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Marshall Historical Society
Note: Deansboro was originally named Deansville until 1894, when it was renamed.
Built in 1867, the Deansboro Depot began service on January 6, 1868. This train station was operational for nearly a century and provided travelers with a place to buy tickets for passage to neighboring towns and a spot where they could wait for their upcoming departure. It was part of the Ontario & Western Railroad, also known as the O&W RR.
According to an 1878 book by Samuel Durant entitled, History of Oneida County, New York, the opening of the Chenango Canal in 1837 created an economy boost that led to the push for other forms of transportation to further connect communities. In the 1850s, discussions were held to establish of a railroad connecting Utica in the north to Binghamton, near the Pennsylvania border. After one failed attempt in 1859, Samuel Durant’s 1878 book History of Oneida County, New York, explained that, a few years later in 1863, the Utica City Railroad Company was formed and “built a street road from Utica to New Hartford.” The next year the charter for the Utica City Railroad Company was enlarged and a steam road from New Hartford to Clinton was built and trains began running on it in 1866. The charter was again enlarged in 1867 and the route was extended according to History of Oneida County, New York, “under the name of the Utica, Clinton and Binghamton Railroad Company, with a capital of $1,000,000.” The road was completed to Deansville (now Deansboro) in December 1867 and in September 1870 the railroad extended to Hamilton, “where it formed a junction with the New York and Oswego Midland Railroad” (History of Oneida County, New York).
Considering the impending arrival of the railed in Deansboro, residents concluded in 1867 that a station should be built. The Marshall Historical Society’s website states that “the site of the Deansville Depot was selected – on the south side of the road leading to Waterville, hoping for some interest from the residents of Waterville to ride to Clinton.” According to the Deansboro Railroad Station, National Register of Historic Places nomination, 2002, the station building was originally a, “one story, rectangular, timber frame building, 24 by 72 feet, erected above a partial foundation of dry-laid limestone.” The interior included a, “waiting room, station agent’s office, [and] baggage room.” The Marshall Historical Society website explains that this, “was the first tradition railroad board-and-batton depot built along the line of the Utica, Clinton & Binghamton Railroad.” The railroad officially opened to Deansville on January 8, 1868 (Utica Daily Observer, 8 Jan 1868). The first agent of the Deansboro station was James Hanchett, a Marshall, New York native (Marshall Historical Society website).
Per the History of Oneida County, New York, in 1871 the length of the railroad was approximately 32 miles long with a total cost estimated at $1.2 million. It was then “permanently leased” to the New York and Oswego Midland Railroad Company. The New York and Oswego Midland Railroad Company, later renamed the New York, Ontario and Western Railway, had a line that extended over 240 miles – from New Jersey all the way to Oswego, NY (“Map Showing the Location of the N.Y. & Oswego Midland R.R.,” Library of Congress, 1869).
In the Deansboro Railroad Station National Register nomination it was explains that both the railroad and Deansboro Depot remained operational until the mid-1930s, when regular freight and passenger services were terminated. The depot was repurposed for commercial use until 2000, when Brothertown Association, Inc. purchased the building. This association hoped to restore the station building and make it into a community center for the hamlet of Deansboro (Deansboro Railroad Station National Register of Historic Places Nomination).