Way back in 2014, I wrote a short post about the Octagon Cabins. These were small waiting rooms that were built for flag stops along the Rochester, Syracuse and Eastern. The "bible" of all study on the RS&E, written by Gordon and McFarlane, describes the stops as such; "The standard shelter was a work of art, very possibly unequaled on any other electric line outside of the Beebe Syndicate (the owners of the line). They were built in a true octagon shape, every joint being a miter. They were 10 feet square and 14 feet high with 8 foot ceilings inside. Each building was erected on one corner of a 16 by 20 foot yellow pine platform. The framing of the shelter was hemlock and the finish both inside and out was chestnut. Each shelter had a hardwood floor and oak seats with a capacity of 8 to 10 people. All buildings were electrically lighted and under the seats three electric car heaters were provided to keep the passengers comfortable even in the most strenuous winter weather. Each shelter cost $400 (about $7600 in 2015 money)" He also wrote (in 1961) that many of the shelters could still be seen west of Port Byron.
Because of the post, I was contacted by someone in Harrisburg, PA who said he had purchased photos of the cabins at a house sale. The collection has 29 images of various quality covering the cabins, the store, and family members. As a collection on a single subject, it is one of the most complete I have seen for a local topic and gives us a fairly complete look at the cabins and the business.
The signs show that this business was owned by FD Thrush, and wife Zella. Is this a photo of the two of them?
Sometime in the 1960's the cabins were removed. So far, I have not been able to find any record of them in that time period.
These cabins tell a story about a period of time, after the rise of the automobile and the demise of the trolley. They show what life was like before the building of the Interstate Highway system that would take people away from the small villages and rural roads. Route 31, Route 20, Route 5; all had small motels and hotels that served the traveling public. But with the building of the Thruway in the 1950's, this period came to an end
And an update- After writing the above post, I spent the better part of the next day searching for more info. I kept running up against the name of Samuel Harnden. I had through that Sam purchased the cabins later, but than Clara McIver wrote and said that the cabins were always owned by Harnden. And then I rediscovered this article that Cheryl Longyear had given me.