In January of 1950 Burt Jaquith wrote an editorial about the depot. Years ago Forest had no depot building. The Pennsylvania Railway had it ticket office and waiting room in the Forest City House and the Big Four Railway rented space in the Scott House for its ticket office and waiting room. For many years the citizens of Forest clamored for a depot, but to no avail. When clamoring failed, ridicule was tried. One Halloween a double toilet was moved to a spot near the railroad crossing. One door to the building waa labeled Pennsylvania Raiway ticket office and the other door Big Four Railway ticket office. However no tickets were sold in this building, for early the next morning the building was removedd away by the section men. In those days, before the automobile age, many passengers changed cars in Forest, and there was no depot building. Now Forest has a fine depot building, and no passengers to use same, so the depot building is being advertised for sale. How time have changed.
By 19 May 1950 no trains stopped in Forest on the Pennsylvania Railroad and had not for several months prior. Even if one did obtain a ticket, they could not get or or off a Pennsylvania train in Forest as the platforms on both sides of the tracks had been removed and the depot sold. Too many automobiles had kill railroad service by the Pennsylvania into and out of Forest.
In October, 1950 a depot still stood at the crossing of the Pennsylvania and the N.Y.C. railroads in Forest. It served as a monument to the memory of people who reside in Forest when tains once stopped.
After purchase of the depot by Dow Harman, Jr. of Forest, it was torn down and the lumber salvaged. The depot, located near the crossing of the Pennsylvania and the New York Central railways, and used as a union station since 1928, disappeared.
The railroads passing through Forest after March, 1951 were running some beautiful streamlined trains, but one would have to look quickly to see the trains because they didn't even hesitate on their way past Forest.
In February, 1956 village council was approached by Howard A. Walton, owner of several properties in Forest, who appeared with a problem involving a property located across the street from the offices of the Burk & Fox plant and back of the home formerly owned by Herbert Hawthorne on East Lima street. It seemed that many years before, circa 1896, the Pennsylvania Railroad acuired title to the property bounded on the north by Sandusky avenue, on the east by N. Warner street, and on the west by an alley which extended from Lima street to Sandusky avenue. In the transactionss involved between the railroad and the village officials, a portion of Sandusky avenue was given to the railroad in exchange for a forty foot strip of land on the south end of the lot. Then another twenty foot strip of land was given by the railroad to the village off the west part of the lot which wa added to the existing alley, increasing the alley width from twenty feet to forty feet, thus providing a forty foot street around the railroad property which was to be the site of a new depot. A union station was erected near the crossing of the Pennsylvania and New York Central tracks and the depot proposal on Sandusky avenue abandoned. Since then, the deeds have indicated the property adjoined the railroad on the north and an undeveloped street which crossed the south end of the lot owned by Walton having been acquired by J.E. Simpson who purchased it from the railroad years earlier. Confusion occurred. Walton suggested the village join with him to get the property redeeded so the property and streets could remain. If not, the village stood to lose use of a portion of Sandusky avenue and Walton would lose the use of the forty foot southern strip of property. A water main ran east and west through the strip which was considered a street but which would become private property in the exchange and correction of deeds. Councilmen agreed that a mutual benefit would had to revert the property back to current state, but the question was, what to do about the water line? Clearing the title to the property would involve considerable expense from funds not available. Solicitor Alfred Brindley was requested by council to investigage the title and make a report.
At the March meeting of the Village Council Mr. Brindley made a report on the problem presented at the February meeting in regard to the property located near the Pennsylvania Railroad between Warner and Gormley streets, opposite the Burk & Fox Company. It appeared that on 7 sep 1896 the Village of Forest vacated a portion of East Sandusky avenue to permit the railroad company to build a depot adjacent to their right-of-way. The tract of land in consideration was deeded to the railroad by a William Jackson in February, 1896. He also deeded a portion of the area to the village for street purposes. In the intervening years, the several deeds which had been conveyed, had confused the property lines to the extent that it was believed three owners were involved in the matter; the railroad, the village, and Howard Walton. Walton had recently purchased the main portion of Lots 7 and 8 of Block 8, the property questioned. Walton was seeking to have the lots restored to their original position which would assure the village of the use of Sandusky avenue and would give him use of a forty foot section on the south end of the lot which had been plotted for a street encircling the depot property. Further negotiation between Walton and the Village Solicitor would be required before legal action could be taken by the officials who desired to cooperate with Walton in restoring the property to its original staus without involving the expense of moving or the liability for a water line located on the portion thought to belong to the village, but never used a a throughfare.
Village Council voted in July, 1957 to abandon a small parcel of land once given for street purposes when the village was negotiating with the Pennsylvania Railway Company for a new depot to be located near the Burk & Fox Company plant on Sandusky avenue. In a published copy of the resolution of the Council, a description of the parcel was given. It was somewhat hard to decipher, but refered to a ten foot wide strip of land along a lot paralleling an alley near property acquired by Howard A. Walton in rear of the Shell station.
Council Vacates Alley Near Pa. Railroad
At their regular meeting held Monday night, October 13, Village Councilmen agreed to vacate an alley between Blanchard Street and the Pennsylvania Railroad. The request to vacate was made by Howard A. Walton, owner of teh grain elevator located along the railroad and on the alley named above. Blanchard street parallels the railroad between N. Martin and N. Davis streets. The alley has not been in use for many years. At one time, a stock yard was maintained on the site of the present grain tanks.
After nearly seven months of study, discussion, and investigation the retiring members of the Village Council dumped the matter of vacating a portion of a downtown alley and the swap of an unimporved street for part of Sandusky avenue into the laps of the newly-elected councilmen who were to take over in January, 1958. At a meeting on 8 Dec 1957 the final meeting for four of the six Councilmen, Howard Walton appeared again before the group in his effors to clear title to land acquired from the railroad which was involved in a deal with the village years before for the purpose of erecting a depot. Sitting with the Councilmen were members of the Water Board, D. Ray Baum, Ralph MCElroy, and Clyde Seebach. The Board of Public Affairs were involved since a main water line laid in the land discussed and would have to be relocated if the change of land and vacation of a portion of the alley were allowed.
This is an alley?
Some doubt it. Others deny it. No one can prove it by ovservation. And until recently no on particularly cared whether the alley existed or not. In fact, for many years a stock yard business operated over it. More recently grain storage tanks were built over it ...also over a water line... which later broke. Then the existance and ownership of the alley became really important. That was the day doubts began to develop. But its all settled now ...by action of Village Council... it's now off the record ...vacated once and for all... by Ordinance No. 479.
The Village Council had the matter under consideration for more than six months. In order to permit the construction of a depot along Pennsylvania Railroad, the village in 1896 authorized a portion of Sandusky avenue to be closed in exchange for a ten foot parcel of land on the south end of the quarter block bounded by Sandusky avenue on the north, Warner street on the east, private property to the south, and an alley on the west, and acquired an additional twenty feet of the quarter block parcel along the west alley to provide for a full forty foot street around the proposed depot. According to the deed held by Walton, he owned that part of Sandusky avenue from Warner street to the first alley west and all of the quarter block parcel except a ten foot strip along the east line of the alley. Walton was seeking to have Sandusky street revert back to the Village in exchange for the forty foot strip on the south and the vacating of the ten foot strip along the alley which would put the property back into it original state and as it then existed. None of the changes made by the Village in 1896 had ever been put into use. Village Councilmen had agreed previously to proceed with all necessary legislation to fulfill the request by Walton, however, since the main water line serving the northt side of the business block was in the center of the forty foot strip it was deemed necessary to ask the Board of Public Affairs if avenue line could be moved and costs the Board assume costs. In November Walton estimated the cost of relocating about three hundred feed of line would cost the Council $3 per foot. He offered to assume the cost of the work. Member of the Board of Public Affairs advised Council that the line was satisfactory and should any expense should occur it should be born by those to be benefitted. Some council members believed that Walton should pay for any movement of the line. Others believed that the village should pay. In the end, Brindley, village solicitor, advised Council and Walton that formal petition for vacancy would be required. Retiring councilmen were unwilling to commit. It was left with blowing corn cobs and smelly sewers.