Week after week, Oneonta and area residents followed the progress of the building of the Albany & Susquehanna Railroad as it slowly approached the village. Between the railroad and other business transactions, there were some significant developments in the late months of 1863, reported by The Oneonta Herald.
The railroad’s arrival had been a certainty, but where the village’s hub would be located remained a mystery until the report in the Nov. 25, 1863, edition.
“The Committee appointed by the Board of Directors to designate the location of the Depot buildings in this village, consisting of Messrs. Ramsey, Westover and Watson, met in this village last week, and after viewing the ground and hearing the opinions of those most interested in in the matter, decided that the best place, and most convenient for business men, and for the interest of the Company, and for the village as now situated, would be on the grounds of E.R. Ford, about seventy-five rods in the rear of said Ford’s store. There will be a road opened to the depot between Mr. Ford’s Store and McCrum’s dwelling house—the Engine house, shed and other buildings now occupying the space are to be moved off.”
Ford’s store was located near today’s Ford Block on Main Street, where Key Bank is. The road became Broad Street, demolished in the early 1970s for the city’s urban renewal program, and the site is now occupied by the Clarion Hotel and Muller Plaza. That original depot was near today’s Stella Luna Ristorante on Market Street, which was the third depot built on those grounds in 1892.
NEW STREETS OPENED
“Solon Huntington has run out a street commencing at the head of Dietz street, and running west to the road leading to Laurens, past Gilbert Campbell’s; he has extended the street up by the Methodist Church out to intersect the street running west from Dietz street.”