By Leonard Sparks

Times Herald-Record

Published: 2:00 AM - 07/18/10

ROSCOE � Wilmer Sipple used two canes to pull himself through the front door of the Roscoe O&W Railway Museum Friday afternoon.

"I'm not as good as I used to be," he said.

But when Sipple, 87, begins to narrate the story of how the now-defunct Ontario and Western Railway fostered a region's growth, his grasp of that history seems undiminshed.

The museum he helped found in 1984 to preserve that history is now the object of a preservation effort led by Roscoe-Rockland Renaissance.

Area students are prettying up the museum's grounds, which include a caboose, "trout" car and a main building full of exhibits documenting the O&W's history.

The project also includes the installation of a mural on the side of the main building. The mural will replicate a watercolor painting by Wilmer's wife, Ethel Sipple, of O&W's one-time Roscoe station.

"It will be nice for the town," said Ethel Sipple, 83. "Hopefully, it will attract people."

The Sipples have been involved with the museum since its founding, and have served for years as curators.

The O&W originated in 1868 and lasted until 1957. It carried tourists drawn to the area's trout fishing, escapees from New York City's summers and settlers hungry for the Catskills' beauty.

Special trains with "trout cars" used to carry fish from hatcheries in Long Island and upstate New York to stock streams in the area.

"When they got to a river or a crossing, they stopped and dumped the fish in the stream," said Wilmer Sipple.

Local high school students, participants in Sullivan County's youth employment program, are weeding, planting and cleaning as part of the project.

Their work is a boost to a museum that is losing longtime volunteers. Many have passed on, said Wilmer Sipple, and the museum desperately needs people to lead tours.

Despite the volunteer shortage, the Sipples keep going. "If you start something, you have to finish it," said Ethel.

The wait is over in Roscoe


    ROSCOE � Yesterday's snow, sleet and rain in Roscoe would normally have been enough to warrant locals' discussion, but the unusual May weather found itself upstaged by a new arrival. It was a baby Wilmer Sipple's been waiting 24 years to see. Back in 1984, Sipple and Joe Bux of the NYO&W (New York, Ontario and Western Railway) Historical Society thought the new caboose housing the Roscoe O&W Museum needed a companion. A trout car, to be exact. "Because Roscoe is Trout Town, USA," explained Sipple, who runs the museum.

    But Roscoe was also a stop on the state-spanning O&W for nearly a century. The last spike was driven into the rails west of town in 1873, and the last train quietly slipped through in 1957. A familiar sight during those eight decades was a boxcar loaded with milk cans. But there was no milk in those cans. At each bridge, the engineer would stop the train and his crew would dump young trout into the waters below. Trucks and the state have taken over that duty these days (and coincidentally enough, both a truck and the state were needed to bring the trout car to its home). The 1927 Lackawanna coach -not an original O&W trout car, but bearing signs that it once also served as a trolley car in Jersey City, NJ - had been bought by the historical society for $5,000 in 1994, but a variety of obstacles prevented it from arriving in Roscoe until just last week.

    First it was stopped by a construction project near its storage spot in Little Ferry, NJ. Then three potential sites in Roscoe were nixed. Finally, bridge construction along Route 17 in Wurtsboro kept the nearly 16-feet-tall passenger car from making its way out of New Jersey. But in the meantime, it was moved to Greenwood Lake, NJ, and Sullivan County officials secured $10,000 to paint the car a dark green. Finally, last week, the necessary state permissions were gained, and the future trout car was trucked north along a circuitous route through Orange and Sullivan counties. Yesterday, a five-man crew from Dan Barclay Inc. in Franklin, NJ and Anty Trucking and Rigging in Randolph, NJ, hauled the wheel-less car into place on two 8-ton trucks already sitting on original O&W rails behind the caboose. Residents slowly drove by in amazement as the men carefully positioned the 60-ton, 80-foot-long and 10-foot-wide coach. To be called the Beaverkill Trout Car, the 81-year-old passenger car will be outfitted with live trout tanks and displays on railroading and fishing - displays that were damaged in flooding in 2006 but have since been repaired. The seats and carpeting are already gone, and soon a door will be cut into the side to re-create the look of an O&W trout car.

    As with the caboose, the car will be open during regular museum hours, with a small donation requested in lieu of an admission fee. (The museum already has more than $20,000 to recoup from this venture.) Though the museum itself -now housed in a former auto garage across Railroad Avenue-is opening for the season this weekend, Sipple said a good deal of work remains before the trout car can be a tourist attraction. When pressed for a date, he smiled in a way that only 24 years of patience and fortitude can teach.

"I have no idea," he remarked. "We do it little by little."

7 Railroad Avenue, Roscoe, NY

Donations to the Museum and the Trout Car Restoration Fund can be sent to:

 Roscoe O&W Railway Museum, Box 305 Roscoe, N.Y. 12776

Wilmer E. Sipple, Museum Director   607- 498 - 4346


Caboose, shanty, semaphore and other items on the grounds of the museum.

    The Roscoe O&W Railway Museum was established under the charter of the Ontario & Western Railway Historical Society in 1984 and was first housed in a former Erie Railroad caboose. The first O&W Railway festival was held in August of that year and has become an annual event. In 1986 the museum board members approved the purchase of the Wood garage for the purpose of expansion. A new corporation, the Roscoe NYO&W Railway Association was formed to purchase, operate, and maintain the museum.

     During renovation of the building, siding, slate and wood shingles from the abandoned O&W Summitville Station were used to create an O&W facade. Additional siding and wainscoating line the entrance way to the ticket window and station master's office, which has an operating telegraph. 

    In 1998 the Board Members of the O&W Railway Historical Society requested that the museum board apply for its own museum Charter. The Society assisted in the application process and will continue to support us and work together. In 2000, the University of the State of New York sent a new charter for the Roscoe O&W Railway Museum. All assets of the Association were transferred to the museum and the Society also transferred ownership of the Erie caboose.

     The museum complex consists of the O&W refurbished caboose on the site of the Roscoe Station, the original trout weather vane and train signal, the Cooks Falls and Roscoe watchman's shanties, The Beaverkill Trout Car and the O&W station motif building. The museum now contains O&W artifacts and memorabilia, other railroadiana, and local history displays showing the impact of the O&W on community life, hunting, fishing, farming, tourism and local industries.   

Trout Car Museum For Trout Town, USA

Update: 05/22/08

I am pleased to report that after a 24 year wait the Beaverekill Trout Car is now mounted on its trucks behind the Caboose in Roscoe "Trout Town USA."

    Our new mover Dan Barclay, Inc Finally obtained the highway permit to move the car to Roscoe. On Tuesday morning last week the truck hauling the car body left the yard of Dick Hands at Greenwood Lake. Dick Hands, our original mover had brought the car from the Power generating plant and coal storage tracks in Little Ferry, NJ to Greenwood Lake.

Dan Barclay had laid out a new route which they were able to follow successfully and they arrived in Roscoe around 3 pm to park it near the caboose.

    Then on Monday the work crew arrived in several trucks loaded with planks, blocking and moving equipment. The truck and car were backed up onto the track so the wheels could be replaced with the trucks. This was slow and tedious but by late afternoon it was done. Our computer pictures now looks like the real thing.

I called Dan Hust of the Sullivan County Democrat and he arrived early and write a great article for the paper.

Thanks, Wil Sipple

Photo manipulation by Bill Schneider

Donations to the Museum and the Trout Car Restoration Fund can be sent to:

 Roscoe O&W Railway Museum, Box 305 Roscoe, N.Y. 12776

History of the Beaverkill Trout Car Project

    In 1984, the Roscoe O&W Railway Museum and Information Center was established in an Erie caboose. Realizing the need for space to expand, I became interested in a Trout Car Museum while assisting Joe Bux on the Society's Acid Factory Book. He found references to trout cars used to stock our streams and thought this would be a great addition for Roscoe-Trout Town USA. I mentioned the idea to Kim Sprague, long time resident thought it a great idea, He recalled the day the trout car arrived in Roscoe. His father sent him to fetch a pail to get a few trout for their farm pond. Tom Quick Senior, also  a long time resident remembered seeing the the car parked in front of the Roscoe Station.

    In 1986, we sent in a  grant application for the trout car project which was rejected when our grant request exceeded the funds that were available. Then in 1993, I learned that the United Railroad Historical Society of New Jersey, had a Stillwell coach which they would donate to the O&W Society for our trout car museum. We traveled to Little Ferry to examine the car and were disappointed  with the poor condition of the car. While there we saw a Lackawanna coach in good condition.. I asked New Jersey Society President if they would sell the  car and he was able to get board approval to sell us the car for $5,000. He also recommended Dick Hands of Associated Shippers Service to do the work. We contacted Dick and he agreed to move it to Roscoe for $5500. However, this bid was for the Stillwell car which was 2 feet lower and could be moved over the Interstate Highway System. The Lackawanna coach would have to avoid highway bridges and use secondary roads which would be much more costly and difficult. Dick did not realize the change in cars until he started preparing the coach for the move to Roscoe. At that time he said it would cost more than $5500 but he never quoted a new price.

    The Museum Board met with Town Supervisor, Elton Harris to plan the project and select a site behind the museum building. Soon after, I applied for and received an O'Connor Foundation matching Grant for $8,000. A fund drive was very successful and we were soon able to purchase the coach and receive title on January 10, 1994. The car was stored with other railroad equipment on the abandoned coal car tracks at the PSE&G Power Station, in Little Ferry.  Construction work at the plant disrupted the access roads and Dick Hands of Associated Shippers Service was unable to move the car for several years.

    Things were not going well in Roscoe either. Elton Harris presented the site behind the building to the board for approval, but the Superintendent of Water & Sewer objected because of the sewer line in that area and the Highway Department Superintendent objected because it was a snow removal area, so the Town Board rejected the site. Now the search was on for a new site.

    Then in 1995, the Sullivan County plan to lease a three acre lot in front of Kohler's for 1$ a yr was rejected by the Town Planning board after a public hearing. The officers of the Roscoe Fire Department wanted to keep the site for copter landings and the the area people wanted to keep it ?forever wild.?  This was an ideal site for Roscoe because the Trout car could be located near the river and there was also room for a bandstand for community concerts. At this time, long time RR Buff, Bob Grossman joined the search for a new site. As President of the Roscoe-Rockland chamber of Commerce he was able to get approval for a donation of $2500 for the Trout Car when it arrived. I was very pleased with  Chambers support but the cars arrival was delayed for so many years that the  board finally voted to revoke the donation.

     The search for a site continued and in 1996 Joe Roseo agreed to lease an area near his restaurant. Joseph Horak, with the Town Board and Planning Board completed the rental agreement. Work soon started with the help of volunteers; the Dunn's provided the under lay to hold the river gravel, Harold Klinger spread and graded the road bed and Olin Nead used his lowbed to pickup and deliver the 39 ft O&W rails. Bob Grossman joined me on a trip to the railroad storage area at the PSE&G Power Station where our car was stored to get a load of tie plates and spikes for the new track. Once the ties were delivered, the work crew from the Sullivan Correctional Facility completed laying track.

    After several years the car was finally moved from Little Ferry to the movers plant in Greenwood Lake. The Trucks were delivered to the Rockland House site and it was thought the car would soon arrive but now highway bridge construction in the Wurtsboro area  delayed it for 4 years  In the meantime the Roseo's decided they no longer wanted the car, so we were asked to remove the track and roadbed.  We were able to get the prison work crews to dismantle the track. With a new supervisor and board members we again asked approval for the site behind the museum. When Dick came to check the route and site, he told us that the car was too long for there. He recommended placing the car behind the caboose and much to our surprise there was adequate space.      

    Our new mover Dan Barclay, Inc finally obtained the highway permit to move the car to Roscoe. In May of 2008 the truck hauling the car body left the yard of Dick Hands at Greenwood Lake. Dick Hands, our original mover had brought the car from the Power generating plant and coal storage tracks in Little Ferry, NJ to Greenwood Lake.

Dan Barclay had laid out a new route which they were able to follow successfully and they arrived in Roscoe around 3 pm to park it near the caboose. After a 24 year wait the Beaverekill Trout Car is now mounted on its trucks behind the Caboose in Roscoe "Trout Town USA."

    A few days later a work crew arrived in several trucks loaded with planks, blocking and moving equipment. The truck and car were backed up onto the track so the wheels could be replaced with the trucks. This was slow and tedious but by late afternoon it was done.

    Once the interior is decorated with the displays and trout tanks, the Beaverkill Trout car will be a great attraction for Roscoe "Trout Town USA".

    Since the June 28th. flood with 3 feet of muddy water damaging the building, the Trout Car is now essential to move show cases from the building to the car.

            Respectfully submitted, Wilmer E. Sipple, Museum Director


Donations to the Museum and the Trout Car Restoration Fund can be sent to:

 Roscoe O&W Railway Museum, Box 305 Roscoe, N.Y. 12776

   From the beginning, the Town of Rockland was a savage paradise difficult to penetrate except by Indian trails. The most important was the "Sun Trail" that ran from the Hudson River to East Branch on the Delaware. At the close of the Revolutionary War, scouts and land speculators from Massachusetts and Connecticut followed this trail to the "Beaverkill area" and reported 10,000 acres of rich , level land covered with pine , hemlock and laurel. Because of the troublesome Indians and narrow trails, only trappers attempted to pioneer the area. However, the news of rich lands to the west soon prompted the Jehiel Stewart Family to leave Connecticut by ox sled loaded with household goods in 1789. After leaving the Hudson they followed the narrow and difficult Sun Trail along the Lackawaxen, up the hills of the Neversink, across the Town of  Liberty and the Beaverkill trail to the Big Beaverkill Flats, becoming the first settlers in Westfield Flats now known as Roscoe. He purchased Lot 24 from John Livingston and built the first log cabin in the area. His farm extended from Stewart Avenue to School Street.

   By 1800, most of the land in Westfield Flats was sold to friends and relatives of the Stewarts. The villages of Livingston Manor and Roscoe in Western Sullivan were isolated and slow to develop because of very poor roads. The people living in the area between the New York Central and Erie Railroads were incensed that their towns were bypassed. Thus the time was ripe for Dewitt Littlejohn , dynamic speaker of the New York State Senate, to engineer the formation of a new railroad, The New York and Oswego Midland from Weehawken to Oswego. 

   On July 9th, 1873 , the final spike was driven at Whirling Eddy, Near Horton on the Beaverkill. It was one of the finest fishing spots in the Western Hemisphere, but there was nothing to provide freight for the new railroad. The nearest town was Westfield flats, which finally became Roscoe, one of the great hunting and fishing centers of New York State, but it was only a sleepy farm village of only 28 houses. The next station was Livingston Manor with only 12 houses, but would soon become one of the great chain of Catskill resort areas. The real gem of the Catskills was the 400 miles of trout streams and the O&W crossed the Rondout, which John Burroughs said was one of the finest of all the trout streams, and then along the headwaters of the Neversink, across Willowemoc Creek and ran along the Beaverkill, perhaps the most famous trout stream in the U.S.

    Prior to the coming of the railroad, Sir Isaac Walton, a famous early English fisherman, wrote about his fond memories of fishing along the Beaverkill. John Burroughs published such essays as:  The Heart of the Southern Catskills which were marvelous descriptive writings, highlighting the country's rocky wonders and its colds and turbulent rivers. In the words of Theodore Gordon, Father of American dry-fly fishing, "it would be hard to find anywhere a more beautful river."  He made the land along the O&W known to discrimminating anglers all over the world. Gordon settled in Neversink and spent 20 years as a contributor to the English "Fishing Gazette." The charm of Gordon�s prose and the description of the sport made the Beaverkill and its kindred streams unforgetable.

   The stocking of our Catskill Mountain streams by railroad is a part of our heritage that is long forgotten. The New York & Oswego Midland Railroad began an aggressive campaign to open up the wilderness of Sullivan and Delaware Counties. In 1878, the Midland began stocking the 400 miles of streams in the area with 1.5 million trout. In the beginning, baggage cars and box cars were used to haul the iced, trout filled milk cans to easily accessible river crossings on the railroad. Once at the river site the cans were carried by the men to the stream and dumped. For sites more distant from the railroad, the cans were loaded on horse back for the journey to the stream. There were often times when the train would stop on a bridge to dump the trout directly into the river below. The railroad could also foresee a lucrative passenger business and ordered the Middletown shops to outfit passenger cars as "Fishing and Hunters specials."  Even after the bankruptcy and re-organization as the New York Ontario & Western Railway, Superintendent Childs, continued the Midland policy of stocking the streams as follows:

1880 - 85,000 trout
1881 - 96,000 trout
1882 - 120,000 trout
1883 - 155,000 trout
1884 - 310,000 trout
1885 - 460,000 trout
1886 - 800,000 trout

     Many of the trout came from the Long Island hatchery and the Bath Hatchery upstate. Then in 1891, The New York State Legislature approved the establishment of a fish hatchery in the Catskills at DeBruce. The same year the New York Fishery Commission authorized the Gilbert Car Company to build a special wooden fish car named the "Adirondack"  which was in service until 1927. New York City finally banned the use of wooden railroad cars in the tunnels, so the Conservation Department of New York State ordered steel fish cars. The last fish car complete with aerated and temperature controlled fish tanks was ordered from the American Car and Foundry Company in 1927. The Roscoe O&W Railway Museum has the blueprint and specifications which it intends to use to remodel its early Lackawanna passenger coach No. 3451.

    The O&W also came out with the famous "Summer Homes" visitors guide which was free for the asking. The 1881 edition, Summer Homes on the New York, Ontario & Western Railway  became a most popular listing for all accommodations in the area until 1937. For anyone wishing to build summer homes and hotels , the Railroad would haul the lumber free of charge. The coming of the railroad would play a major part in the rapid development of the Catskills at the turn of the Century.

 Our interest in the trout car began while assisting Joe Bux in locating material for the O&W Society "The Wood ChemicalIndustry in the Delaware Valley". He found references to trout cars being used to stock our streams and thought that a trout car would be a great addition for Roscoe - Trout Town USA. I also mentioned the idea to Kim Sprague, a long time resident, and he not only thought it a great idea but also recalled the day the trout car arrived in Roscoe. His father sent him to fetch a pail so he could get a few trout for their pond.

Tom Quick senior , also a long time resident, remembered seeing the trout car parked at the Roscoe Station. Trout Town USA used to have a fishing museum in the Theater building that was visited by former president , Jimmy Carter. It was soon moved to its present site at the Van Achen farm on the Willowemoc Creek. The new Beaverkill Trout Car Museum will now be located behind the caboose in front of the Roscoe Museum. The interior of the car will be divided into several areas for fishing artifacts, wall displays of our famous local fly tiers, and an area with fish tanks filled will several varieties of live trout.

Wilmer E. Sipple, Musuem Director


by Wilmer E. Sipple, Museum Director

     When the O&W ceased operations in 1957, the "Old Woman's" rolling stock was in as poor shape as the physical plant, after years of deferred maintenance with the exception of the newly acquired diesel locomotives. The rolling stock was too run down or antiquated for interchange and were worth little more than scrap value.

     Most of the O&W's cabooses of the 8300 series fell into this category. All of the 8300 cabooses were built by the O&W at their Middletown car shops. The first group, 8300-8340 were built in 1916 and 1917. Between 1924 and 1935 another 19 were built, 8341-8359 and in 1936 the last one, number 8360 rolled out of Car Shop 2. This was not only the last caboose but also the last from the car shop because it burned shortly after. The 16th. and the last of this class also has the distinction of being the only one built new on tender underframes cut and spliced together. As more of these frames became available when older steam power was scrapped, more of the 8300 class cabooses were fitted with stronger foundations.

     By the time the end came for the O&W, some of the cabooses had been sold to "short lines"to replace their own aging equipment. The 8323 was sold to the Unity Railways Company , a short line east of Pittsburgh. In general, these cabooses passed into oblivion with the end of the lines. The 8323 is an exception since it is now located in the Alden Trolley Museum at Washington, Pa. Just prior to the demise of the railroad, five cabooses were sold to the Long Island Railroad which was always short of equipment.
     However, after the demise in 1957, the rest of the O&W hacks or crommies, ended up on a spur at the old Army base at Orangeburg, New York, where vandals and the elements took their toll. As late as July 1969, seventeen cabooses were still sitting there waiting for a call that never came. With the possible exception of caboose , 8340, believed to have been sold, all were finally burned for scrap.

     The five surviving cabooses sold to the Long Island RR were painted in orange and gray which added to the odd assortment of motive power and non-revenue cars that gave the Long Island's freight traffic, its distinctive flavor. Their use on the LIRR only lasted 5 years until replaced by newer equipment. The 8301, renumbered LIRR 73, was sold to the Empire State Railway Museum at Middletown, N.Y. in June 1963 and ran on the tracks of the Middletown & Unionville. In 1966 the Museum moved its equipment and operations to the Valley Railroad Company at Essex, Connecticut where the 8301 was restored to its original appearence. The 8304, renumbered LIRR 70 and then 75in 1962, was sold to the Walkill Valley Railroad at New Paltz, N.Y. It was there until it was sold again to Mr. J. Maher of Mapleton, Iowa It was trucked to its new home where it was re-sided and retored. The 8306, renumbered LIRR 72 was burned and scrapped at Long Island City in April of 1963. The 8308, renumbered LIRR 71, was burned in a fire in 1962, and was finally scrapped at Holban Yard, Hollis, Queens, in June of 1963.

     From its beginning, the 8360 has had the most interesting career of all. Renumbered LIRR 74 , it was burned in the same fire as the 8308, in August of 1962 A new steel bay-windowed body was built on the original frame and trucks still bearing the casting mark "5-39 NYO&WRR" at the Morris Park shops. Repainted in orange and blue and renumbered LIRR C-80, then repainted in the yellow and blue of the Metropolitan Transit Authority and continued to ply the rails of the LIRR until 1980 Shortly after, the caboose was offered to the O&W RHS but the Society declined the offer because they were already involved in many projects and it also required finding a site. In 1993 the MTA decided to scrap the caboose body and the O&W trucks were offered at no charge to the Phillipsburg RR Historians. They gladly accepted them and planned to mount them on a freight car body. Later, it was discovered that the journal brass was missing and they were no longer serviceable.

     Then in 1998 the O&W Society learned by e-mail that they would offer them to the O&W for the scrap value since they were only good for display.purposes. Allan Seebach, Board Chairman contacted Bill Terp, president of the Phillipsburg Society and offered to buy them. When I learned that Allan Seebach was trying to purchase the trucks , I assurred him that we would be very happy to display them at the museum. Later when the deal was closed he asked me to make arrangements to move them to Roscoe. Fortunately, Phil Francis, an O&W member had volunteered to deliver the Trout Car Trucks to Roscoe, so he was glad to move the O&W trucks. The trucks were loaded at Phillipsburg and arrived after dark . The next morning we planned to unload them in front of the museum building but the wrecker I arranged for had too short a boom. Bill Gayron was there with his cellular phone and called Sam's in Liberty. Once he arrived they were quickly unloaded and stored on ties next to the Roscoe Shanty. This proved to be a big mistake because the Town Board soon sent a letter requesting us to remove them. Each truck weighs 3 and 1/2 tons but several men could have rolled them across the street if they had been placed properly. With the assistance of a work crew from the Sullivan Correctional Facility work was started laying the track to display them in front of the museum. Once finished, Tiny's tilt truck was able to haul them up and lower them on the track so they can be easily viewed by all. Plans call for painting them and dressing up the display area for the 1999 tourist season. The only improvement for O&W buffs would be an exact replica of an 8300 O&W caboose body mounted on the trucks!

This article was compiled of information from the O&W Technical and Historical Society Magazine

O&W Self-Guided Tours:

The O&W Sites near Roscoe

Trip 1 Itinerary


0.0 Your trip begins at the museum with the site of the O&W Tracks buried under the highway behind the caboose. As you leave the museum on Railroad Avenue, turn left on Stewart Avenue, pass under the highway and make a sharp left turn to enter Route 17, the quickway, traveling east.

2.9 Exit at the rest stop to view the historical markers. On the right side of the comfort station walk toward the rear of the dog walk area to view the original O&W bridge abutment. Enter the quickway and continue to Livingston Manor and take exit 96.

5.9 Turn right at stop sign and continue to next stop sign.

6.1 Turn left on old 17, county road 178 and cross the Willowemoc River bridge.

6.3 Turn right on Main Street, county road 149 and continue through stop light.

6.7 Park at the Telephone building on the right. The Livingston Manor O&W freight station is located in the rear

on private property. The footings for the water tank are located near the left side of the station. Continue on Main Street to Church Street and turn left.

6.8 Park on the left side in front of Shaver's warehouse. This is the original Livingston Manor Midland station which was moved when the new O&W station was built. Return to Main Street and turn right.

6.9 Turn left on Riverside Drive: The O&W tracks were on the right.

7.1 At the bridge observe O&W abutments supporting town bridge on the right of way. Cross brook, pass houses built on the right of way, and stop at the intersection.

7.6 Turn right at intersection and stop at bridge over O&W right of way. This was the site of the 1939 coal train wreck which demolished the bridge. The creosote plant was located further to the left. Train No.10 struck a rock slide and before the train could be stopped it struck the switch for the creosote plant on Mott's flat and plunged down the embankment. Continue on the road, pass under the highway, cross the Livingston Manor Covered Bridge built by John Davidson in 1860 and stop at the intersection of old Route 17.

8.4 Turn left on old route 17, county road 178 and continue to the Fly Fishing Center.

9.3 Drive across the bridge and park on the O&W right of way in front of the center. This is the infamous White House Curve; the location of the disastrous derailment which claimed the lives of engineman, Rube Vandermark, and fireman, Les Dougherty in 1906. Siding from the wrecked cars was used on the barn and other out buildings. Return to highway.

9.5 Turn left on old Route 17 and stop at the intersection at the top of Hazel Hill. Observe the tall chimmey of the abandoned Hazel Chemical Plant.

11.7 Turn left on Hazel road, pass under the highway, and cross the Willowemoc River bridge.

11.9 Park at the Angler's Parking Area. The plant was operated by the Thomas Kerry Chemical Company until the end of World War II. (See Society book on the Wood Chemical Industry for details) Railroad abutments on river mark route of the O&W. Return to old Route 17.

12.2 Turn left on old 17 and stop at the abandoned white gas station on the left near the river.

12.8 Park on the left side of the gas station. Several bridge abutments can be seen on the river meander. Continue toward Roscoe.

13.0 Stop at the retaining walls on the right to observe the abutments and bridge support in the Willowemoc River. Continue to the stop light.

14.5 Turn left on Stewart Avenue, left on Railroad Avenue and park at the museum.

O&W Self-Guided Tours:

The O&W Sites near Roscoe

Trip 2 Itinerary


0.0 Your trip begins at the museum with the caboose occupying the site of the Roscoe Station. As you leave the museum on Railroad Avenue, turn left on Stewart Avenue and pass under Route 17, the quickway.

0.1 At the Willowemoc River bridge turn left on Cottage Street and park at the wooded area near the no trespass sign. Hidden in the woods on private property are three 3,000 series O&W box cars. Return to the bridge and cross it.

0.6 At stop sign turn right on county road 92 and follow river to the Y intersection.

0.9 Bearing to the left takes you past the old Louis Sipple dam and cooperage mill on the left. Behind the mill is the old Fremont road leading to the former site of the covered bridge called Sipple's Crossing. Drive to the Riverview Cemetery summer house for a spectacular view of Junction Pool and the O&W right of way now occupied by the highway. Return to county road 92 and continue to the intersection with the Tennanah Lake Estates sign.

4.8 Continue straight ahead on county road 93 to the entrance of the Tennanah Golf & Tennis Club.

5.7 Enter and bear to the right to arrive at the golf course pro shop. Park here and observe the two O&W water tanks on the hill. Both tanks were purchased from the railroad after dieselization. One came from Cook's Falls and the other came from Ferndale. Both were used for the fire system but only one is now in use. Observe the O&W logo on the turnbuckles of the straps holding the tank together. Return to the museum by the same route.


O&W Self-Guided Tours:

The O&W Sites near Roscoe

Trip 3 Itinerary


0.0 Your trip begins at the museum. The station motif has been created with materials removed from the abandoned O&W Summitville Station; slate shingles for the canopy and siding for the front. As you leave the museum on Railroad Avenue, turn right on Stewart Avenue and continue to the stop light.

0.1 Turn left on Main Street and at the blinker\ light turn left on county road 179A. Cross the Beaverkill River bridge and park. On the left is the famous Junction pool and the site of O&W bridge 152. Continue on 179A and after passing under the highway notice the O&W right of way across the river.

3.9 Stop at the Red Rose Restaurant. Bridge 153 is visible from the river side.

4.4 Continue to the sharp curve ahead and look for a left turn off to the O&W right of way leading up to the bridge.

The bridge is privately owned and located on private property.

4.5 Return to the highway and follow the river into Cook's Falls. As you pass under the highway observe the O&W right of way across the river.

6.0 Stop at the parking area on the left before the bridge. Across the river is the remaining O&W plate deck bridge.

6.1 Cross the bridge and park next to the cliff. On the left behind the fence are the foundations for the creamery and ice house; further on is the plate deck bridge, all on private property. On the cliff is a modern home built on the water tank foundation. To the right is the privately owned O&W Cook's Falls station. Further on is an O&W section house. The O&W Watchman's Shanty is now located next to the Order Board Signal at the museum.

Return to the museum by the same road.


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