NEB&W Guide to Green Island, NY
From NEB&W Railroad Heritage Website
- 1 Overview
- 2 The Industries
- 3 Rensselaer & Saratoga Shops (Not Modeled)
- 4 Ford Plant (Not Modeled)
- 5 Swan St. House
- 6 Gilbert Car Works
- 7 Central Markets/Price Chopper
- 8 Manning Paper
- 9 Sweet & Doyle
- 10 Yard Office
- 11 Eagle Foundry
- 12 Freight Ramp
- 13 Gordinier's/Scale House
- 14 Bridge & Building Dept.
- 15 Signal Department
- 16 Paine Street Houses Between Manning Paper & Eagle Foundry
- 17 The George Street Crossing Area
- 18 City Directory
- 19 Hudson River Bridge
- 20 Green Island Not Modeled
- The individual stores and businesses within the area of Green Island being modeled.
- The Rensselaer & Saratoga built their loco and car shops just north of Tibbets. (The complex seen at the top of the first topographic map, above the pink area.) Unfortunately, we don't have room to model this.
For more information, see this section.
- Thomas Edison apparently, due to his involvement with GE in Schenectady, used to hunt and fish in the northern section of Green Island. He introduced his friend, Henry Ford, to this region, and Ford saw an opportunity to establish a plant here in 1922, to make radiators and springs. The building was just recently (2004) torn down. Unfortunately, we don't have room to model this, either.
- For more information, see this section.
Swan St. House
- House by the track at Swan Street, but we might model this on Center Street, just west of the Sweet & Doyle lot.
Gilbert Car Works
- In 1820, Orasmus Eaton began manufacturing carriages in downtown Troy. In 1830, he partnered with Uri Gilbert, who would eventually take over and the firm would become the Gilbert Car Works. In 1835, they built the first passenger cars for the new Rensselaer & Saratoga R.R. Each of the 24 coaches had 6 to 10 hand-painted panels on the outside featuring portraits of leading people, landscapes, and copies of famous paintings. An observer noted “The ‘tout ensemble’ is more like a movable gallery of the fine arts, than like a train of railroad cars." This was the beginning of Gilbert Car’s reputation for building some of the most luxurious passenger cars in the world.
Their factory was on 6th Avenue. By 1850, Gilbert Car had outgrown its Troy location. They built a new facility over in rural Green Island, then donated their land here for the site of a new Union Depot.
The Green Island plant grew to 12 acres, including a block-long car shed that had five tracks running into it. However, the company declined after Uri’s death in 1888, with the Panic of 1893 the final blow. The Green Island plant sat vacant for 20 years. The complex on the left (south) of this plan became Manning Paper, with the curve in the northwest corner still evident. The long shed ("Freight Shop") with the five tracks in it became Clark Trading, then Central Markets, which in turn became Price Chopper.
- The long shed ("Freight Shop") of Gilbert Car Shops with the five tracks in it became Clark Trading, then Public Service Economy Market, 1934 and Central Markets, 1935, which in turn became Price Chopper. In 1951, they were listed as the Golub Corp. and received 94 carloads in, about one car every three days or so, and shipped out none.
- See this section for more info.
- See this section.
- See this section.
- The yard office was at the north end of the wye, next to Sweet & Doyle.
- The old Eagle Foundry had a number of unique features, such as the way the roof trusses on part of the building extended above the roof itself. The south end had a real strange profile, but I think that was due to two side-by-side buildings with the valley getting filled in. The building was torn down c. 1990. See this section for more info.
- At the south end of Eagle Foundry was a small freight platform. (Note the series of crosswise strips on the ramp section.)
- The original line of the Rensselaer & Saratoga came off the bridge and immediately swung right, or north, but later a line headed directly west toward the main that came up from Albany. A track was added between the two to form a "wye", and a number of smaller industries clustered inside the wye, including Gordinier's warehouse. (They also had a retail outlet in downtown Troy.)
The prototype photo c. 1919 looking southwest, shows the track scale in the foreground and the derrick of the Bridge & Building Department to the right.
- See this section.
- The Railroad's Signal Department was a cluster of small buildings just east of the wye and across the tracks from the B&B Department. See this section for more info.
Paine Street Houses Between Manning Paper & Eagle Foundry
No. 43, Gothic Revival House