Sunday, May 18, 2008

Railroad Track Torn Up

New York, 1895

A Land Company Steals a March on Benjamin E. Valentine.

An abandoned stretch of track, running from the main tracks of the Long Island railroad at Woodsburgh to the old race track of the Cedarhurst steeplechasing and racing association, was torn up Friday night by a gang of fifty Italians from New York. The work was done under the direction of the Hewlett's Land and Improvement company, who by this means seek to prevent the Long Island railroad from continuing in possession of the land over which the track was built.

According to the improvement company, when the land was deeded to the Cedarhurst company on which to build the track a stipulation was made that, should the track at any time be abandoned, the land should revert to its original owners. When the Cedarhurst racing association gave up its grounds the track fell into disuse, and became overgrown with weeds and brush. It was practically abandoned save during the hunt, when a small horse car was run between the station and the Rockaway club's house for the accommodation of the members. Even the switch connecting the branch with the main track had been taken out.

About a week ago, however, Lawyer Benjamin E. Valentine, who is erecting a villa beyond the Rockaway hunt club's house, induced the railroad company to replace the switch, with the intention of using the side track to ship material to where he was building. No opposition was made to the replacing of the switch, but before the railroad has been able to run a train over the track the improvement company has torn it from its bed, and a fence now obstructs free passage over the old roadbed.

—The Long Island Farmer, Jamaica, NY, Feb. 1, 1895, p. 12.

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