Discarded Trolley Stops became Tourist Cabins
By Richard Palmer
Back in the days when then the Rochester, Syracuse & Eastern interurban electric railway operated, dozens of substantial "cookie cutter" wooden shelters were constructed and placed at country road crossings and small villages for the convenience of passengers. They were heated by electricity.
When the RS&E was abandoned in 1931 most of these buildings were sold to local residents and, like old trolley cars, were recycled for various purposes. Several of these buildings were purchased and moved to Port Byron and were located on Rochester Street, or Route 31, just west of the village. Decorated with curtains they were rented as cabins to overnight travelers until well into the 1950s.
The buildings were purchased at auction by Fred Thrush and the business was called Octagon Cabins. It included an ice cream stand and gas station. The last owner was Sam Narnden. In time the business was discontinued and the trolley stops were apparently demolished or once again moved away.
Trolley stops are known to exist in the towns of Camillus, Elbridge, Fairport, and a smaller version in North Syracuse. They were all the same on the RS&E system that also the lines from Port Byron to Auburn, Auburn and Syracuse, Syracuse to Oswego and Syracuse to South Bay and Brewerton.
Photos courtesy of William Hecht of Union Springs and Port Byron Historical Society.