The James Baisley family owned land near Montrose Station Road and near what was called Crugers Station in the late nineteenth century. Both places were stations on the Hudson Line of the Hudson River Railroad, later known as the New York Central Railroad, until they were abandoned in 1996 and replaced by a new station at Cortlandt.
|Family Photo of Montrose Station, c. 1940s|
The Erie canal had opened in 1825 which helped in the transport of goods across the state, but because the locks were very slow, stagecoaches would pile up causing the goods to be delayed. It was in response to this that the first railroad in New York was built in 1826. It was called the Mohawk and Hudson Railroad and went to the capital city of Albany.
Because the towns along the Hudson River used the river heavily for transporting goods, they didn't see a need for a railroad until ice starting preventing travel in the winter. The Hudson River Railroad was formed and opened a line in 1851 in order to further extend the railroad. But it was only when Cornelius Vanderbilt purchased the railroad and merged it with other railroads he owned in 1869 that it became the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad, and was later renamed the New York Central Railroad in 1914.
In 1861 Abraham Lincoln rode the Hudson River Railroad and stopped in Peekskill, one of the villages near Montrose and Crugers, on his way to his inaugeration. I'm sure my Baisley ancestors were among the many people who lined the streets of Peekskill and along the Hudson River Railroad to see their future president. I even found an obituary of a great-uncle which mentions the incident and an article which describes how another great-uncle was injured when he fell out of a train at Montrose Station.
Unfortunately it appears that incidents on the Hudson River Railroad were not uncommon. Here is a tragic story about an accident at the bridge near Montrose in the 11 June 1872 edition of The Poughkeepsie Daily Eagle. You never know what you will find while browsing old newspapers.