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From: "Bernard Rudberg" Bernie_Rudberg AT prodigy DOT net
Date: Sat, 16 Mar 2002 20:17:13 -0500
Subject: Hopewell Depot Restoration Newsletter
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The attachment is a photo of Hopewell Depot c. 1905
Depot in it's original location.
Photo from the collection of the
East Fishkill Historical Society.

Next Meeting Wed, Apr. 3
7:30 PM at the East Fishkill
Community Center
The Community Center is located off Rte. 82 in the center of
Hopewell Junction between the RR overpass and the Rte.376
traffic light across from McHoul's funeral home.
The main subject of the meeting:
Possible acquisition of land near the depot

Your depot Restoration board members urge you to
come to the meeting and we will explain the details
and open the floor for discussion.
This meeting will also be our annual election of officers. Jerry
Carey is still filling both the VP slot and the treasurer job. Can
you help out
Opportunity to Acquire Land

One of the central questions surrounding the Hopewell Depot has
been: Can it be restored in the current location or will we have to
move it? A move would cost money and effort, and could have
an adverse affect on future historic status and possible grant
applications. We would like to keep it where it is but there is not
much room and the land under it belongs to Dutchess County.
In addition there have been several proposals for development in
the area of the depot, including road improvements and a large
housing development planned for the area spanning the former
rail line between Fishkill Road and Route 376.

Now we have an opportunity to acquire land near the depot for
parking etc. We have had an offer on a parcel of land which
would serve very well. It could also serve as a parking area for
the planned Dutchess County Rail Trail.

Ownership of land would have a positive affect on future fund
raising and grant applications. The board has been in discussions
concerning our options, which will be explained at the meeting .
We need the support of all the members to take advantage of this
Depot Restoration Questions

What is the location of the proposed road improvements ?
Will it impact the depot location ?
Will it cross land owned by Dutchess County and/or
Metro North ?
Engineering studies ?
Is anybody working on plans ?
Time frame ?
Our depot restoration effort has come to a major decision point.
Our organization by-laws require a membership majority vote for
approval of any real estate transactions. We need the support of
every member in choosing the best action plan.

Whatever course we choose will require long term involvement
and hard work to accomplish our goal. Many towns across the
country have recognized the significance of their railroad past and
are restoring their railroad stations.
Hopewell Junction is rich in railroad history but much of it is
in danger of being lost forever. We must preserve as much
as possible for future generations.
Come to the meeting and bring your friends along too.

New Book Coming in October
Your newsletter editor has been working on a book for the past
four years. It will be a history of the railroads that built the tracks
through Hopewell Junction and Dutchess County. Our depot was
built by the Dutchess & Columbia Railroad in 1873. The
following year, the railroad went bankrupt but it was reformed
into the Newburgh, Dutchess & Connecticut Railroad in 1877.
This included the Clove Branch Railroad which served the iron
ore mine at Sylvan Lake and the iron furnace in Clove Valley.
The new book will be a close-up look at these railroads and the
people who ran them.
A few years ago the headquarters building of the railroad in
Beacon was being renovated. Workers found the record books
and donated them to the Beacon Historical Society. These books
are a detailed record of railroad activities from 1879 to 1904.
They are a window into every day life on the railroads in the

The new book is being published by Purple Mountain Press in
Fleischmanns NY and the finished version should be available
about October of this year. I will keep you posted about
progress. I will also bring a copy of the manuscript to the April
3rd meeting for anybody who wants a preview.

Hopewell's Lost Rail Line
A rail line into Hopewell Junction was abandoned in the 1890s
and was lost to history. In the early 1890s the Dutchess County
Railroad was building the line from Poughkeepsie to Hopewell
Junction. This line later became the well known Maybrook line
which today is the Dutchess County utility corridor. Materials to
construct the line were shipped to Hopewell Junction on
Newburgh, Dutchess & Connecticut Railroad trains. In 1891 the
Hopewell rail yard and sidings were clogged with carloads of
steel rails and wooden ties. The ND&C RR needed the yard and
sidings for other business so they sent an ultimatum to the DC
RR. The DC RR was forced to build a temporary rail line just to
handle the construction materials.

When the Maybrook line construction into Hopewell Junction
was completed in the spring of 1892, the temporary line was
removed and the property sold. For more than 100 year the
location of that temporary line was lost to history.
In recent years several people have searched for clues but the old
roadbed was not found. With the discovery of the ND&C RR
record books a few years ago, there were more clues. Your
newsletter editor renewed the search and found the abandoned

In the search I used US Geological Survey maps, aerial
photographs from 1935 to 1995, antique railroad blueprints of the
Maybrook line and a hand-held Global Positioning Satellite
receiver. The GPS receiver can determine your location and
altitude anywhere on the surface of the earth with an accuracy of
plus or minus 50 feet. After a number of hikes through the
woods and trails around Lake Walton, I found the old roadbed..

If you have driven along Fishkill Road parallel to the Beacon rail
line you may have noticed a hump just west of Terra Nova Drive.
The construction line connected with the tracks which go to
Fishkill and Beacon then crossed Fishkill Road at that hump. It
ran behind the houses on the west side of Terra Nova Drive then
northward through a swampy area. Farther north, it passed
through the backyards of houses on Vicki Lane and connected
with the Maybrook line about 300 yards from Lake Walton.

I also took along my metal detector to look for any left over
railroad parts. So far I have not found any rails or spikes but there
is ample evidence of the barbed wire fencing along the sides. So
the mystery of the lost rail line has been solved and another bit of
Hopewell history has been preserved. This story will be part of a
chapter on the Dutchess County Railroad in my upcoming
book, 25 Years on the ND&C RR.

Sharing History
Do you know of any photos of Hopewell History ? If you have
or know someone who has photos to share with the members,
send a note or call me, Bernie Rudberg, at 221-9330.. I have
facilities to scan and print photos without any damage to the
originals. I can also do minor repairs of cracks or marks on the
scanned prints. If you have photos let me know and I will pick
them up and return them after scanning. We would love to see
any old pictures you might have hidden away in a family album.

Do You Have E-Mail ?
With the expansion of our mailing list, the cost of each
newsletter has gone up. Currently each newsletter mailing costs
about $50. We feel that this money could be put to better use on
the depot. Therefore we will be distributing an E-Mail version of
the newsletter which costs essentially $0 to send out. In
addition, an E-Mail version will reach the members sooner than a
standard post mailing. Our E-Mail list now contains over 75
names while the snail mail list still has about 90 names. Future
newsletters will be sent via E-Mail whenever possible.

If you would like to get your newsletter via E-Mail you can
write a short note to the editor:
Bernard Rudberg
7 Marion Ave.
Wappingers Falls, NY
Or better yet, you can reply via E-Mail to


Individuals $10.00
Families $18.00
Seniors/Students $ 5.00
If you get your newsletter via E-Mail, your renewal is due one
year from the last time you paid. If you get the newsletter via
snail mail, take a look at the address on your newsletter envelope.
The date after your name is the last time your membership was
renewed. If the date is more than a year ago it is time to renew.
Send to the treasurer, Jerry Carey at: Hopewell Depot
P O Box 1044
Hopewell Junction, NY, 12533-1044

President. Bernie Rudberg
VP and Treas. Jerry Carey
Secretary Jackie Prusak
Newsletter Editor Bernie Rudberg

Bernie Rudberg 7 Marion Ave., Wappingers Falls, NY,
12590-6017 phone 221-9330 or
E-Mail Bernie_Rudberg@prodigy.net

Jerry Carey 27 Tamarack Dr., Hopewell Junction, NY,
12533-6432 phone 897-2145 or
E-Mail jcarey_mba@idsi.net or


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