Sacandaga Station - station history

Short History of the Station

The Sacandaga Station was built by the FJ&G railroad in 1920. This was the second station in Sacandaga Park. The first station was a few hundred yards farther south, on the the south side of McKinley Ave. There was a loading platform prior to the first station. The station building is representative of the many small railroad stations that served rural America at the beginning of the 20th century. It is one story in height, with a shallow and broad overhanging roof. The exterior of the wood-framed structure is surfaced with wood shingles and is punctuated with an assortment of doors and windows. The exterior retains parts of its original design and integrity. The original structure was more open, almost like a pavillion, with a few enclosed sections. The octagonal shape that once was located at the South end of the building no longer exists, but its foundation footprint can still be seen. The maple tree that used to grow through the roof overhang of the octagonal is still there and is in good health. The bell that was located on top of the roof (to signal the imminent departure of the last Sunday train) is gone. The building is essentially rectangular, aside from the widened overhangs at the center of the building; it is 105 feet long and 24 feet wide (see floor plan). Several commercial establishments (ice cream vending, beauty parlor, antique store, pinball machines) and a post office resided in the station at various points in time. The interior of the building has been changed considerably since its use as a railroad station ended in 1930 with the flooding of the Sacandaga Valley. Some time in the 1960's, the roof overhang of the building on the east side and the pass-through on the far north, were enclosed. The latter was converted into a garage. The building was vandalized after the post office closed in 1968. In 1972, the four interior walls were demolished and the two east-west passages in the center blocked by new exterior walls. Most of the interior became one open space, supported by posts. The east side of the building was then converted into five stables. On the south side of the station a small apartment was created for the horse groom. Later in the 80's, the station served as a warehouse; then as a rehearsal space for the Community Theatre. The original railroad right-of-way in front of the station remains clearly visible. The tracks were originally flanked by dirt roads, for use by carriages and horse traffic. The immediate surroundings of the Station are wooded with mature white pines that tower over the Station building. The Station is one of the few remaining FJ&G institutional transportation/resort buildings in Sacandaga Park. The former dance hall next door is still there - now used for boat storage. About sixty of the cottages remain. On March 7, 2003 Sacandaga Station was officially listed on the US National Register of Historic Places. In 2007 the restoration project received a stewardship award from Adirondack Architectural Heritage - a regional Adirondack organization that promotes restoration and adaptive re-use of historic properies (
Thanks to Saul B. Kalbfeld for many of the old photographs of the station

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