- Grant Recipient
- 10127 State Route 90, Genoa, NY
- 42.668891, -76.530183
Genoa Historical Association
A train depot which serviced the now defunct Ithaca-Auburn Short Line once stood nearby. Prior to highways, trains were the primary method to transport goods to market. Smaller depots such as this one linked towns and allowed people, especially those in rural areas, to easily travel to larger cities.
An article published in the June 6, 1907 The Genoa Tribune explains that in 1900, “a company was organized and an application was made to the State Railroad Commission for a charter” to allow for the construction of a railway between Auburn and Ithaca. The railway would travel between Cayuga Lake and Owasco Lake, unlike the Lehigh Valley Company who owned an existing railway running along the shores of both lakes. The charter was granted. On September 27, 1905 the first rail was laid and two years later, the railroad from Genoa to Auburn was finished (The Genoa Tribune, 6 Jun 1907). By 1909, the full Ithaca-Auburn Short Line was complete and offering freight and passenger service (The Ithaca Journal, 8 Jan 2005).
The railroad was around 36 miles and the complete trip from one city to the other took around one hour and forty five minutes. From Ithaca to South Lansing the railway was powered by electricity with overhead trollies. From South Lansing to Auburn a steam engine was utilized (The Ithaca Journal, 11 Jul 1992).
Genoa, similar to many other small towns, had a depot at their train stop along the Short Line. The depot provided passengers with a more comfortable waiting area shielded from the elements of weather. It also offered a space for people to store luggage and purchase train tickets. Genoa’s depot was similar in style to other depots from that period: a smaller building with a large covered deck surrounding the exterior (Genoa Depot Postcard, Genoa Historical Association, 6 Jun 1907).
As mentioned in The Ithaca Journal on June 23, 1914, the Central New York Southern Railroad bought out and reorganized the Auburn-Ithaca Short Line that year. The railway was given a new schedule allowing for more daily trips to each city and it was to be outfitted with brand new train cars. Despite these improvements, by the 1920s the railway was struggling to stay afloat. On March 6 1923, the Democrat and Chronicle announced that the Ithaca-Auburn Short Line fell into foreclosure and was sold to Ford, Bacon & Davis, a management firm from New York City (Cayuga County, NY Department of Assessment and Taxation). Railroad service terminated on October 31, 1923 and in the following years its rails were removed (The Genoa Tribune, 26 Sep 1924).