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Kelly's Corners

Ulster & Delaware Railroad
"The Only All Rail Route Through the Catskills"

Kelly's Corners
1,380 Feet Above Tide

Kelly's Corners (also known as Kelly Corners) was a hamlet that grew up at the confluence of the East Branch of the Delaware River and the Batavia Kill (pronounced by some "Batawvy" Kill), a tributary that flows down the Denver-Vega Valley. This is the intersection today of NYS Route 30 and County Route 36 (Denver-Vega Road).

Now a small cluster of houses, the community once had a post office, a store, a blacksmith shop, and a railroad depot where passengers and freight were collected. It was named for a family that had wide influence in the region. Many today still recall Grant and Lina Kelly who ran a popular boarding house at the family farm located near the crossroads.

Munsellís 1880 History of Delaware County states that a store was opened by William Elmendorff in 1868. The 1869 Beers Atlas shows that L. D. Kelly was a "manufacturer and dealer in lumber," and that N. S. Peet was a blacksmith, producing horse and ox shoes, and repairing wagons and sleighs.

But the area was likely settled much earlier, for Milow and Polly Hubbell established a homestead just north of the crossroads in 1848. The Hubbell homestead has remained in the family for more than 160 years. The Hubbells have operated a farm, sawmill, cider mill, building materials business, car and bicycle dealerships, and more recently construction and equipment rental enterprises from this venerable compound of homes, barns and shops. The Hubbells' businesses were served by the Ulster & Delaware Railroad (earlier Rondout & Oswego and NYK&S, later the New York Central, Penn Central) which had a freight siding nearby, in addition to the passenger depot.

In the early 1900s, there were two creameries in Kelly Corners: the Eureka Creamery, operated by Standard Dairy Co. and Sheffield Farms, which was situated on the opposite side of the East Branch of the Delaware River from the U&D tracks. Milk cans were moved back and forth using a pushcart which ran on a trestle between the creamery and a collection platform. (The origin of the name Eureka, which is also the historical name of the Kelly Corners Cemetery, is a mystery.)

A second creamery was operated by Elgin of the Catskills and Kadans Creamery Co., which manufactured Yankee Brand Cream Cheese. The last owner of the creamery was Barnhart & Brundage, c. 1936. The building was torn down around 1937. It sat next to the railroad tracks by the Route 30 crossings, where Resideís dance hall and roller skating rink was located, part of a complex that included picnic grounds, cabins and a gas station.

Several buildings in the hamlet were taken down when NYS Route 30 was reconstructed and enlarged in 1965. These included the one-room school, District 18, that once stood next to the Kelly Corners (Eureka) Cemetery. The school was dismantled and is now part of a house in nearby Batavia Heights.

(From: Historical Society of Middletown. http://mtownhistory.org/communities/kelly-corners/)

Ulster & Delaware Train Station:
Kelly's Corners


Train Time at Kelly's Corners. Looking north.

Kelly's Corners Station in 1950, long after it had been closed. Photo: Raymond S. Baldwin.


Kelly's Corners was a small stop along the route of the Ulster & Delaware Railroad. The hamlet itself did not get its own station building until 1901, nearly thirty years after the Rondout & Oswego Railroad had constructed the railroad through this area. Never generating much business, the station was open seasonally as early as June, 1922 and was later relegated to just a flag stop.
 
Digital art by P.M. Goldstein
 

Track Plan:
Kelly's Corners

Map drawn by Michael Kudish. Page 1055. 
Mountain Railroads of New York State: Vol. IV. 
Where Did the Tracks Go in the Catskills?
 
Used with permission.

Kelly's Corners Station: This location did not have a station building until 1901 (Source: Ham & Bucenec). The station was only a seasonal operation by June, 1922 (Source: Ham & Bucenec). Never generating much business, the regular stop was discontinued and became a flagstop.

Stub Siding: There was a short stub siding, 0.05 mile long, adjacent to the station. There was a coal bin located at the end of it.

Industry: The hamlet of Kelly's Corners had two creameries. The first, Elgin of the Catskills (later Kadan's, then B&B Creamery Co.) was located 0.75 miles to the south of the station. This creamery was in operation from 1902 until its closing in 1937.

The other, Eureka Creamery (later Sheffield Farms), was located directly across from the station. The station and the creamery were seperated by the floodplain of the East Branch of the Delaware River. To connect the two, the station area and creamery, a wooden tramway was constructed. The tramway terminated at a milk station located catty cornered to the station, opposite the tracks.

Mail Crane: A mail crane was located here, where trains paused to deliver and pick up the mail.

The milk station at Kelly's Corners. The wooden tramway can be seen on the right, as well as the Eureka Creamery in the distance. Source:  Historical Society of Middletown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Images of a Village:

The Hamlet of
Kelly's Corners




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