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Williamsville Depot 2017

by Hal Douglass

January - February 2017

         Its hard to believe that winter is nearly over and spring is close by. A few early robins have been sighted in the area, but the juncos have not yet departed for Northern Canada, suggesting that "Old Man Winter" has still a few more events planned.

While we all know what a young man's thoughts turn to in spring, a preservationist's thoughts turn to "where are we going to get the funds for the projects we have planned for this year?" It's an ambitious list: repair of the roof and dormer windows on the windward side of the passenger waiting and freight rooms; purchase of and moving a 40-foot boxcar to the site to provide storage and eventually a workroom allowing the clearing of the freight room for restoration and activities; and replacing the now condemned wood stove and relining the chimney to provide a semblance of warmth in the building in the spring and fall.

         Yes, that is the same 40-foot Arcade & Attica boxcar mentioned in the last FLYER. It is still available, at the same cost and terms. Apparently, there is no great demand for 40-foot boxcars. But that is the size of boxcar that would have been placed on the siding in Williamsville when the depot was active. It is also about as large as we can fit in the currently available space.

Our schedule of events is equally ambitious. Of course, all members of the Western New York Railway Historical Society (and their friends, relatives and casual acquaintances) are cordially invited to participate.

For the Williamsville Depot, the fund-raising season began with our highly successful participation at the Train Show. March is quiet, but on April Fool's Day (April 1st), we have planned a spaghetti dinner from 5:00pm to 7:30pm at the Cleveland Hill Christian Church on Union Road at which time the Homewood Theater Production Group will offer an excerpt from this coming summer's presentation of "The Railroad Comes to Williamsville." Nine dollars gets one plate of spaghetti, meatballs, salad and a non-alcoholic beverage (beer and wine are $3 extra), along with the brief Homewood Theater performance. Later in April, the Homewood Players will present the production at the depot, April 21st, 22nd, 28th and 29th.

         For May (May 20th and 21st), there will be a two day "Garage Sale," plant and book sale, with a chicken barbeque Saturday the 20th. In June, we will be in "10,000 Villages" on Main Street in Williamsville. But the big event of the summer will be a repeat of the amazingly successful "TOUCH A TRUCK" on July 8th. Last year, this event brought in three times more people to the depot than we had ever expected.

         The tentative date for our annual "Cruise Night" will be the evening of July 24th. Homewood Theater will reprise with their performances of "The Railroad Comes to Williamsville" on August 11th, 12th, 18th and 19th, this time to be performed (weather permitting) on the loading dock we constructed last year.

         For the fall, events that are planned will be a "British Invasion" concert, a hayride and our annual "Friends of the Depot" (donors) Appreciation Night. We will finish the year with our Holiday Party for our workers, supporters and volunteers.

         As always, we welcome eager worker volunteers, particularly from Buffalo and the northern and eastern suburbs. Talk to Tom Stackhouse at a Society meeting. Or come join us at the Williamsville Depot every Sunday from 1:00pm - 4:00pm. Our steering committee meets usually at 4:00pm on the first Tuesday of the month, and beginning in April, our meetings will be at the depot. Come see what we have done so far in this restoration project, and join us as the project continues. The depot is located at the entrance to the Lehigh Trail off South Long Street in the Village of Williamsville. South Long Street at the first southward turn off of Main Street (Route 5) just east of the traffic light at North/South Forrest Street. You will see why the depot is one of the Village's hidden secrets.

The Depot Committee organized and staffed a Basket Raffle at the Winter Train Show to raise funds for the continued restoration efforts at the Williamsville Depot. There were well over 50 different prizes to take a chance on to win. It was reported that the basket raffle raised over $1,400 during the two days of the show. Thanks to all the members of the committee for all their efforts and hard work in making the basket raffle such a great success.

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 Marty V.   Thank You!

This page was last updated: March 11th, 2017

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