; low pressure cylinder 21 1/2 inches in diameter; 16-inoh stroke.  Two water tube boilers provided steam for the motive power.  It was at first proposed to call the new steamer the Uncas, however, the name Mohican seemed more appropriate.

The Horicon
The new steamer Horicon attempted to make its maiden plunge in the waters of Lake George at 12:17 on Thursday, December 1, 1910.  After traveling along the ways far enough so that the stern was in the water, the hull came to a stop.  Workmen were unable to move it and the boat remained there until Friday noon, when hydraulic jacks were used to move the boat.  On Saturday morning, the Mohican towed the ship to the Baldwin dock, where the superstructure and interior would be completed during the winter in time for the new season.  Mrs. G. S. Sims, wife of the Delaware and Hudson vice-president, christened the steamer.  A bottle of champagne was tied to the boat's bow with red, white and blue ribbons.  As the hull started down the ways, Mrs. Sims broke it with a gavel made from wood from the old steamer Vermont.  Mrs. Sims tossed a rose after it.  

A special train carrying Mr. and Mrs. Sims and a party of friends in Mr. Sims' private car arrived at Baldwin at noon.  In the party were Mr. and Mrs. Palmer Ricketts, Troy; Mr. and Mrs. D. A. Loomis, Burlington; Andrew Fletcher, New York; Miss ,Anna Shield, Troy; Miss Betty Williams, Miss Josephine Peabody, Miss Lempe Griffith, Mrs. Andrew MacFarlane, Albany; Philip Harrison, Ballston; Moncure Carpenter, Glens Falls.

A. Fletcher, of the firm of A. & W. Fletcher, builders of the Horicon, presented Mrs. Sims with a handsome gold bar pin set with pearls and sapphires.  General Manager D. A Loomis gave her a bouquet of Mexican Beauty roses and China asters.

The length of the boat was 230 feet six inches.  It was equipped with two boilers. The boat had three decks - main, saloon, and hurricane, all of which were conveniently arranged for the transportation of passengers, freight, express baggage, and mail.  The dining room seated approximately 100 people. It had the capability to carry approximately 1,500 passengers. There were a limited number of observation state rooms for private parties.  The boat was capable of plying the Lake George waters at 21 miles per hour.

The Horicon, originally built at a cost of $210,000, was sent to the Baldwin docks for its final razing in 1939.  By late November, the masts, superstructure and machinery of the steamer, once the flagship of a fleet of luxurious vessels that sailed Lake George, were removed down to the main deck.  The Trojan Scrap Iron Corporation of Troy and R. Cohen and Son, Glens Falls junk dealers, were busily dismantling the vessel ever since it was sold for junk by the Lake George Steamboat Company.  The remains resembled a huge canal boat while it sat in the old Baldwin dry dock.

Baldwin Landing seen here in this August 2001 photo shows the main dock.  Other modern facilities are off the photo to the left.  (M. Wright photo)

Steamboat Service Suspended
The opening of the 1928 steamboat season saw a decline in the freight business although passenger business continued to be good.  Lack of interest by the local inhabitants and the depression had taken its toll.  The privately owned automobile and motor truck as well as improved highways contributed to a decrease in revenue and eventually had a substantial impact on steamer shipping.  All of this would soon spell an end to passenger traffic.  

Business continued to steadily slip with 1932 recorded as the company's worst season in its history from a revenue standpoint.  The hammer finally fell when the Lake George Steamboat Company, a subsidiary of the Delaware and Hudson Railroad Corporation, announced at the end of January 1933, that it would not operate the steamers Sagamore, Horicon, and Mohican.  Any future operations depended upon an improvement in passenger business, an improvement which would not occur.  In late summer 1932, the Vermont III met its last train at Montcalm Landing ending official rail service.  

Environmental as well as revenue conditions had changed while expenses increased.  The company had to equip boats to meet the demand for refined service.  The discontinuance of depositing ashes, sewage, sanitary water supply, and many other requirements forced the company to spend large sums of money. 

Privately owned automobiles, motor coach, and trucks all contributed to the decrease in steamboat patronage and revenue. The prospects for a positive change in 1933 was not good, leaving nothing to do, but cancel the season. The company appreciated all the letters protesting the abandonment, but as D. A. Loomis, general manager of the line stated, "Sentiment will not run steamboats" and there was no obligation on the part of the company to continue to put thousands of dollars a year into a service that doesn't pay. So ended the Delaware and Hudson Railroad's steamboat business on Lake George. 

Hope for the Lake George steamboats emerged in March 1933 when Secretary of State Edward J. Flynn received an application from a group headed by former Senator Frederick W. Kavanaugh.  The application stated Kavanaugh's plans to operate steamboats on Lake George beginning with the 1933 season.  The name of the business was stated as the Lake George Transportation Company. 

Completion of the details for the leasing of the Lake George Steamboat Company's three craft, the Sagamore, Horicon, and Mohican, was evident by April 20, 1933.  The new company with their planned extensive operations assumed control of the three steams and began reconditioning them at Baldwin.  The company spent several thousand dollars, particularly on the Horicon, which would become a floating palace for night-time excursions.  The company established bars on all three vessels.  Kavanaugh planned to change some of the destinations for the steamers, but former skippers and crews were retained. 

Baldwin dock and storage facilities in 2001.  (M. Wright photo)

This was a risky venture because the cause for the continuing down cline in steamboat passenger traffic had not changed.  Kavanaugh was throwing vast amounts of money into a deep hole and by October 5, 1933, stories broke indicating that the operators of the "Show Boat" Horicon and the other two steamers had liabilities of $71,272 with assets of only $6,546.  

Despite the Horicon's famous guests which included various national and state government officials (including Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt...twice), the Lake George Transportation Company's creditors accepted an offer for the settlement of claims at 25 cents on the dollar.

On February 3, 1934, the Lake George Transportation Company officially filed for bankruptcy listing its liabilities as $75,184 and assets as $3,531.  Sixty creditors were named by the schedules filed including Kavanaugh.

The Ticonderoga Sentinel (Jan 21, 1937) announced the appointment of Captain A. A. Fisher of Ticonderoga as foreman of the Lake George Steamboat Company shipyard at Baldwin.  The 41 year company veteran and ship pilot was appointed to succeed the late George H. Loomis who had died the previous December.  At this point, crews were dismantling the Sagamore and only the Horicon and Mohican remained in service on Lake George. Captain Fisher, the former Horicon captain for 4 years, was assigned charge of the company's property, both shore and boating, as well as the direction of employees under instructions from the marine supervisor or the general manager, Mr. D. A. Loomis.

The Delaware & Hudson completed its exit from the steamboat business when it sold all the assets of its subsidiary, the Lake George Steamboat Company, to Mrs. Concetta Stafford and her husband, Captain George Stafford on July 26, 1939.  Captain Stafford was a veteran boatman who for 28 years was connected with navigation on Lake George and specifically, the Lake George Steamboat Company.  The assets of the company included the steamboats Mohican and the show boat Horicon, the dock, the marine railway built in 1927, and buildings consisting of a 12-room dwelling, blacksmith shop, paint shop, woodworking shop, four storehouses, restaurant, and eight acres of land including 1,800 feet of lake shore along with all the equipment and assets.  Captain Stafford continued to operate the Mohican on Lake George during the summer of 1940.

The End of Rogers Rock Hotel
J. Q. A. Treadway decided to build a summer resort close to the base of Rogers Slide overlooking Heart's Bay in 1874.  The gothic style building was designed by O. B. Hinkley.  The hotel opened to the public on July 19, 1875.  Besides the guest rooms, the hotel consisted of an office, parlor, reading room, wash room/barber shop, dining room, and kitchen. 

In 1909, patrons could reach the hotel from New York by train to Ticonderoga followed by a 4-mile land drive or by train to the village of Lake George followed by a trip aboard a Lake George steamer the entire length of the lake to the hotel's dock.  Rail service to either location was excellent.  It took nearly 7 hours by rail and carriage or 9 hours by rail and steamer. 

The hotel was sold to David Williams around 1903 and he subsequently purchased more land so that the shoreline ran nearly a mile along the lake.  The hotel opened in June 1909 under lease to the Rogers Rock Hotel Company.  In 1924, the hotel traded owners when it was sold to a New York syndicate with Williams holding one quarter interest.  This group retained ownership until the end. 

The famous Rogers Rock Hotel located in Hearts Bay on Lake George saw the beginning of the end on March 18, 1942 when the Eaton Wrecking Company of Glens Falls began razing the facility.  A crew of 10 men began demolition of the 60-odd room structure.  Work was completed some time in July.  The same company also razed the Marion House on the Lake George-Bolton Landing road. 

Baldwin Dock Today
Today, Baldwin Landing is a shell of its former self from the late 19th and early 20th century.  Some of the cottages still remain today, but all evidence of railroad operations are long gone.   

The Crandall Marine Railway still exists and is used by the Lake George Steamboat Company as its primary facility to build, maintain, and repair its fleet of excursion boats.  The Baldwin property still contains this marine railway, the head house which contains the machinery to propel the system, and boat cradle.  There are an additional two modern storage sheds.  

The Crandall Marine Railway was added to the Nation Historic Register on May 4, 2011.

The marine railway today.  (photo: William Dow for National Register)

Steamboat passengers aboard the Mohican may still board or disembark at Baldwin by special request.  On a personal note, this author highly recommends the full tour of Lake George aboard the Mohican.  It is a fantastic experience.



The Ticonderoga Branch
The Baldwin Branch was completed in May of 1875 passing through the outskirts of Ticonderoga.  There was no railroad spur into the Village of Ticonderoga at this time and Sanborn Fire Insurance maps show no rail tracks into Ticonderoga from the Baldwin Branch as late as 1884.  There were also no railroad tracks to either the Lower Mill, Island Mill, village, or "A" and "B" Mills along the river.  However, Sanborn Fire Insurance maps are not necessarily a good indicator of when geographic points of interest change due to the time intervals between published editions.  

A railroad needs capital and the Ticonderoga Rail Road Company raised such capital through the selling of stock.  Shown above is a non-issued stock certificate.  (M. Wright collection)

Initially, The Delaware and Hudson Railroad had no desire to put a rail line into Ticonderoga.  It was a pure business decision and the fact that no line was brought into Ticonderoga from the inception of the Baldwin Branch in 1875 to when the Ticonderoga Railroad was created in 1890 is clearly proof of this.  However, conditions would change.

The Albany Journal reported on the Ticonderoga area in its June 14, 1887 edition and focused its discussion on railroad facilities stating that the topography of the area and the situation of the village of Ticonderoga, and the sites which were available had a special aptitude for the erection of any known manufacturers and were all in close proximity to great water power.  It continued stating the main line of the Delaware and Hudson ran within a short distance from the village, and that the Addison Railroad Company, a competing line, was also accessible and connected with the Central Vermont Railroad at Leicester Junction.  Both railroads made connections with other roads for all points north, south, east, and west.  At this point in time, both railroads were receiving large amounts of freight from manufacturers and the increased mercantile interests of Ticonderoga village were such that these railroads now recognized the importance of Ticonderoga as a manufacturing center.  Proposals had been received from the management of both railroads to town property owners and businessmen in reference and as to the advisability of running tracks of their respective railroads directly to the lower village.

The newspaper reported that the Delaware and Hudson had made surveys and within a short time, would have tracks come direct to the lower village, its tracks being laid and its depot and freight house built and arranged in the most convenient locality in the village.  It was apparent that when these contemplated improvements were completed, the owners of the different manufacturers could, with comparatively light expense, have branch railroad tracks put in and run direct to their own facilities.  The owners of the various factories and the village businessmen were determined that Ticonderoga would have as good railroad facilities and in all other respects, equal opportunities to enable them to more than successfully compete with other manufacturing localities.

The January 30, 1880 edition of the Ticonderoga Sentinel contained an article discussing the opportunity for an extension of the Addison Branch of the Vermont Central Railroad into Ticonderoga from its then present terminus at Addison Junction.  This article stated, "It will pay to have the Vermont Central push its tracks to Lake George via the water course from Lake George to Lake Champlain and give the citizens of Ticonderoga what they never had, a decent depot or railroad station..."  The article went on to state that the current branch of the railroad was not built to accommodate Ticonderoga, but Lake George travel.  This would never occur.

The New York & Canada Railroad completed its tracks from Whitehall, NY along the west shore of Lake Champlain to Ticonderoga in the fall of 1874.  Following completion of this end of the line, Delaware and Hudson trains connected Fort Ticonderoga station with Albany.  

Steamboat service through the difficult Champlain Narrows soon became unnecessary and Ticonderoga's economic status increased.  Early industrial activities included those related to water power such as paper making and other mills as well as horse breeding, and the construction of canal boats.

Even before the rails were laid into the village of Ticonderoga itself, businessmen benefited from the main line rail connection connecting the Ticonderoga area with towns to the north and south.  One gentleman merchant from Ticonderoga was reported to have taken the evening train at 9:20 pm from Montcalm Landing and making the use of a sleeping car, awoke in New York City the following morning at 7:00 am  Well rested, he had breakfast and then proceeded to conduct his business, purchasing $1,000 worth of goods.  He left for home at 6:00 pm that evening, arrived at Montcalm Landing near Ticonderoga, and finally home at 3:20 am the following morning. 

A rail line and station within the village of Ticonderoga had become a necessity.  Rail shipments into the village either had to be picked up at Port Marshall (Montcalm Landing) or at Academy Station near what is now Defiance Street and The Portage.   News accounts even mention that in December 1888, the road from Academy Station was so bad, that John Malaney had to "boat his coal" from the docks at Fort Ticonderoga rather than pick it up and transport it from Academy.

Information is sketchy from the time period of 1888 to when the Ticonderoga Branch was actually laid into the village of Ticonderoga.  Archived editions of the local newspaper are few.  Some information does come from other news sources within Essex County, NY.  Railroad timetables for the Ticonderoga Railroad began appearing in the April 2, 1891 edition of the Ticonderoga Sentinel.  It is possible that related timetables appeared earlier in the Ticonderoga Sentinel, but such papers did not survive, possibly related the Great Ticonderoga Fire of 1875.

First Rumblings of a Railroad
According to the November 30, 1877 issue of the Ticonderoga Sentinel, the citizens of Ticonderoga met on a Saturday evening on November 24, 1877 in the office of Holle
nback and Wheeler for the sole purpose of considering the feasibility of constructing a railroad from Willow Point on Lake Champlain to Stone's Bay on Lake George. Willow Point is located on the Vermont side of Lake Champlain south of Chimney Point (the location of the Lake Champlain bridge).  The honorable William E. Calkins was called to the chair and John C. Hollenback, Esq. was appointed secretary.

The parties in attendance expressed their particular views after which C. H. DeLano presented a draft of the charter which met the approbation of the meeting.  A portion of the required stock was subscribed, and C. H. DeLano and J. C. Hollemback were appointed to solicit further subscriptions and report at an adjourned meeting scheduled for December 1st.  The sentiment in the news article read:

"We can readily see that if this project is carried out it will directly tend to utilize and promote the interests of our vast water power and contribute to the prosperity and thrift of the town.

It is utterly impossible for the businessmen of this town to prosper and haul their raw material and manufactured goods two miles, over almost impassible hills, through 'Ticonderoga mud' to the depot.

To pay $8, as we have to now, to get a car from Addison Junction to the village over the Lake George Railroad, will kill any business we may undertake; and to haul the goods by team is equally destructive.

If we organize, get a few thousand dollars subscribed to our stock, make our own surveys showing route and cost, the road can and will be built.  All we need is to work together.

Unless we can get a road running to the village, operated for our own benefit, we shall remain as we are, without any business activity, planted in the mud forever.  

Those deserve success who make an effort to help themselves.  True, we are poor.  It is also true that we shall remain poor if we continue to grumble about what somebody else refuses to do for us and do not try to help ourselves.  Ticonderoga has waited for the last 50 years, like Micawber [from Dickens - one who is poor, but lives in optimistic expectation of better fortune], for 'something to turn up.'  Let us go to work now and 'turn something up' ourselves, and while busy with that, we shall have no time to worry about misfortunes in the past.

We need this railroad.  We cannot prosper without it.  Let us work and get it."

According to the August 24, 1893 edition of the Ticonderoga Sentinel, the firm of Gilligan & Stevens took an active part in securing the construction of the Ticonderoga Railroad, the Ticonderoga Electric Light Company, and their venture to help erect a building for the shirt and collar factory. The firm was also interested in the furniture business of M. J. Wilcox & Co.  When it was talked of raising money to build a respectable railroad depot in the village, Dominick J. Gilligan was in Saranac Lake.  As soon as he heard of the project he wrote, "Build a nice depot by all means and put me down for twenty-five dollars and more if necessary."

The Ticonderoga Railroad
Promises & Expectations
The matter of extending the Vermont Central Railroad from Addison Junction to Ticonderoga was not a new concept and had been talked about for some time. Official maps of the Delaware and Hudson Railroad include a June 10, 1890 map of the Ticonderoga Railroad (leased to the Delaware and Hudson) showing the entire Ticonderoga Branch including the Island Mill spur, rail line to the "B" Mill, depot yard, and tracks to the switchback and lower mill.  The Potsdam Junction Commercial Advertiser announced on January 1, 1880 that subscriptions were being received to the capital stock of a company being formed in Ticonderoga to build a railroad from that place to connect with the New York & Canada road at Addison Junction with an expectation to commence operations in early Spring.  

The Ticonderoga Sentinel broached the rails to Ticonderoga subject on January 30, 1880.  The article posed a question asking if it was possible that the property owners of Ticonderoga would recognize the great advantage in having the railroad extension built, and if they did, that is was unaccountably strange that they did not push it to this advantage. Perhaps, it was suggested, the value derived from a Vermont Central extension was not fully appreciated by Ticonderoga's citizens and perhaps even the businessmen, who had not fully considered the advantages from having the terminus of two railroads located in their immediate vicinity. Two rail lines centering near Ticonderoga held the potential for increased facilities for transportation, both for exporting and importing goods and passengers. Two roads also meant low or competing fares for travel and cheap freight rates to and from all points south, east, west, and even north. It was rumored that the Vermont Central had offered to extend their track up to the village as soon as a certain amount of stock was sold and that that the amount of stock necessary was very low.

The current rail line, the Baldwin Branch, although it did not enter Ticonderoga, seemed to meet the needs of Ticonderoga, or did it the article proposed?  For three months in the summer it accommodated a few, and only a few, who could afford to pay an enormous price to ride from Lake Champlain to Ticonderoga village. Even during those three months, during which one could ride at all, say nothing of the rest of the year when no cars were in use, there was not a trace or even a semblance of a depot or station for even summer travel. The article proposed that the Baldwin Branch was not built to accommodate Ticonderoga, but Lake George travel. What was needed was a railroad that would afford some facilities for the citizens of Ticonderoga. It was not the intention to interfere nor speak disparagingly of the Baldwin Branch as the line answered its own ends, and its managers seemed to know their own business, and were capable of taking care of their end of the line, but it was not just the thing for Ticonderoga. A railroad that was to be of value to Ticonderoga, it was proposed, should follow as near as possible the outlet of Lake George from its terminus up to the Lower Falls, skirting the rapids, continuing its course to the Upper Falls, and on the east side of the lake, finding its final terminus at or near Black Point. In this way, the railroad could pass the door of every factory on the outlet of the lake, and receive and deliver freight where it was wanted for manufacture, thereby reducing the cost of transportation, enable manufacturers to compete with others, and saving the tariff on passengers to and from the main lines traveled. It was hoped that the Ticonderoga businessmen would look at the matter carefully and promptly, and understand the importance of purchasing the stock. It would pay to have the Vermont Central extend its track to Lake George via Ticonderoga Creek (La Chute River) giving the citizens of Ticonderoga what they never had, a decent depot or railroad station and cheap railroad fares.

The Ticonderoga Sentinel article admitted that the Delaware and Hudson's Baldwin Branch line had done much for the area as well as places along its route, but that in the current age of progress, and demand for cheap fares and freight rates had to be met in some way. The increase in property values alone would pay for the contemplated railroad extension into the village. Either way, it was unknown why the Vermont Central did not see their own opportunity in this endeavor and simply subscribe for the stock to establish the road without waiting for Ticonderoga to do so. Regardless, this issue would continue in rumors and discussion for some time.

On June 8, 1883 the Plattsburg Sentinel reported that Assistant General Manager of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company, H. G. Young, visited Ticonderoga the previous week to consult with business men about freight rates and to agitate a branch road from the main line to the Ticonderoga Pulp & Paper Company.  The Board of Directors of the Central Vermont Railroad met in Ticonderoga on Tuesday, November 13, 1883 to discuss a route between Ticonderoga and Addison Junction with a view to extend the line into Ticonderoga.  The report in the Plattsburg Sentinel stated the prospects for the road were very bright as sufficient money had already been pledged.  The paper would later report on December 8 that the Addison branch would be extended into the village of Ticonderoga.  By December 28, the prospect was listed as "very bright."

The issue of extending the railroad into Ticonderoga appeared again in late 1883 when the Ticonderoga Sentinel began mentioning new rumors that the Central Vermont Railroad was contemplating extending their Addison branch of the railroad into  the village.  On Tuesday, November 18, 1883, the Central Vermont board of directors met with the directors of the Addison railroad in Ticonderoga for the purpose of examining such a route as well as one to Lake George.  They included P. W. Clement, president of the Addison road, F. S. Witherbee, one of the Addison road directors, and ex-Governor Stewart, a director for the Rutland and Burlington road.  After looking over the route of the proposed railroad, it was unanimously decided that the project should go forward.  

Area businessmen would have to put some effort forward to raise the required amount of capital stock.  This seemed like a pretty certain fact at the time suggesting that construction would begin at once assuming the correct amount of capital was raised.  The news story stated that the charter for the Lake Champlain and Lake George road was already obtained.  The directors of what was now charted as the Lake Champlain and Lake George Railroad Company met with the other railroad directors on November 29, 1883 in Rutland.  The directors announced that the railroad would be "speedily accomplished" if the citizens of Ticonderoga took hold of the matter with a determination to succeed.  The report documented in the November 30 edition of the Ticonderoga Sentinel went on to say,

"No one can doubt but that it is of vital importance to the growth and prosperity of our village that this road be built.  It rests with the people of Ticonderoga to say when this project will be carried out.  They ought and will be expected to subscribe liberally to the enterprise, but no more will be asked of them than they of right ought to do.  Let us all take hold together and by another summer, we can have a station in our village and we will name it 'Ticonderoga'."

A meeting was held of the Lake Champlain & Lake George Railroad in the office of John C. Fenton on Monday, December 31, 1883.  The December 7 edition reported the results of the meeting held on the prior week.  All parties were unanimous in their acceptance of the railroad project and committees were secured to obtain the right-of-way immediately.

The directors of the Lake Champlain & Lake George Railroad held a meeting in John C. Fenton's office in Ticonderoga on Tuesday, July 22, 1884 at 8 pm.  The subject was to determine a more definite survey of the railroad.  The August 8, 1884 edition of the Ticonderoga Sentinel reported that attendees included D. C. Bascom, C. H. DeLano, W. W. D. Jeffers, William Hooper, Jonas Loeb, R. N. Patterson, and William E. Calkins.  The directors voted to appropriate the sum of approximately $190 for the survey.  C. H. DeLano was appointed a commissioner to confer with other parties who might be interested in working on the survey.  The cursory survey to date was not satisfactory enough for outside contractors to begin placing bids.  Mr. Arnold had made bids on the project, but he was local and knew by observation and survey what he could accomplish on the project.  

A Delaware & Hudson RS-36 leads a southbound freight train past Fort Ticonderoga siding towards Whitehall, NY. Date unknown, but the CP unit in the consist would suggest the late 1980s or 1990s.  (photo; M. Wright collection)

The story closed with, "Speed on the work, gentlemen, and let us have railroad facilities between the village and Addison Junction."

While the issue of extending a line into Ticonderoga was ongoing, the Ticonderoga Sentinel printed an article in February 20, 1885 edition of "Local Notes" stating that the Addison Junction station, used by villagers to connect with the main line of the Delaware & Hudson, was in need of serious repair if not rebuilding.  The article stated,

"Some are wondering if the D. and H. people intend doing anything by way of improving, or rather, rebuilding the depot at Addison Junction.  The one there at present is simply a disgrace to the town, being without accommodations of the most ordinary character.  There is no waiting room for women who must sit with a bunch of men, inhale and swallow air heavily laden with the fumes of tobacco, or stand outside, which if it were possible at this season of the year, is certainly injudicious.  It is no excuse for the D. & H. people to say that they only rent the depot from the Vermont Central.  The travel and business got from Ticonderoga is of sufficient importance to merit at least a respectable stopping place.

What opinion must that traveler have of our town who judges of the thrift and enterprise of its people by taking his criterion the condition of the shed which at present answers the purpose of a depot?

Let us have a station worth of our socially growing town, and let it be built this season for our own convenience and the accommodation of our summer visitors."

As late as May 7, 1886, talk of a rail line from Addison Junction to Ticonderoga still made newspaper stories.  The Plattsburg Sentinel stated the great drawback to Ticonderoga's prosperity was the lack of railroad facilities for communication with the outside world.  This could all change now, stated the publication, with the Addison Railroad offering to extend their line into the village.  One concern, not identified in the article, supposedly was prepared to double any sum the citizens could raise, an opportunity that could not be neglected.  By June 25, the railroad connection was thought to soon become a certainty.  On June 24, 1886, the Plattsburgh Republican reported that the Delaware and Hudson Company had made a survey of a proposed railroad to Ticonderoga from Addison Junction.  The line ran directly through First Street making a turn through Charles Liberty's yard towards the Glens Falls Pulp Mill.  Railroad news continued and on September 2, 1888, the Norwood News reported the Central Vermont Railroad would be extended west into Ticonderoga.  This all gets rather confusing as to who might build the rail line, whether it would be an extension of a currently existing line or a new line, and from where.

In 1890, articles appeared which suggested the route of the railroad would start at Addison Junction.   Construction News in the August 2, 1890 edition of Engineering News and American Railroad Journal reported a contract was let for a railway from Addison Junction to Ticonderoga village, a distance of 10.5 miles, with a branch 1.5 miles long into the Ticonderoga Pulp and Paper Company.  The cost of the road was reported as $60,000.  It is unknown why the distance would have been this long unless the line planned was actually from Addison Junction all the way to the Lord Howe Lake area or further.

The Watertown Times also reported this story with a Troy, NY byline on July 29, 1890 regarding a new railroad to Ticonderoga.  This article expanded, stating work was to begin on August 1 with the road finished in approximately three and a half months.  The road was reportedly already leased by the Delaware and Hudson company for 99 years. 

The Altamont, NY Enterprise followed closely on August 2, 1890 in its report.  Although the Enterprise also reported the line would extend from Addison Junction, still incorrect in where the line would start, which would be off the already existing Baldwin Branch, the length of the line was reported as 2.5 miles which was correct for the line that would start at Ticonderoga Junction.  Granted, Addison Junction was just up the line a few miles.  The Delaware & Hudson 99-year lease and cost of the road were correct.  Additional information stated the line would take the place of the stage route which had long been running from Ticonderoga.  Also true.

The Plattsburg Republican came closer to the actual information when it stated on August 2, 1890 that the old stage route from Addison Junction to Ticonderoga was to be supplanted by a railroad.  This was actually correct.  The old stage line would be replaced by a railroad in essence.  It just would not start in Addison Junction, but from the currently existing Baldwin Branch which did replace the old stage line and who's terminus in when traveling to Lake Champlain was Montcalm Landing, a few miles south of Addison Junction.  Like the other newspaper reports, this one added yet another bit of information not found it each of the other reports.  The Plattsburg Republican stated the contract for building the road was awarded to Brown Brothers of Mohawk.  The work would commence on August 1, as stated in other articles, and the cost and length of work agreed with other reports.  Another new piece of news stated considerable excavating was required, one cut requiring the removal of 2,700 yards of rock and earth.

Articles of Association
On December 21, 1889 the Plattsburgh Republican reported that the Ticonderoga Railroad Company had been incorporated with a capital of $30,000 to construct a two mile railroad in Ticonderoga, Essex County.

The Watertown Herald described the Ticonderoga Railroad in May 1890 as the "shortest one in the United States carrying passengers from Lake George across a narrow strip of land to Lake Champlain."  Articles of Association of the Ticonderoga Railroad Company were filed on December 13, 1889.  The stated reason for association was for the purpose of constructing, maintaining, and operating a railroad for public use, in the conveyance of persons and property.  Clayton H. DeLano was listed as the President of the company and was duly authorized by a majority of its directors to execute the agreement.  The thirteen company directors included Clayton H. DeLano, G. B. Hanford, W. W. D. Jeffers, Frank L. Brust, Denis C. Bascom, M. R. Hack, Jonas Loeb, M. C. Drake, Lyman Malcolm, C. A. Stevens, Orlando Rowell, and A. H. Weed all of Ticonderoga and Thomas S. Coolidge of Glens Falls.  The Articles of Association identified the corporate name as "The Ticonderoga Railroad Company." The said Company was to continue in existence for a period of fifty years.  

Railroad Route
The railroad was to be constructed, maintained and operated commencing in the Town of Ticonderoga, Essex County, New York, in or at the line of the Lake George and Lake Champlain Railroad (otherwise called the Lake George Branch of the New York and Canada Railroad) on the land owned by Edward E. Wilson, near his dwelling house; running westerly or north-westerly in a general course to the mills of the Ticonderoga Pulp and Paper Company in the village of Ticonderoga; proceed westerly or thereabouts through the village of Ticonderoga across Main Street; through or along First Street; to and across Lake George Avenue; to or near the outlet of Lake George; proceed southerly or south-westerly up and along or near the said stream (a.k.a. LaChute river); and to or near the old cotton factory which was located near the foot of the upper falls.

A view looking east down Algonkin Street (First Street).  Seen here, the tracks cross Lake George Avenue and run along a dirt road.  The Congregational Church is seen on the right.  At this time, circa 1913, the street was lined with trees.  (postcard photo, M. Wright collection)

Description of Ticonderoga
The agreement described the village of Ticonderoga as a thriving manufacturing village located upon a stream at the outlet of Lake George, which afforded water power and natural facilities for the development of manufacturing industries of an unusual order.  It continued to state that the industrial development of the village of Ticonderoga and surrounding territory was impeded on account of the lack of adequate and convenient railroad facilities, and also by reason of the necessity for carting all freight up a very steep grade to the Academy Station on the Baldwin Branch, about three-quarters of a mile, or to Addison Junction on the main line, about two and one-half miles, thereby imposing very heavy charges for cartage on all freight, and placing manufacturers at a great disadvantage in competition with those located on other roads.

Alco RS-3 #4055 crosses Lake George Avenue while switching cars along Algonkin Street on August 2, 1966.  This is the local SC-13 out of Whitehall which serviced the International Paper Company in downtown Ticonderoga.  Notice the flagman.  Although the crossing did have cross bucks and warning bells, D&H employee timetables required the use of flagmen to protect at all grade crossings in Ticonderoga.  Also notice the bakery, with glass block window, that I visited many times as a child.  I lived just down the street on Algonkin.  (photo: Donald Robinson, used with permission of Morning Sun Books from book Delaware & Hudson In Color, Volume 3 by Jeremy F. Plant)

Final Agreement
A final agreement was made between the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company and the Ticonderoga Railroad Company on August 13, 1890.  The Delaware and Hudson was identified as the lessee in the possession, management and operation of the New York and Canada Railroad, with a railroad extending from the village of Whitehall, Washington County, New York, and a branch (known as the Baldwin Branch) to the Village of Baldwin, at the foot of Lake George. 

The Baldwin Branch was stated to extend from the main line of the New York and Canada Railroad to the village of Baldwin, a distance of about five miles, on very high ground, passing the village of Ticonderoga on the south about three-quarters of a mile there from, and at a considerable elevation above the same. 

Operational Plans
The agreement stated that the proposed Ticonderoga Railroad Company could be economically operated by the Delaware and Hudson as a side or switch track, at but a slight expense over that required to handle the freight and passenger traffic of Ticonderoga with present imperfect facilities.  In the agreement, the Ticonderoga Railroad Company agreed to construct a single track road from a point at or near the village of Ticonderoga by the most feasible route established by its engineer, to connect with the Baldwin Branch at a convenient point with an approximate length of two miles.  The road would consist of steel rails weighing not less than sixty-seven pounds to the yard and would comprise a sufficient freight and passenger station at the village of Ticonderoga with the usual and necessary switches, side tracks, and other appurtenances.  All construction was to be accomplished in accordance with the requirements of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company's Chief Engineer.

The Ticonderoga Railroad Company agreed to procure legislation necessary to authorize and permit charges for transportation upon the railroad not to exceed twenty-five cents for each passenger; twelve and one half cents for each gross ton of factory or mill supplies or products; and seventy-five cents for each ton of general merchandise. None of the agreement provisions was binding on the Delaware and Hudson until the necessary legislation, authority, and permission was obtained.  All taxes and assessments against the proposed road would be paid by the Ticonderoga Railroad Company.  This included corporation franchise taxes, but excluded tax on rolling stock, which the Delaware and Hudson would pay. 

An interesting view of a steam engine between the Ticonderoga station and the original station, moved across the tracks to make room for the new station.  (postcard photo, M. Wright collection)

An Act to regulate rates of fare for passenger traffic on the railroad of the Ticonderoga Railroad Company became law without the approval of the Governor, in accordance with the provisions of article four, section nine of the New York State Constitution on February 13, 1890.  The Plattsburg Sentinel reported this on February 28, 1890.  The new law stated that the Ticonderoga Railroad was authorized to charge a fare of 25 cents per person for passage, one way, over the whole or any portion of the railroad.  

Upon completion of the railroad, the agreement stated the Delaware and Hudson would take possession and maintain, manage and operate the road, providing freight and passenger connection with all day trains on the New York and Canada Railroad that may stop at Addison Junction.  The Delaware and Hudson would assume all the duties, obligations, liabilities, rights, privileges, and franchises of the Ticonderoga Railroad Company for maintenance and operation.  The Delaware and Hudson would also retain twenty-five percent of the annual gross earnings derived from all traffic upon the Ticonderoga Railroad as full compensation for managing, operating, and maintaining the railroad.  The remaining seventy-five percent of gross earnings would be appropriated and used by the Delaware and Hudson to pay all taxes and assessment against the Ticonderoga Railroad or against the Delaware and Hudson as operators of the Ticonderoga Railroad.

Funding the Railroad
A mortgage was obtained by The Ticonderoga Railroad Company for the purpose of satisfying and discharging its indebtedness for the construction of the railroad.  Frank S. Witherbee of Port Henry and Percival W. Clement of Rutland, VT were listed as the trusties.  The mortgage called for the issuance of bonds in the amount of $30,000 in $1000 amounts to bear date on the first day of January 1891 and to be payable in thirty years from their date with six percent interest payable annually on the first day of January of each year.  

The total amount of stock outstanding in 1902 was stated as $30,000.  There were185 shares of common stock (total par value of $18,500) and 115 shares of preferred stock (total par value of $11,500) authorized by law or charter for $100 per share and issued for cash on account of construction costs.  The 1902 report listed a total of number of 24 stockholders.  The cost of the railroad per mile owned (2.5 miles) was $24,000.  The breakdown for the completion of the road was $18,500 in cash, $11,500 in preferred stock, and $30,000 in bonds.  The general balance sheet for 1902 stated $60,000 for the cost of the road with assets of $12,000 through a sinking fund (bonds) in the hands of investors.

Officers of the company in 1902 were stated as Percival W. Clement, President (Rutland, VT); O. F. Harrison, Treasurer (Rutland, VT); and Louis Hasbrouck, Secretary (Ogdensburg, NY).  Directors of the company were stated as Percival W. Clement; Henry G. Smith (Rutland, VT), Frederick M. Button (Rutland, VT), O. F. Harrison, Waldo P. Clement (New York, NY), Wallace C. Clement (Rutland, VT), George R. Bottom (Rutland, VT), W. S. Jones (Rutland, VT), and Louis Hasbrouck.  General offices were listed as Rutland, VT.

The Right of Way
The Ticonderoga Railroad Company defined what would become the Delaware and Hudson Railroad's Ticonderoga Branch in its June 10, 1890 Map and Profile, essentially its right of way and track diagrams. These maps described the railroad as containing 7,445 feet (1.41 miles) of main line and 10,402 feet (1.97 miles) of siding and being comprised of three different locations: 1) the main line, 

2) the switch-back, and 

3) the Island spur.  

For each location, the railroad secured trackage rights of varying widths from the original land owners.

The main line extended from Ticonderoga Junction on the Baldwin Branch (at the time of the survey, the Baldwin Branch was identified as the Lake George and Lake Champlain Railroad), through the rail yard, crossed Champlain Avenue (Main Street), proceeded down Algonkin Street (First Street), crossed Lake George Avenue near the Congregational church, continued along LaChute River proceeding south and ending at the Glens Falls Pulp Company which would become the "B" mill of the International Paper Company.

The switch-back was that portion of the line near the lower mill section that extended from the rail yard on the Bailey estate, approached Montcalm Street (East Exchange Street), and ending once it crossed High Street near the Henry Cossey property.  This was used to switch the lower mill crossing East Exchange Street and split into two tracks.  The track on the north side traveled over the wooden trestle near the lower water falls.  The other track split again on the East Exchange side of the mill complex.

The Island spur was the trackage splitting from the Ticonderoga Branch main line near the Western end of Algonkin Street beginning on the Treadway property, crossed Spencer Creek, crossed Montcalm Street (West Exchange Street), entered the Ives property and Burleigh Brothers property, turned east passing through the Ticonderoga Machine Company, until it finally ended on the Ticonderoga Pulp & Paper Company property near North Main Street, at the outlet of Spencer Creek, a short distance southwest of Frazier bridge.

The railroad surveyors identified the width of each trackage right in surveyor units or rods, basically 5.5 yards.  The track gauge of the track was 4 feet 8 inches, standard gauge.

In 1902, besides the 2.5 miles of main line, the railroad also claimed 1.089 miles of sidings and turnouts .

Land Owners
(Main Line)

Width Taken (each side of centerline)

1 rod = 5.5 yards

Henry Cossey 2 rods on each side
Dexter Potter 2 rods on right side; all on left
Mrs. P. Myers 2 rods on right side; all on left
Mrs. B.A. Hartigan 2 rods on left side
Henry Cossey 2 rods on each side
A.M. Bailey Estate 2 rods on each side
Mrs. S.F. Fleming 2 rods on left side; all on right
Main
Street
2 rods on left side; 6 feet on right
First
Street
All on right to station; to center of street on left to station; 6 feet each side from station to Lake George Avenue
Lake George Avenue 2 rods on each side
C. Liberty All on each side
Mrs. M. McCaughin All on right side; 6 feet on left
Mrs. M. McCaughin 2 rods on right side; 6 feet on left side to station and from thence 2 rods at land of J. Slossen 
J. Slossen 2 rods on each side
Glens Falls Pulp Co. 2 rods each side to station then 6 feet each side to end
Land Owners
(Switch-Back)
Width Taken (each side of centerline)
A.M. Bailey Estate 2 rods each side except through house lot where it is 10 feet on left side
Florence Judnio 2 rods on each side
A. Steward 2 rods on left side
Ti Pulp & Paper Co. 2 rods on each side
Henry Cossey 2 rods on right side; all on left side
Nelson Porter All on right side; 25 feet on left side
Benjamin Hall All on left side; 18 feet on right side
Ti Pulp & Paper Co. 2 rods on each side
Exchange Street 2 rods on each side
Land Owners
(Island Spur)
Width Taken (each side of centerline)
W.D. Treadway 6 feet on right side; all on left side
Mrs. F. ives 6 feet on each side
Exchange Street 6 feet on each side
Frederick Ives 6 feet on each side
Burleigh Brothers 6 feet on each side
Ticonderoga Machine Co. 6 feet on each side
Ti Pulp & Paper Co. 6 feet on each side

Construction Begins
The Plattsburg Sentinel reported on May 7, 1886 that engineers had completed preliminary surveys for a siding from the Delaware & Hudson's Lake George branch to the Ticonderoga Pulp & Paper Company's mill.  On July 24, the railway from Ticonderoga landing to Lake George was being laid with steel rails according to the Plattsburg Republican.  The Delaware & Hudson Canal Company had completed a survey,  The paper reported that the line would run through First Street, making a turn through Charles Liberty's yard towards the Glens Falls pulp mill (located near Lord Howe Lake; aka the eventual B mill).  This was one of the first references to the Addison Junction to Ticonderoga line that actually specified what everyone would eventually realize as the Ticonderoga Railroad.

On May 2, 1890, the Plattsburg Sentinel stated, "It is now rumored that the railroad extension to Ticonderoga will be begun at once."  Thomas F. Chappell of the firm Chappell & Burke, civil engineers and architects of Rutland, VT built the railroad into Ticonderoga according to any 1893 edition of the Elizabethtown Post.  The Ticonderoga Branch split from the Baldwin Branch at Ticonderoga Junction approximately 1.48 miles from Montcalm Landing (Fort Ticonderoga).  Delano (without the junction) was located near Montcalm Landing on the north end of Defiance Siding.  Ticonderoga Junction was located 1.48 miles from Montcalm Landing (or Fort Ticonderoga as it was later known) and proceeded easterly into the Delaware and Hudson yard in Ticonderoga.  Sanborn Fire Insurance maps confirm tracks into Ticonderoga by late 1890.  The road gauge was listed as standard, four feet 8 inches.

A correspondent for Engineering News and American Railroad Journal reported in the September 27, 1890 edition that the Ticonderoga Railroad began construction on July 30, 1890.  The road, constructed to connect the paper mills in Ticonderoga with the Lake George and Lake Champlain branch of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company's railroad, was planned for a main line listed as 7,400 feet long with a 3,000 foot long switchback into the Ticonderoga Pulp and Paper Mill (lower mill).  It also included a 1,800 foot long branch line into the Island Mill.  The Journal reported the president as C. H. Delano with engineers from Chappell & Burke, of Rutland, VT.

The Elizabethtown Post reported on December 11, 1890 that the first freight over the new Ticonderoga railroad was a car load of lime.  This would make sense as lime was one of the commodities used in the paper making process.  New York Times reported that trains began running regularly on the new Ticonderoga Railroad on February 2, 1891.   The article listed the stations as Junction, Lake George Branch, Ticonderoga,  and DeLano named in honor of Roger DeLano.  Engineering News and American Railroad Journal reported in the February 14, 1891 edition that the Ticonderoga Railroad was projected to have a total length of 2.55 miles of which 0.85 miles would be comprised of side track.  At this point, 2.33 miles were completed with the remaining 1,700 feet to be finished that spring.  Work on the line was listed as light and included a maximum grade of 3% and a maximum curve radius of 15 degrees.  The contractor was Maurice Dower of Ballston, NY.  The Journal reported the railroad would do both freight and passenger business.

Economic Growth
The period of 1891 was the beginning of great economic growth for Ticonderoga.  New businesses, including the Ticonderoga Pulp & Paper Mill among many others, were in construction or just beginning their operations.  William Hooper & Co. were making machinery for the new Lake George Pulp & Paper Company mill under construction.  

Rail operations in Ticonderoga were booming.  At the same time, the Central Vermont Railroad was busy advertising to capture those rail tickets to points west, available at the Addison Junction ticket office.  The Ticonderoga branch railroad carried 125 passengers on April 28, 1891, the largest number since the railroad commenced operations.  

On June 16, 1891, the village train had to make two trips due to the large number of passengers who took the 10 o'clock train to the north.  In addition, on that same day, 52 tickets were sold at the Ticonderoga village station for the Essex County veteran's encampment held at Keesville.  On July 2, reports came from the Upper Falls that the side tracks there were full of carloads of white pine.

Construction of Depot Street
In a March 26, 1891 special board meeting, the Ticonderoga Board of Trustees approved the motion to have D. M. Arnold draw a plan or description of a street leading from Main Street, entering to and past the railroad depot.  It was proposed to be open as a public street.  Arnold was approved to prepare a map of the street and file it with the village clerk's office.  When the map and survey was finished, a release of all damages from the owners of the affected land was to be drawn and submitted to those owners for  signature on the condition that the village lay out and improve the street. 

On Monday, April 6, 1891, the Delaware & Hudson Railroad dispatched a gravel train hauling cinders from Port Henry.  The cinders were put on the road leading from Main Street to the railroad's freight house.

Track Laying Increases
By April 6, 1891, the Delaware and Hudson was hard at work hauling cinders from Port Henry to put on the road leading from Main Street to the Ticonderoga freight house.  The railroad began laying the tracks for the paper mill's island spur around April 30, 1891.  This spur ran close to the doors of the Ticonderoga Machine company's works, and terminated at the upper end of the new paper mill.  

The new tracks across the Island were nearly completed by May 21, 1891, and the railroad was placing rail cars as far down as the machine shop.  

Operations Begin
The Ticonderoga Sentinel began publishing timetables for the Ticonderoga Railroad around 1891.  Beginning on May 14, 1891, the Ticonderoga Sentinel began listing timetables for the Crown Point Iron Company Railroad, the Delaware and Hudson Railroad, and the Ticonderoga Railroad in scattered issues.  

The Delaware and Hudson schedule listed five main line trains; one freight and accommodation, one passenger, one accommodation, one New York express, and one local freight.  These, of course, ran north and south through Montcalm Landing with the one local freight, which more than likely came into the village. 

The Elizabethtown Post reported on December 11, 1890 that the first freight over the Ticonderoga Railroad was a carload of lime, presumably for the paper mill.

This is a Ticonderoga Railroad schedule published for September 1, 1910.  The Ticonderoga Sentinel newspaper published this schedule in every edition.  Notice the Academy stop.  (M. Wright collection)

In May 1891, the railroad delivered the first three of a total of 40 carloads of Florida pine to the Mead and Smith saw mill at the upper falls for the construction of the Ticonderoga Machine Company's building, the Ticonderoga Pulp & Paper Mill, and several other buildings that were under construction at the time and for which Mead and Smith had contracted.  By March 29, 1894, the Ticonderoga Sentinel report that notwithstanding the hard times of the period, the freight earnings on the Ticonderoga railroad for the month of February were 20 per cent larger than for the corresponding month the previous year. 

So, finally passengers could get into and out of the village of Ticonderoga by way of train instead of getting out at Academy.  Getting into the Village of Ticonderoga by way of the train was a major accomplishment.  Now, travelers had to get from the Ticonderoga depot to their ultimate destination.  In the August 27, 1891 edition of the Ticonderoga Sentinel, this fact was explained by some clever individual who stated one could get to the depot, but then had to walk to get anywhere else including hotels.

The short article in the paper stated,

"Why wouldn't it be a good scheme for some one to run a public carriage or hack to the village station of the Ticonderoga R.R.?  As it is now, one cannot reach any part of the village from the depot, except by walking, and a carriage would be mighty convenient sometimes."

The Negatives of a Railroad
For every benefit that a railroad brings to a community, and it brought plenty to Ticonderoga, there are usually some negatives, especially in the eyes of people who have varying opinions of a railroad's benefit.  Take for example, this "Local Notes" submittal, printed in the April 21, 1892 edition of the Ticonderoga Sentinel:

"It seems as if it were time that something were done about a fence along a portion of the railroad at Port Marshall.  The majority of horses seem to be afraid of the engine, and at the place to which we refer it appears to the frightened animals as if the cars were coming down upon them, and they try to escape by turning toward the mountain.  Any person who has ever had occasion to drive over this road recognizes the necessity of a fence and the great wonder is that accidents have not been more serious and frequent.  A great many people dread to drive to this village over that road, and many can come by no other.  If it is the business of the D. and H. company to build a fence (and it certainly ought to be), steps should be taken to compel them to do so at once, for if the people wait for the company to do this of its own volition they can wait until doomsday.  The condition of affairs on this road to which we have alluded is a crying evil that the railroad company has known all these years, and taken no steps to remedy.  There ought to be no further delay about this fence.  Our village is grid ironed with railroad tracks, and there are a number of other things which we shall notice later on.  While a railroad is a necessary adjunct to manufacturing interests, it is not by any means an unalloyed blessing, for a railroad company never does anything for a community without full payment in return, and if it has a monopoly it knows how to be oppressive.  There is a little relief, however, in this town for some freight, and for some people going west, for they can have the advantage of competition by applying to the agent of the Vermont Central at Addison Junction."

Ticonderoga Branch Experiences
The railroad became the main method of travel to Ticonderoga for quite some time.  In one story, a man from Whitehall recalled in a local newspaper that he attended the Knights of Columbus Ball in Ticonderoga once via train.  He and other men escorted "their girls" on the train to Montcalm Landing.  From there, they took the 2 mile train into Ticonderoga over the Baldwin and Ticonderoga Branches.

Traveling salesman and tourists traveling on the Baldwin and Ticonderoga branches to the Ticonderoga area at the turn of the century had a choice of three hotels - the Burleigh House, the Exchange, later known as Ledger's Inn, and the Hall House, known as the Ticonderoga Inn in it's later days.  The Ticonderoga Inn, a famous stop over for travelers, was located on north Champlain Avenue near Ticonderoga Creek and then opposite the paper mill's Island Mill clock tower.  The Ticonderoga Inn was a year-round modern hotel, lighted by electricity, steam heated, with baths, water, and sanitary plumbing.  The Inn's porters met all Delaware and Hudson trains at Baldwin Dock and Montcalm Landing.  The Ticonderoga Inn was destroyed in a tragic fire on March 18, 1953.  The location was later obliterated in 1960 with the construction of International Paper Company's No. 7 machine building. 

Other stories appeared in the pages of the Ticonderoga Sentinel related to the railroad.  On May 29, 1894, the Ticonderoga Sentinel reported that those who took the train from the village station to Elizabethtown on the prior Monday include Joseph Santabar, J. A. Fleming, Frank Fleming, Mrs. Andrew Stowell, Mrs. J. W. A. Fleming and son, Mrs. James Cossev and daughter, B. B. Tillotson, Rev. S. H. White, Robert Dornburgh, P. J. Finn, John C. Fenton, James Malaney, Thomas Wear, Richard Arthur and George Cossey.

Some humorous railroad related stories made their way into the pages of the Ticonderoga Sentinel. In the June 4, 1903 edition, the paper related how people had the happy faculty of making the best of everything that happens. John E. Milholland, his niece and seven of her college friends from various states, all recent graduates of Columbia College and a gentlemen friend came through Lake George Saturday, May 30 on an excursion intending to come to the village of Ticonderoga on the branch train.  Unfortunately the train did not make the trip. Mr. Milholland had to deliver the Memorial Day address so some friends were there with a carriage to meet him. No other transportation was at hand and the carriage was too small to carry the entire party.  It was proposed to telephone to the village for another carriage.  On looking around, the ladies saw a hand car used by the section hands on the railroad and proposed to work their passage using it.  They made an arrangement with the section boss to accompany the party, and four of them found room to sit on the platform, two officiated at the handle bars, and they started out towards the village.  The entire party met up again at the W. J. Smith Lumber Co. lumber mill because it was deemed too dangerous to run the hand car further for fear of meeting the local train.  The ladies, with a guide, then walked the railroad track from the lumber mill to William street and switched to the sidewalk leading to Academy Park.

Mail Delivery
The U.S. Postal Service delivered mail to Ticonderoga through a special arrangement with the Ticonderoga Railroad.  Beginning in late July, 1891, the Lake George mails (meaning the mail for the Lake George area - not the city of Caldwell), was sent via the Baldwin branch trains.  Mail from three daily runs from the south was delivered to the Ticonderoga Post Office by the Ticonderoga Railroad shortly after leaving the main line by mid-July of 1891.  The mail was formerly carried by horse teams from the Ticonderoga Post Office to Baldwin.  Interesting here that the Ticonderoga Sentinel mentioned the name "Baldwin branch" in this July 23, 1891 article.

In August 1907, a petition was circulated among Ticonderoga to the post office department requesting better mail service from Lake George.  At this time, the steamer Sagamore delivered the mail to Baldwin arriving at noon and then carried south by the train that regularly met the boat.  The train, however, did not get back into town until 4 pm. The delay, which seemed totally unnecessary according to the petition, prevented merchants from filling orders from places along the lake the same day they were received.  This was said to have an injurious affect on Lake George trade coming to the village of Ticonderoga.  It was hoped that the petition would provide the better service desired, but that was not to be the case.  By August 29, the post office department turned down the proposal to take mail from the train at the Academy station because not enough mail came to Ticonderoga on that trip on the steamer to warrant the payment of fifty cents a day for carrying the mail from the station to the post office.

Purchase of the Ticonderoga Branch
After years of leasing, the Delaware and Hudson Railroad eventually purchased the Ticonderoga Railroad.  The Essex County Republican reported on May 11, 1928 that the Delaware and Hudson acquired control of the Ticonderoga Railroad through the purchase of its capital stock.  This was approved by Division 4 of the Interstate Commerce Commission in a report and order in Finance Docket Number 6719, dated April 28, 1928 and made public on May 5.  The Delaware and Hudson filed an application under paragraph (2) of section  of the act for an order authorizing the acquisition by the purchase of capital stock.  No objection was provided to the granting of the application.

The Ticonderoga Branch was listed as extending from a connection with the Baldwin Branch at Ticonderoga Junction to the passenger station in the village of Ticonderoga, 1.39 miles with 3.10 miles of industrial tracks, spurs, etc. aggregating 4.49 miles, all in Essex County, New York.

Of the 300 shares of outstanding Ticonderoga Railroad stock, the Delaware and Hudson owned 34 shares.  The remaining 266 shares were held by W. H. Higinbotham and J. A. Springer (257), as trustees for the Hudson Coal Company, a non-carrier subsidiary controlled by the Delaware and Hudson through stock ownership, with the final 9 shares held by directors.  The Delaware and Hudson proposed to acquire the remaining 266 shares at their par value, therefore paying the sum of $26,600.  The stock had no ascertainable market value.

The balance sheet of the Ticonderoga Railroad as of December 1, 1926, showed a value of $30,000 in real estate, $6,192.39 in cash, $30,000 in capital stock, $7071.72 accounts payable, and $969.34 profit and loss debit balance.  The valuation as of June 30, 1916 was listed as $82,000 and the Delaware and Hudson claimed the present value materially exceeded that amount.

Under the acquisition order, the Delaware and Hudson Railroad Corporation, a new corporation, would take over operation of several lines, in addition to the Ticonderoga Branch, in New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont.  This new corporation would also acquire the Greenwich and Johnsonville Railroad, Schoharie Valley Railroad, Cooperstown and Charlotte Valley Railroad, Cooperstown and Susquehanna Valley, Wilkes Barre connecting railroad, and the Champlain Transportation Company.  Under lease and assignment of lease, the new corporation would acquire the Albany & Susquehanna, the Rensselaer & Saratoga, the Rutland and Whitehall, the Albany and Vermont, and the Saratoga and Schenectady.  The Northern Coal & Iron Company and the Chateaugay and Lake Placid were acquired by purchase of stock and by lease.

Eventually, the Delaware and Hudson maintained approximately 10.6 miles of right-of-way in the Town of Ticonderoga and another 1.72 miles in the Village of Ticonderoga (yes the two government entities were separate until December 31st, 1993 when the village was dissolved into the town).

Crossing Accidents Inspire Protest
A number of railroad related accidents in 1926 eventually inspired considerable protest from Ticonderoga residents. "Action should be taken" was the Ticonderoga Sentinel ariticle title on July 29, 1926. Recent incidents had included three accidents within a six week period. In one of the accidents, Rev. Willard P. Harmon was seriously injured. In the other two accidents, occupants of the cars which were struck escaped uninjured, but the automobiles were badly damaged and only a miracle saved their passengers. In spite of these three accidents, the Delaware and Hudson failed to place gates at the crossings or in any other manner eliminate the danger to which pedestrians as well as motorists were constantly subjected.

By August 5, 1926, the Delaware and Hudson Company had still made no move to make provisions to safeguard the railroad crossings in Ticonderoga. The Ticonderoga Sentinel again brought the matter to the company's attention and requested the railroad take action at once, providing the proper safeguarding of every railroad crossing in Ticonderoga with either gates or a watchman. As other towns were given these safeguards, the question was asked why Ticonderoga was neglected, especially in the summer months when the traffic was so increasingly heavy over every crossing in the village. Under current conditions, the newspaper stated each crossing was a menace, a source of danger to pedestrians and motorists alike, and the Ticonderoga public was in some need of protection. It was up to the railroad company whose tracks crossed the village's principle thoroughfares, often causing inconvenience to the public. The newspaper's position concluded stating that the least the railroad could do was to make the railroad crossings safe and thus forestall what was bound to be a fatal accident unless action was taken as many of the crossings were dangerous with most of them blind.

By August 12, 1926, the concerns regarding dangerous crossings had reached outside Ticonderoga. The Ticonderoga Sentinel reported the Public Service Commission's planned dates for hearings on proceedings which it initiated under a grade crossing elimination amendment. The goal of the amendment was to eliminate dangerous grade crossings. The hearings would present any evidence on the part of the railroad, the state or local officials or property owners as to the proposed crossing improvements and based upon the evidence presented a determination which would later be made by the commission as to whether or not it would order the elimination of the railroad crossings and if ordered eliminated, whether by an overhead or underground highway crossing.

In October 1926, the Public Service Commission adjourned its hearing relative to the elimination of grade crossings in Ticonderoga to November 9th in order to permit the Delaware & Hudson Company to study conditions in the village. Testimony was taken at the previous hearing that there were ten grade crossings over the Lake George branch of the railroad within the village limits. One of the crossings was reportedly protected by a day watchman and another by automatic bell signals. Senator Mortimor Y. Ferris and attorney Elmer J. Vincent appeared on behalf of the village and James W. MacMartin, chief engineer of the Delaware & Hudson, represented the railroad. The railroad was unable to complete its study and so the hearing was rescheduled to December 7th.

Eventually, some Ticonderoga railroad crossings were protected.  On January 30, 1929, the Public Service Commission ordered the Delaware and Hudson to install a flashing light signal at Academy for the crossing at The Portage.  This had alternately flashing red lights, crossing bucks, and a warning bell.

Faithful Service
On Saturday evening, February 28, 1931 at 8:45 PM, John Lowman ended forty-two years of faithful service to the Delaware and Hudson railroad company when he rounded the curve and brought his engine into the Ticonderoga station for the last time. Twenty-three years earlier, Lowman took the throttle for the run between Ticonderoga and Montcalm Landing. Since he entered the employment of the railroad in 1888, he had worked steadily and faithfully without vacation except for those times when his health was impaired. It was a fine example of determination and industry. Mr. Lowman retired on pension, his work completed, and leaned back to enjoy a well earned rest after forty-two years of service as fireman and engineer.

A demonstration by his many friends in Ticonderoga greeted the engineer as the evening train drew into the yard. Red flares spurted beside the track as he slowed the engine for the block, torpedoes exploded, and as he leaned from the cab waving his hand to the cheering crowd, heard the high school band, he seemed utterly surprised at the extent of the demonstration, which came as a complete surprise to him.

Born in Syracuse on November 15, 1857, Mr. Lowman began work when he was fourteen years old, and continued to work to the present time without rest or vacation except for those forced on him by impaired health. On June 27, 1888, Lowman began working for the Delaware and Hudson Railroad Corporation as fireman and worked in that capacity for about ten years. On May 26, 1898, he was given an engine and served as engineer since that time.

On October 8, 1907, Lowman bid in the run on the Ticonderoga branch and since that time made his home in Ticonderoga. He was a man of genial personality and quiet in manner and had many friends. As his train came to a rest, Walter Garrand stepped into the cab and pulled down the whistle cord which was the signal to the crowd who awaited Lowman's arrival

On Monday March 2, the employees of the Delaware and Hudson railroad company in the local station, freight house, Montcalm Landing station, and the members of the crew presented Lowman with an enlarged picture of his engine, decorated, and also a picture of the crew with whom he worked.

Agents' Association Meeting
On Friday, May 22, 1931 The Delaware and Hudson Freight and Ticket Agents' Association held its regular quarterly meeting in the Community building auditorium. Members were present from Willsborough, PA; Binghamton, NY; Rouses Point, NY; and intermediate points.

Edward Martin, president, presided. M. W. Bowman, president of the Dock and Coal Company, Plattsburg, gave an interesting address regarding anthracite coal, followed by a three reel moving picture which illustrated the various processes of mining and processing coal.

After the business session, the party adjourned to Hotel Burleigh for lunch. Upon invitation of Milo S. King, the party visited Fort Ticonderoga. Resolutions were adopted thanking the Chamber of Commerce for courtesies shown and Mr. King for his generous contribution toward their entertainment.

Ticonderoga Operating Restrictions
First Street Speed Restrictions
Ticonderoga Clerk, W. G. Wallace, published a notice in the Ticonderoga Sentinel on May 23, 1907 announcing a hearing on the petition of the residents of First Street (Algonkin Street) and the vicinity relative to the speed of trains in the street.  This issue was to be discussed at the regular meeting of the board of trustees of the village of Ticonderoga at the regular meeting Monday evening, May 27.

Locomotive Speed Restrictions
At the Village Trustee meeting on January 20, 1914, the matter of regulating the speed of trains in the streets, especially First street, and over crossings was a subject for extended discussion.  The trustees decided to adopt an ordinance limiting the speed of trains to save the lives of citizens at crossings or in the streets.  The trustees took this matter up with the Delaware and Hudson railroad.  The railroad stated the railroad sent two men to conduct an investigation. 

In accordance with employee operating timetables, Delaware and Hudson trains or locomotives were eventually restricted to a speed of six miles per hour over all crossings in the Village of Ticonderoga except the Lake George Avenue and Champlain Avenue crossings.  These two crossings did not experience switching operation speeds, but main line speeds to and from Baldwin.  Branch line passenger trains were restricted to 45 miles per hour over  the Lake Champlain Avenue and Lake George Avenue crossings leading to the "B" Mill area and Baldwin Dock.  

Flag Restrictions
The Public Service Commission required a member of the railroad crew to flag all movements over Champlain Avenue, north of the freight station and West Montcalm Street grade crossings during all switching movements.  This would have been primarily for freight operations as trains moved along Algonkin Street and into the Island Mill of International Paper (crossing Montcalm Street near the bridge over La Chute River).  

Close Clearance Restrictions
The only other regulation on the Ticonderoga Branch was for close clearances.  Employees were warned to stay off the top of box cars, engines, or other high equipment during movements made near any obstructions.  The only close clearance on the Ticonderoga Branch was the unloading crane I-beam over International Paper Company's paper dock track. 

Locomotive Type Restrictions
The American Locomotive Company (ALCO) of Schenectady, New York manufactured a number of locomotives (both steam and diesel-electric) and was a favorite supplier of locomotive power for the Delaware and Hudson as they were right on the Delaware and Hudson mainline.  ALCO introduced the RS (road switcher) series around 1941.  These ranged from 1000 to 2400-HP. 

Delaware and Hudson employee timetables of the 1970s and beyond specified that only ALCO RSD-15 (DL-600B) and single unit RS-23 (DL-811 built by ALCO's Montreal Locomotive Works) class engines were authorized to operate on the Ticonderoga Branch subject to local restrictions. The RSD-15s were 2400-HP units with tri-mount, 6-wheel, C-C configuration trucks (3-axle, 6 wheels per truck). The RS-23s were 1000-HP units with 4-wheel, B-B configuration (2-axle, 4 wheels per truck). Many RS-3 units were modified to the RSD-15 configuration.

The old AMTRAK station seen here in June 1990 was located at the former Montcalm Landing and across from the Fort View Inn.  It sat for years in disrepair becoming a community joke and eye sore until replaced by another facility further up the line in 1991.  The beginning of the Baldwin Branch was a short distance north of here.  (M. Wright photo)

This one of kind item is a Delaware & Hudson railroad ticket for passage from Ticonderoga depot to the steamboat landing at Fort Ticonderoga.  (M. Wright collection)

Train Service to Ticonderoga
Connecting Trains
There were anywhere from three to seven year-round shuttle trains at any one time connecting Montcalm Landing and the village of Ticonderoga.  An 1891 timetable shows five Delaware & Hudson passenger trains arriving in and departing from Ticonderoga every day.  Train number 201 left Delano Junction at 9:00 a.m. and arrived in Ticonderoga at 9:06 a.m..  Train number 203 left Delano Junction at 10:04 a.m. and arrived in Ticonderoga at 10:10 a.m..  A third train, number 205, left Delano Junction at 12:45 p.m. and arrived in Ticonderoga at 12:55 p.m..  Train number 207 left Delano Junction at 4:06 p.m. and arrived in Ticonderoga at 4:12 p.m..  A fifth train, number 209, left Delano Junction at 6:00 p.m. and arrived in Ticonderoga at 6:06 p.m.. 

Trains Departing Ticonderoga
Five trains departed Ticonderoga each day.  Train number 202 left Ticonderoga at 8:40 a.m.; train number 204 at 9:56 a.m.; train number 206 at 12:20 a.m.; train number 210 at 3:54 p.m.; and train number 212 at 5:50 p.m.. 

In addition to all of these trains, there was one train to and from Baldwin every day.  Train number 1 left Whitehall at 11:30 a.m..  It arrived at Delano Junction at 12:40 p.m., arrived at Ticonderoga Junction at 12:43 p.m., passed Academy Station (stopping only on signal) at 12:48 p.m. and arrived at Baldwin at 12:55 p.m..  Train number 208 then left Baldwin at 1:10 p.m. daily, passed Academy Station at 1:17 p.m. (no stop on the return trip), passed Ticonderoga Junction at 1:20 p.m. and finally arriving at Delano Junction at 1:22 p.m.. 

Timetable Changes - 1903
A general change in the Delaware and Hudson timetables took effect on Sunday, October 4, 1903.  This required modification of the Ticonderoga Railroad timetables.  The new arrival and departure times for trains at the Ticonderoga village station were printed in the Ticonderoga Sentinel.  The schedule showed three trains a day, each way and, also included a train going south in the afternoon.  Southbound trains left at 10:10 a.m., 1:05 p.m. and 3:10 p.m.  Northbound trains left at 10:10 a.m., 3:10 p.m. and 8:06 p.m.  Southbound trains arrived at 10:35 a.m., 3:35 p.m., and 8:06 p.m.  Northbound trains arrived at 10:35 a.m., 1:20 p.m., and 3:35 p.m.  

This locomotive started life as #882 after assembly by Alco at Schenectady in 1906.  It was rebuilt as a class E-48 2-8-0 in October 1926 and renumbered to #825.  Seen here, it  finishes the day in Ticonderoga yard working the local freight on May 31, 1947.  It remained on the roster until it was scrapped in March 1950.  (Credit: Equipment of the Delaware & Hudson Railroad; Robert A.  Liljestrand & David R. Sweetland; Ed Hermanns collection)

Rutland Railroad trains at Addison Junctions left at 8:30 a.m. and 2:35 p.m.  Trains arrived at 12:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.  The timetable also noted that C. A. Pinchin's stage left the village one half hour before the departure of trains.

Timetable Changes - 1906
The Delaware and Hudson added an extra passenger train running from Whitehall to Baldwin in 1906.  This began on Monday, May 28, and continued until June 23d of that year.  The train, traveling to Baldwin, returned to meet steamers at Fort Ticonderoga.  This train ran all days but Sunday, departing Whitehall at 11:30 a.m., stopping at Clemons, Dresden, Putnam, and Wrights, before arriving at Fort Ticonderoga at 12:15.  The train then pulled into Academy thirteen minutes later at 12:23 and finally Baldwin at 12:30.

Only Fort Ticonderoga was a regular stop on the northbound trip to Baldwin.  For all other stations, the train only stopped on signal.  After waiting 10 minutes at Baldwin to detrain and pickup steamboat passengers, the train then made the return trip southbound leaving Baldwin at 12:40 p.m.  On this return trip, the train did stop at Academy to detrain passengers from Baldwin.  All other stops, like the northbound trip, were flag stops only except for Fort Ticonderoga.  The train passed Academy at 12:50 p.m., arriving back on the Delaware and Hudson main line at Fort Ticonderoga station at 1:00 pm headed south back to Whitehall where it arrived at 1:35 p.m

Timetable Changes - 1910
A time change went into effect on November 20, 1910 when the Delaware and Hudson modified the timetables in such a way as to be the most convenient for Ticonderoga interests.  Patrons for the south could leave the village depot about 7:30 p.m. instead of 8:00 p.m..  

The local time table changed as soon as the order went into effect.  Ticonderoga citizens were upset, however, over one section of the schedule which cut off both north and south bound sleepers from the Addison Junction stop. 

Railroad Changes Sleeper Train Stop
In March 1909, the De
laware and Hudson Railroad announced that beginning in July of that year, the railroad would no longer stop its sleeper trains at Addison Junction, instead moving this stop to Fort Ticonderoga.  The railroad claimed that the change was due to the fact that it was difficult to start the heavy northbound sleeper on the heavy grade north from Addison Junction station.  This did not sit well with the village of Ticonderoga..

The Ticonderoga Business Men's Association announced on April 22, 1909 that it would attempt to make the Delaware and Hudson retain Addison Junction as the stopping point for the sleepers.  The rationale they would use was that the change would require passengers to travel over a dangerous and bad road at night while the excellent road to Addison Junction, upon which a considerable amount of money was spent, was one of the best highways in the town.  The change was also a great inconvenience to Shoreham and Orwell people, who had to cross to Addison Junction and drive through the village to Fort Ticonderoga station.  The Association hoped to help railroad officials understand why they felt this arrangement was better for everyone.  This issue also brought more emphasis to the necessity of improving the Putnam road. 

Pursuant to a resolution adopted by the Business Men's Association, secretary Weed wrote a letter to the railroad protesting against the station change.  The Ticonderoga Sentinel then reported on May 6, 1909 that it was the United States Post Office, and not the Delaware and Hudson Railroad, that was responsible for the new rail stop arrangement.  This was apparently stated in a letter delivered Tuesday, May 4, by the railroad in response to Weed's letter of protest.  The railroad also informed Weed that it would retain Addison Junction as the sleeper station provided the Association could get the consent of the post office department. 

The Ticonderoga Sentinel reported on May 20, 1909 that the Business Men's Association was successful in their effort to retain Addison Junction as the stopping place for sleeper trains.  Mrs. Pinchin, owner of the Addison Junction stage route, was notified by the post office department that mail would be delivered as usual.

Timetable Changes - 1911
On December 10, 1911, the Delaware and Hudson added two additional passenger trains, both sleepers, to the schedule.  The sleepers, one northbound and one southbound, stopped on signal only at Fort Ticonderoga and Montcalm Landing; northbound stops were 3:14 p.m. (Montcalm Landing) and 3:19 p.m. (Fort Ticonderoga); southbound stops were 11:31 p.m. (Fort Ticonderoga) and 11:36 p.m. (Montcalm Landing).

By 1911, there were still five passenger trains into and out of Ticonderoga daily except Sunday although train numbers (101, 103, 105, 107, 109 into Ticonderoga and 100, 102, 104, 106, 108 out of Ticonderoga) and times had changed slightly.

Timetable Changes - 1913
Important time changes went into effect on Sunday, June 22, 1913.  The Ticonderoga morning train that met the north and south bound Delaware and Hudson mainline trains began leaving Ticonderoga at 9:50 in the morning instead of 10:15.  The train to meet the steamer Vermont and south bound train left at 12:20 instead of 1:10 p.m. and the afternoon train north left at 4:10 p.m. instead of 3:25.

Sleeper Train Service in Ticonderoga
On February 8, 1917, through the efforts of Delaware and Hudson Ticonderoga station agent, D. J. Crowley, the railroad made arrangements to stop the sleepers, both northbound and southbound, at Montcalm Landing to take on passengers from Ticonderoga.  Ticonderoga station agent, D. J. Crowley took the matter up with M. J. Powers, Delaware and Hudson general passenger agent, stating that Ticonderoga was deserving of the added service, and granting a request made by the people of Ticonderoga through Mr. Crowley.

Through this concession, the northbound sleeper stopped at Montcalm Landing to discharge passengers from Troy or Albany and to take on passengers headed to Plattsburg and points north of that city.  The southbound sleeper stopped to discharge passengers from Plattsburg and points north and to take on passengers for Troy, Albany, and New York.  This provided Ticonderoga with a train service as good as any village on the division of the Delaware and Hudson Railroad.

Inadequate Train Service - 1921
The Ticonderoga town board held a meeting on Thursday, January 27, 1921 to discuss what they claimed was inadequate Delaware and Hudson train service. The board issued a resolution asking for the restoration of the north and southbound evening trains formerly on the schedule and asked for relief from the frequent delays in connections at Montcalm Landing (passengers sometimes waited an hour or longer at Montcalm Landing between the morning trains). The railroad, under the wartime governmental control of the road, discontinued train 13, northbound out of Albany at 4 p.m., and train 6, southbound out of Plattsburg at 3:20 p.m.  The Ticonderoga branch train only made one trip to meet both trains on the main line.  

The group also protested against a fair increase from 15 to 18 cents in the fare on the Ticonderoga branch. The board stated that the fare should have been decreased to ten cents in view of the reported large freight receipts from the town.

Prior to January, 1918, and for as long as anyone could remember, the railroad had operated two other trains upon the Champlain division, which during the latter days of their operation, at least, were known as Trains No. 13 and No. 6. The time table for these trains, although subject to minor variations, was adhered to during all these years until January 1918, when the railroad, under Federal control, discontinued the trains as a war necessity.

Senator Mortimer Y. Ferris filed a complaint at the request of the Port Henry Chamber of Commerce, the Ticonderoga Town Board and others.  In response, the Public Service Commission, Second District, served on the Delaware and Hudson Railroad asking for additional northbound and southbound passenger trains between Albany and Plattsburg, the running time to be determined after investigation. It was alleged that the present train service did not properly accommodate residents of Port Henry, Plattsburg and others.  The complaint was then assigned for hearing at an early date.

Public Service Commission Hearing - 1921
The Delaware & Hudson Railroad responded to the Public Service Commission on February 24, 1921.  The railroad alleged that former results from operations of trains 13 and 6 between Albany and Plattsburg did not make money, particularly in the winter season.  The railroad further stated that it had no knowledge of any complaint or criticism of its current service from patrons north of Port Henry, and claimed that any change in the passenger train schedule would bring forth criticism and complaint from the other communities and commercial organizations in territories served by the current schedule. 

There was a considerable amount of excitement for the upcoming public meeting on March 4.  The Ticonderoga Sentinel stated that the, "importance of a large delegation from Ticonderoga at the hearing in Port Henry cannot be overestimated. "  It was hoped that a large number of Ticonderoga residents attending the hearing would show the public service commissioner that Ticonderoga wanted and needed the additional trains.  "Therefore, every man who can possibly do so should be at the hearing."  The article stated that plenty of automobiles were available to make the trip to Port Henry and return immediately after the hearing.  These cars left the Burleigh House corner at 12:30.

Approximately 200 people gathered for the hearing.   Public Service Commissioner Kellogg represented the people of Ticonderoga and Port Henry.  Acting as attorney for the railroad was Newton Cass of Albany.  Judge Stokes conducted most of the witness examinations.  The railroad's General Passenger Agent Power attempted to show that the railroad company lost money in operating the trains in question, except during summer months and that the number of passengers carried north of Whitehall was too small to warrant their continued operation.  Attorneys for the towns endeavored to disprove these statements.  Their argument was directed mainly towards showing the enormous freight revenue to the company from the towns.  They contended that this revenue made the loss in operating the evening trains insignificant.  They showed that Ticonderoga paper and graphite companies paid the railroad nearly $1 million for freight the previous year while the Moriah mining companies paid an estimated $3 million.  The Willsboro Pulp Company paid nearly $300,000. The Rutland Railroad Company, running substantially parallel to the Delaware and Hudson line on the other side of Lake Champlain, operated seven passenger trains daily each way.

Evening Trains Return - 1921
On Wednesday, March 23, 1921, the Public Service Commission issued an order directing the Delaware and Hudson to restore the north and south bound evening trains to the railroad's regular schedule. The order directed the railroad to operate a train, beginning not later than April 1 from Whitehall north to Plattsburg, to connect with the afternoon trains for the north. The new train would make stops for the discharge and taking-on of passengers and baggage at Clemons, Dresden, Montcalm, Fort Ticonderoga, Crown Point, Port Henry, Westport, Willsboro and Port Kent. The train was ordered to leave Whitehall at about 7:45 and arrive in Plattsburg about 10:30, with flag stations at Wrights, Wadhams, Whallonsburg, Essex and Valcour. The Commission also ordered the restoration of the south bound train, but the time schedule was not provided at the time of the order.

The evening northbound and southbound trains went into effect on Friday, April 1, 1921 as ordered. These trains were known as No. 69, the northbound (formerly No. 13) and No. 68, the southbound (formerly No. 6). Train No. 69 connected at Fort Edward with train No. 13 out of Albany, passed through Montcalm Landing at 8:40 p.m. and arrived at Plattsburg at 11:15 p.m. This train allowed northern villagers in Ticonderoga and Port Henry to visit Albany and return the same day. The southbound service, however, left much to be desired. Instead of restoring the southbound evening train of former days, the railroad substituted No. 68, leaving Plattsburg at 3:20 a.m., arriving at Montcalm Landing at 6:04 and connecting with No. 32 to Albany at Fort Edward at 7:37 a.m. The train passed through Essex county villages at such an early hour that it was a very inconvenient train. As far as traveling north was concerned, the service was as inadequate as it was before the extra trains were put into operation. There was no southbound train between the one early train in the afternoon and the sleeper so no one could go north for any distance.

The Ticonderoga branch railroad train did not meet either of the trains at Montcalm Landing and stages had to carry passengers to and from Ticonderoga.  It was hoped service would improve when the additional local Ticonderoga branch crew was restored to the schedule.  This train crew was removed the previous March when the mill shutdown and freight shipments decreased. With the end of the shut down on July 5, 1921, operations resumed on an even greater scale with the startup of two paper machines, Nos. 1 and 3.

On June 26, 1921, the Delaware and Hudson Railroad released their summer schedule. In this schedule the railroad finally restored the original southbound evening train reminiscent of former years. The new train left Plattsburgh at 3:15 p.m., passed through Montcalm Landing at 5:48 and arrived in Albany at 9:30 p.m. The local branch train now met the evening trains at Montcalm Landing, which necessitated restoring the second train crew on the Ticonderoga railroad.

The new Ticonderoga Railroad schedule reflected the new connection times with the mainline. (Ticonderoga Sentinel, M. Wright collection)

Ticonderoga Receives Better Train Service
Ticonderoga lodged a protest with the Public Service Commission
again in 1922 through Senator Mortimer Ferris against .  This protest was effective in bringing quick results.  Senator Ferris received a letter from the Commission on April 5, 1922 which stated the objectionable conditions would be remedied and that trains would operate on the Ticonderoga branch the following morning with a new schedule.

New Revised Schedule
Leave Montcalm at 10:00 a.m.
Arrive Ticonderoga at 10:20 a.m.
Leave Montcalm at 10:40 a.m.
Arrive Ticonderoga at 10:47 a.m.

This schedule resulted from the initiation of the extra Delaware and Hudson train from Ticonderoga to pick up passengers at Montcalm station.  This train allowed passengers to get to Ticonderoga without waiting for the evening Ticonderoga branch trains. 

When Senator Ferris lodged the complaint he had also asked that a train of the Ticonderoga branch meet the northbound train at Montcalm Landing in the morning.  The Public Service Commission had yet to reach a decision on this petition.  The Delaware and Hudson Railroad did, however, state to the Commission that it was the company's intent to begin running just such a train sometime around the third week in June. 

The Delaware and Hudson's response to the complaint seemed to indicate an end to the story.  This, however, was not the case as apparently the railroad's intent was not to run a train to meet the northbound train at Montcalm Landing.  The Public Service Commission held a hearing in Ticonderoga on April 26, 1922 to hear evidence in the complaint.  This caught Ticonderoga off guard as they only heard about the scheduled date the day before it occurred.   Senator Ferris received notice several days before, but was out of town and didn't receive word himself until the day before the scheduled hearing.  Chief Engineer, Vanneman, representing the Public Service Commission, presided over the hearing.  E. J. Vincent appeared as counsel for Ticonderoga while Newton Cass of Albany appeared for the Delaware and Hudson.

Evidence centered mainly on the demand for such a train, in other words, how many passengers would actually use the service.  A number of witnesses were sworn in order to show that the traffic did warrant the service.  Some of these witnesses included Senator Ferris, F. H. Peck, J. F. Gunning, F. B. Wood, and C. E. Ward.  At that time, all passengers to and from the northbound evening train were transported between Ticonderoga and Montcalm Landing by stage or else they furnished their own transportation.  It was shown through the witnesses that frequently the four-seated stage could not take all the passengers and had to make a second trip, forcing passengers to stay at Montcalm Landing an hour before they could start for the village.  H. J. Burch, assistant to the manager in charge of passenger trains, made a statement in an attempt to contradict the testimony.  Burch stated that a conductor's count made in April up to the 21st of the month showed a daily average of four passengers getting off the evening train at Montcalm Landing.  Burch felt this proved the additional train to Ticonderoga was not warranted.

The complainants also stressed that the Ticonderoga branch trains met the main line evening trains before the war.  If such a service was needed and provided then, it followed that it was needed and should be provided now.  M. J. Powers, general passenger traffic manager for the railroad, was put on the stand and testified as to the train schedules in the pre-war time period.  The hearing continued to drag on due to irrelevant matters, from 11:30 a.m. to nearly 2:00 p.m.

On May 11, 1922, the Public Service Commission directed the Delaware and Hudson Company to operate a train on the Montcalm Landing - Ticonderoga branch of the railroad, week days, which would make reasonable connections to the main line northbound train No. 5 then currently scheduled to leave Montcalm Landing at 7:30 p.m. or with any train scheduled to be operated at approximately the same time.  The order was effective May 22, 1922.

In the Commission's ruling Vanneman stated, 

"It seems that the time has come when certain of these lightly traveled branch lines must be taken care of in some way by which they may be furnished adequate service, without unreasonable economic waste.  There is no doubt but that to operate a connection with the main line train will result in a money loss, for the passenger traffic will be relatively light.  In the winter season it is certainly a necessity and the absence of service places unreasonable burden on a community which contributes largely to the revenues of the railroad in other ways.  Certain of the railroads have tried out gasoline operated cars, similar to the motor bus and I think that such a car would be well adapted to this railroad.  In the winter season the steam engine which will necessarily have to run to handle the freight, will be able to keep the road clear of snow, so that there should be no difficulty from operation on that account."

On May 19, the Delaware & Hudson applied to the Public Service Commission for a rehearing of the case in order to overturn the ruling which ordered them to operate a train on the Ticonderoga branch railroad to meet the northbound evening train on the main line.  The commission, on June 2, 1922, denied the petition for reopening the case, stating sufficient reason for granting a new rehearing was not made by the railroad.

The End of Ticonderoga's Evening Train
On November 18, 1930 the Delaware and Hudson Railroad brought a petition before the Public Service Commission to discontinue its evening passenger train service to and from Ticonderoga and Montcalm Landing to connect with the northbound train from Albany. A legal representative of the railroad submitted data indicating the rail service was unprofitable to the company with decreased ridership and highway conditions had improved to such an extent that those who used the main line trains preferred to use their own automobiles. The highway was also kept open during the winter unlike it was in 1922. The railroad also claimed increased expenses in operating the branch over that which it would have incurred if the two trains were not operating.  Four other trains were in regular daily service, but only the evening train was in operation by order of the Public Service Commission.  That order was adopted by the Commission in 1922 requiring the railroad to operate trains between Tico