History, Museums

The Old Train Depot on the Move!

Over the years, the old Lindenhurst depot station house, seen above in Winter of 1968, became run-down and neglected. When it was decided to raise the tracks, the depot was doomed and slated for demolition, along with the other station houses along the South Shore line of the Long Island Railroad west of Babylon. The Lindenhurst Historical Society began to show a great interest in the old depot building and its members talked about restoration and moving it to a new site, making it into a museum. Contact was made with the Long Island Railroad and on September 28, 1967 the Railroad formally presented the depot building to the Historical society in a ceremony at the Bower Elementary School at which time the Society’s program was devoted to the centennial of the coming of the railroad to this area. The depot was still in use by the railroad and could not be relinquished until a new local station could be built at the foot of School Street and temporary tracks laid to the North of the existing right of way.

Finally, on October 25, 1968 the Metropolitan Transit Authority turned over the keys of the old station house to the president of the Lindenhurst Historical Society when the temporary tracks were opened for regular railroad use. The Depot Restoration Committee, under the leadership of Louis Liebl, Jr., arranged with village officials to have the building moved to Irmisch Historical Park on South Broadway, between Kent Avenue and South Third Street. This took place in November, 1968. Since the building was now on Village-owned property, the historical society turned over the legal ownership to the Village of Lindenhurst, but agreed to direct and be responsible for the building’s restoration. Architect Lester Siems provided the committee with working drawings and landscape architect Charles Koetzner provided a rendering of how the depot should look in its new surroundings when completed.

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Having been loaded onto a flatbed trailer pulled by a truck, the station house begins to move west on Hoffman Avenue, approaching the intersection with Wellwood Avenue. On the far left is the still existing World War One memorial monument on Wellwood. The office building on the northwest corner still stands, on the former site of the old Nehring hotel. On the roof of the station house, workmen are seen lifting the Holiday decorations across Hoffman Avenue, allowing the load to pass safely underneath.
The once familiar old LIRR cars once pulled by diesel engines are visible on the tracks as the station house passes by.

The truck pulling the trailer carrying the station house navigates under the Holiday decorations as it prepares to turn south onto Broadway.
Having made the turn onto South Broadway, the Depot building sits on its trailer at its new location in Irmisch Historical Park.

The depot station house is prepared to be placed on its new foundation in Irmisch Historical Park.

Once in its new location, the freight house was detached from the depot building, as it had been originally.
In 1971, the reconstruction of the south end of the freight house and its platform was completed.
The station house was altered back to its original 1901 appearance, with the entrance moved back to the front of the building and the windows were reconfigured to their original arrangement.
On June 16, 1973, a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony took place at the completed freight house.
Work still continued in restoring the station house which was completed in October, 1974. Subsequently, the Long Island Railroad donated a retired boxcar and a length of track for it to sit on, along with an old crossing signal.

We are looking for any old photos of Lindenhurst that we may borrow, copy and return to the owner. Please contact Librarian Peter Muhr, pmuhr@lindenhurstlibrary.org 631-957-7755, ext. 135.

Also, look for the upcoming installments in our ongoing monthly live online series “Zooming Through Lindenhurst History”, announced in our newsletter “The Wave” as well as on our website.

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