A Railroad Takes Over the Canal
The Genesee Valley Canal Railroad purchased the Genesee Valley Canal after it closed in 1878 or $100 a mile and began building tracks on the canal's towpath. By the time the line was opened here at Scottsville on January 6, 1883, the tracks were being leased to the Buffalo, New York, and Philadelphia Railroad. Later, the Western New York and Pennsylvania Railroad operated the line before it became the Rochester Branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1900.
Passengers & Freight
From 1890 to 1932, three passenger trains a day stopped at Scottsville. On some days, as many as 300 area residents commuted to Rochester. Others boarded the train from small shelters erected at sidings, traveling the short distance to Scottsville to shop, attend school, or visit friends. As the popularity of buses and automobiles grew, however, the number of rail passengers declined until passenger service was discontinued at Scottsville in 1941.
In its later years, the Rochester Branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad was mainly used for hauling coal to Rochester's power plants. All freight service at the Scottsville station ended by 1959 as trucks replaced trains. The Rochester Branch was abandoned in 1963 from Livingston County south, but the tracks through Scottsville and Monroe County remained until the early 1970s.
Lionel Cameron, a local lad (left), Robert Ritchie, the station agent (seated), and John H. Murphy the station agent's assistant (right), pose for this undated photograph taken in the Scottsville Station Agent's Office. The office was in the center of the building, which had a passenger waiting room at one end and a freight room at the other. Courtesy of John R. (Dick) Murphy Clifton. NY
According to his March 2. 1885, diary entry, 22-year old Elbert Harrison Tiilotson Miller "Pd for Monthly Ry Ticket - $4.65." The monthly school ticket allowed Miller to ride to Rochester, where he worked in a law office. Miller's diaries indicate that he often took the 8;22 a.m., train to Rochester and the 5:35 p.m. train home, but would sometimes stay ln the city with friends. Courtesy Cox Local History Room, Scottsville Free Library
The Scottsville Station appears in the background of this 1938 photograph. A short branch line was extended to Garbutt in 1907, where the invention of patent plaster, gypsum building blocks, and wallboard had sparked a resurgence of gypsum mining. Railroad cars carried gypsum and gypsum products from Garbutt to the Scottsville Station for shipment throughout the country until the Great Depression of the 1930s. Courtesy Skivington Library, Wheatland Historical Association.
A steam-powered Pennsylvania Railroad passenger train with two coaches and a baggage car heading north to Rochester, crossing present-day Scottsville Road just north of the village on August 14, 1914. Courtesy NYS Department of Transportation.
The red rectangle in the map above indicates the section of enlargement shown on the right. Scottsville maps courtesy Rochester Public Library, Local History Division Map Collection.
Besides serving passengers, the Scottsville Station was also a busy freight terminal. The station's freight room was often piled high with goods being sent to and from Scottsville's residents and businesses. Pictured is a receipt for a new bathtub shipped to Oscar Giles at the Scottsville Station. Courtesy Marjorie Laney, Scottsville, NY.