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Ulster & Delaware Railroad - 2007 Photographs by Carolyn McPherson
 
 
 
Composite photo of the railroad grade through Bloomville, NY
 
Often advertised as "The Only All-Rail Route to the Catskill Mountains," the Ulster and Delaware was originally established in 1866 as the Rondout and Oswego. It traveled through four counties--Ulster, Delaware, Schoharie and Otsego--and connected with five other railroads, but was primarily known for bringing tourists to the elegant hotels in the Catskills.

Although the Ulster and Delaware ran one hundred and eight miles through the scenic mountains, because of its steep grades, some as much as 4.4%, it would take the train almost four hours to travel get from Kingston Point to Oneonta, running at an average speed of only 30-40 mph.

Initially the route began at Kingston Point, went through Rondout, and then--after numerous stops--reached the end of the line at Bloomville. There the engine was turned on the turntable, ready to return to its point of origin. Mr. Wilber Haynes, Kortright Town Historian, took descendant Carolyn McPherson and her husband Mike on a trek on the old U & D railroad grade to see the foundation of the roundhouse.

The railroad ran above the village of Bloomville. Carolyn's grandfather, William Hendry Hickok, was a conductor on the U & D for his entire adult life. At the end of the day he walked down the hill into Bloomville and stayed in the residence of William Blakely Peters. Eventually Hickok married Peters' daughter Sarah. When the U & D line was extended beyond Bloomville to its ultimate terminus in Oneonta, NY, Hickok, his wife Sarah, and their child Hannah Rosella Hickok moved to Oneonta.

 
Walking toward the roundhouse ...
To reach the foundation of the old roundhouse, park your car next to the main road (State Route 10 heading east) and walk more-or-less south in the old railroad bed. When the U & D railroad ceased to operate, the land was purchased by a foundation that converted the land into hiking and biking trails.
 
 
The old railroad roundhouse foundations on the former U & D line.
This is a composite picture of the old railroad roundhouse foundations on the former U & D line. The dark patches in the left are some of the remaining stonework. Mr. Wilber Haynes, Kortright Town Historian, gave Carolyn and Mike McPherson a tour of this rapidly-disappearing artifact.
 
 
Only a few traces of the Ulster and Delaware route remain.
Traveling in a northerly direction, only a few traces of the Ulster and Delaware route remain.
 
 
Walking along the old railway ...
 
 
An old saw left beside the tracks.
 
 
Abandoned buildings and equipment.
 
 
Abandoned building along the track.
 
 
Andrew J. Corbin established this general store in Bloomville in 1865.
As seen by the abandoned buildings that still stand, businesses took advantage of their proximity to the railroad. One such prominent merchant was Andrew J. Corbin who established a general store in Bloomville in 1865, closer to the village crossroads. This was undoubtedly his warehouse.
 
 
Looking down on the village of Bloomville.
The trees have grown so thickly here you can no longer see the village of Bloomville.
 
 
Photo Album of Hannah (Rich) Peters - Elizabeth M. Blakely
William H. Hickok - RR Conductor on the U & D
Ulster & Delaware RR Station Bloomville, NY
Ulster & Delaware Railroad Depot - Oneonta, NY
A J Corbin General Store & Business District
Ulster & Delaware Railroad Historical Society (Outside Link)
 
Updated 02 Jun 2014
All photos taken and contributed by Carolyn McPherson 2007
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