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Williamsville Depot 2012

January - February 2012

         This past fall, Ms. Suzan Mancini donated a locomotive bell to the Williamsville depot. Ms. Mancini is a friend of Society member Paul Ragan, through whose efforts this donation was obtained. Thank you, Paul. Our research shows that this bell came from a Mohawk class New York Central locomotive. This donation is special since it is interactive. Why not come out to Williamsville and give it a ring? The sound is beautiful. Thank you, Suzan.

         The Historic Site committee has been busy during this past winter. We have planned a number of fun fund-raising events to benefit the restoration of the Williamsville Lehigh valley Depot.

         On Saturday, May 5th, we will be running an outdoor flea market and book sale. If you are looking to declutter your home, this can be an excellent opportunity to do so. You can rent a 15 ft. by 15 ft. space for twenty dollars. The flea market runs from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM with a 6:30 AM set-up time. This is a rain or shine event. Bring your own table, tent, chair, etc., along with the items to be sold. Give Art Toale a call at 837-1791 for more information or to reserve space.

         On Sunday, May 6th, we kick off our Open House season. The depot will be open to the public every Sunday from 1:00 to 4:00 PM.

         Saturday, June 9th is the date when we will be hosting a Pet Fair. There will be an exhibit consisting of commercial and not-for-profit venues involving domestic animals (pets) such as grooming, training and the nutritional needs of pets. This event will run from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

         On the weekend of June 15-17 (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), we will be participating in "Doors Open Niagara". This is a regional event and should attract people from all over Western New York and Southern Ontario.

         Monday, August 13th is the date when we will be hosting an antique car show presented by "The Lake Erie Region of Antique Auto Clubs of America". Last year, this group brought out twenty five cars and trucks. This year, we are hoping for fifty. This is a great show and last year, a large number of visitors enjoyed the cars, trucks and socializing. This event starts at 6:00 PM and ends at dusk. Our committee will be grilling hot dogs and have snacks and beverages available. So, come on out to the Williamsville Lehigh Valley Depot for some hot dogs and some cool cars. If you have an antique or classic car or truck, come on out and arrive in style.

         The only heat in the Williamsville Depot comes from the iron "Station Agent" pot-bellied stove. Therefore, in the winter, the Williamsville Steering Committee finds a more comfortable and warmer place to work at the Food Court in the Eastern Hills Mall. Pictured to the left is the Steering Committee (left to right): Tom Stackhouse, Don Boyd, Mark Klepadlo, Marty Bauer, Hank Olejniczak, John E. Bond and Art Toale.

March - April 2012

         The Lehigh Valley Depot in Williamsville (soon to be renamed the Lehigh Valley Historic Site) has been the beneficiary of relatively mild weather this past winter. Spearheaded by Mark Klepadlo, ably assisted by John Bond, a new window has been installed in the rear of the agent's office (as it was in Lehigh Valley days), the molding around windows and doors, and the chair rail have been installed in the agents room, with similar installation in the waiting room also reaching completion.
The result: a much brighter and less drafty building that is looking as great on the inside as it does outside. Next on tap is the refinishing of the walls in the agent's office removing years of paint and restoring the original wood finish, and then matching it to the new and reused paneling in the waiting room. Following that, the floors will be sanded and refinished.
         With the interior of the caboose nearly completely rehabilitated and exterior repair and repainting planned for this year, the replacement doors have been manufactured "from scratch" and are ready for installation.

         With the exception of the exterior work on the caboose, all of this work has been done by a small core of volunteers. But sweat equity is not enough, everything requires funding for materials and supplies. The Historic site Committee, chaired by Marty Bauer, has been meeting regularly throughout the fall and winter and has come up with a number of fund-raising events in addition to the funds raised by the Chinese auction at the Train Show. The calendar in this issue includes events during April and May, while there will be a celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Lehigh Valley caboose in late July.

         Suggested long term plans include bringing an ALCO S-2 and a boxcar to the depot, to be placed ahead of the caboose, creating a real train!

May - June 2012

         A busy summer is planned at the Society's Lehigh Valley depot in Williamsville, with the steering committee meeting almost weekly. Staining of the paneling and finishing of the floor should complete the passenger waiting room by mid-summer, while the Lehigh Valley caboose should have its rust removed, the metal work done and be professionally painted by July 28th, when it celebrates its 75th anniversary. This anniversary event will be a celebration rather than a fund-raising event. Windows are being constructed for the "telephone booth" (Lehigh Valley's telegraph and Western Union relay switching station).

         In May, a flea market and used book sale was very well patronized and financially successful, and will be repeated again in the early fall. June's Pet Fair was a first attempt at this type of event, featuring the Sheriff's Department's drug sniffing dog and a pet parade, with prizes for participants. On August 13th, the Depot will sponsor their Second Annual Antique Car and Truck Show. Last year's show featured nearly two dozen antique vehicles, and we hope to nearly double that number this year.

July - August 2012

Lehigh Valley #95050 back in Red!

         July has been a very busy month, with a great deal of progress made at the Depot. The restoration of the Lehigh Valley Caboose at the Williamsville depot was completed in time for the celebration of its 75th birthday. The crew from Maple Grove did a fantastic job in cleaning, sandblasting, metal replacement, and painting the car. We carefully researched the paint and lettering to accurately reflect the original scheme as delivered in July 1937.

         An event celebrating the caboose's 75th birthday on July 28th was attended by County, town and village leaders, a number of Society trustees and several village residents.

         The second annual Williamsville antique auto show attracted both a far greater number of cars and light trucks and a marked increase in the number of visitors, even though it was held on a weekday evening.

         The Williamsville Committee will hold it second flea market and book sale on September 15th to help to pay for the painting of the caboose, hoping for results at least equal to those from the event held in May, which was highly successful for both venders and the Depot Committee.

         If you haven't seen the final outcome of the Caboose, please take the time to stop by the Williamsville depot to see the caboose. The depot is open every Sunday from 1-4pm.

Call the Depot at 716-633-7002 or   eMail Art T.   Thank You!

September - October 2012


by Tom Stackhouse

         A crew of Society members led by John Bond worked on restoration of the interior this past winter and spring. Several portions of rotted floor wood were replaced then the full floor was refinished. Walls and the ceiling were sanded and repainted. Through a generous donation from Garfalo Upholstry cushions for the bunks and seating in the cupola were provided. Visitors have been impressed with the appearance of the interior.

         The long awaited exterior restoration of 95050 began this past June. A crew of 3 from Maple Grove Millwrights of Arcade NY arrived with scaffolding, power washer, 2 X 4's, rolls of plastic, a dumpster, a sandblaster and generator among other tools and supplies too numerous to mention.

         Plastic was placed on the ground around the car. It was held in place by 4 X 8 sheets of plywood. The car was then power washed from top to bottom and underneath. Dirt, loose paint, loose rust, grim and grease covered the plastic ground cover. I was surprised the next day. All of the ground cover was picked up. Not a trace of debris was left on the ground.

         The crew identified areas that would have to be cut out and patched due to severe rust damage. The diamond plate platform on the west end of the car was beyond repair. It was completely removed. A new diamond plate was fabricated and installed. Cut out areas were patched. A bent grab iron was straightened.

         I know the proper term is to encapsulate but I think of it as a caterpillar spinning a cocoon then the beautiful Monarch butterfly exits the cocoon. Once again large sheets of plastic were placed on the ground surrounding the car. The crew started to assemble the scaffolding around the car.
When the proper height was reached they started to frame an arched roof over the car. Next the scaffolding and framed roof were completely covered in plastic. The cocoon was complete. A small entrance door was located at the east end of the car.

         Sandblasting was completed in one day. I entered the cocoon and found a steel gray caboose. Not a trace of paint remained. A large repaired area on one side was reveled. (sideswiped?) The Railroad had done a good job of repairing. Next a primer was applied. The trucks and under frame were painted black. The crew then worked on filling in and blending the various patches. Four marker light brackets were applied. (As aside note this was done during the summer and at one point they recorded 130 degrees. That day the cocoon looked like it was going to explode) The finish coat of "Cornell Red" was applied.

         It took almost a full day to disassemble the framework and scaffolding. The last painting was the white paint on the grab irons, handrails and the edge of the steps. Joe and Steve Kocsis applied the lettering. You have to come and see this beautifully restored piece of Society owned equipment. It's something we can be very, very proud of.
Thank you to: Barb and Don Owens; Ted, Reggie, Rob and Tom (Maple Grove Millwrights); Mark Klepadlo and John Bond (caboose interior); and the many others instrumental in this project.

         Four of the more than 25 antique cars at the 2nd annual antique car display. (note the refinished "telephone booth" (former Lehigh Valley telegraph relay station) behind the tree to the left) Many more antique cars, including a Studebake and an Edsel. Our Autumn flea market at the depot, Sept. 15th.

         FURTHER HAPPENINGS AT THE LEHIGH VALLEY HERITAGE SITE - The crew at the Lehigh Valley Heritage Site in Williamsville was busy this summer, with the completion of the flooring and the staining of the paneling in the passenger waiting room, the restoration of the interior of the caboose and the organization of four fund-raising evernt: two flea markets, an antique auto display and the September 29th hay ride from the village and down the Lehigh trail, including a stop at the depot for apple cider. We thank the Williamsville Business Association and the Mayor and Trustees of Williamsville for their help and cooperation with these fund raising events.

November - December 2012

         The Lehigh Valley Historic Site Committee wishes all a Happy New Year.

         As usual, we have a lot of activities planned for the year. The first one will be our Chinese auction at the February train and toy show. These have always been successful fundraisers. We usually net over $1000.00. The Chinese auction is quite a bit of work but well worth it. Our crew can handle the transporting, set-up, sale and disposition of the baskets. We need help with securing donated baskets. If you would to donate a basket, or know someone who would, please call Art Toale (837-1791) or Don Boyd (759-7035). The February show is the 17th and 18th. We need baskets by the 9t of February. Thank you!

         We will be having two combined flea market and book sales again this year. These are a bargain for vendors/dealers and draw a good crowd. It looks like the first one will be held in late May or early June. For details call Art Toale (837-1791). We had hoped to have the varnish in the depot waiting room stripped and then have it re-stained in 2012. Due to scheduling problems both with us and the contractor, it looks like the work will be done this year.

         Our committee held a hayride in conjunction with the Williamsville Oktoberfest. Thanks in to part to Brian Kulpa, the Village of Williamsville Mayor, and Village Board, along with the Williamsville Business Association, this was a popular and successful event. I do have to say Mr. Marty Visciano was the driving force behind this event, thank you Marty. We are looking forward to doing it again this year.

         Of course the biggest news on the site is the restoration of the Lehigh Valley Caboose 95050. If you have not see this yet why not come out and get acquainted with us and the depot site? I still have Nite-Out discount books. If you were missed by Santa, you can still get one from Art Toale by calling 837-1791. These books are valid through December, 2013. They sell for $12.50 each, but I will discount them for members to $11.00 each.


By Art Toale

Although it seems a long way off, I need to address the subject of the Society's display at the Erie County Fair. After twenty plus years of helping to ready and then staffing the caboose and boxcar, I am stepping back somewhat. Thank you to all of the volunteers who, over the years, have given their time to keep the display open, but now we need someone to take over the staffing for the display. I will continue to help ready the cars for display. Also, I will be willing to work a couple of shifts during the Fair. If this is something you would be willing to do, give me (Art Toale) a call (837-1971). I will work with you and let you know what is involved. I do feel that keeping the caboose and boxcar display open is an important window for the public to see what we are all about.

The Williamsville Depot Committee is looking for people interested in the following: Construction
& Maintenance, event planning, tour guides, marketing, data base management
and finance/budget knowledge. We would welcome any and all help you may have to offer.

Call the Depot at 716-633-7002 or   eMail Art T.   Thank You!

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