LOCATION OF THE HORSEHEADS HISTORICAL SOCIETY
In the 1800's any village worth it's salt pointed with pride to its Railroad depot. As the focal point for commerce and community pride, the railroad station bespoke volumes about the village.
Horseheads citizens in the early 1860's were somewhat embarrassed by the condition of their depot if the following account written in the 1860's is to be taken as gospel.
“On the morning of January 6, 1864, the old depot building burned. This none regretted as it was good for nothing and a disgrace to the village
Our citizens had long been endeavoring to get the Railroad Company to build a new depot, worthy of the town and the large patronage our our citizens bestowed. The destruction of this building opened the way to negotiations for a new depot. Finally, through the efforts of some of our leading citizens, a sufficient sum was raised by subscription to furnish the brick for a new depot. With this aid, the company commenced the construction of a new building in 1866 and Horseheads citizens had the pleasure of witnessing the completion of one of the best and most substantial brick depots in this section of the country.”
Interestingly, Horseheads was home to no less than four passenger depots. The Pennsylvania, Delaware, Lackawanna & Western, Lehigh Valley and Erie Railroads all had depots within a short radius of one another.
The Pennsylvania Railroad depot, located along what was known as the “Elmira Branch” of the PRR, is the only one standing. Passenger service along the Williamsport, PA to Canandauguia, NY line ended on January 2,1956.
In the years that followed, the depot was sold to the nearby feed company for use as a storage facility. In 1994 the building was sold to private ownership for use as a business. In the fall of 1995 the depot was purchased by the Horseheads Historical Society for preservation and use as museum, replacing the Zim Center.
Volunteers began work in 1997. Restoration through volunteer labor, donations of services, and financial support by interested people came to fruition in the summer of 1999. It was officially opened September 18,1999. The depot now has display areas, a meeting room, gift shop, office space kitchen and restroom facilities, and storage space. It houses Museum displays and artifacts related to the history of Horseheads. It is a true testament to its longevity and to the dedication of the volunteers who gave of their time and labor to make this museum a place of which Horseheads can be proud.
Horseheads Historical Society
312 West Broad Street
Horseheads, New York 14845
Phone: (607) 739-3938