The Great Railroad Sign Caper of 1940 – 2

The second of three “Then & Now” photos I acquired a while back (here’s the first one).

The origin of these is as interesting as their content: In 1940, someone stole the black-and-yellow “Railroad Crossing” signs at the two Butler crossings on the Paterson-Hamburg Turnpike. An employee of the NYS&W (New York Susquehanna & Western) railroad was sent to document the scene. Were the vandals caught? Doubtful. The signs were, however, replaced.

This 1940 view shows the Paterson-Hamburg Turnpike approaching the second RR crossing as you head north, just past Maple Lake Road. The house in the distance was the Smith general store back when the area was known as Smith Mills.

Click on the photo to see it full size.

The old iron bridge ahead was replaced in 2010. Just beyond it is the building once known as the old Smith general store, still standing, as can be seen in the 2019 Google street view.

Here’s a street view of the same scene today. Feel free to drive along. Many more trees now, so the Smith store is just about visible.

And now, we’ll make a U-turn and take a better look at that lumber yard – and the gas station across the street.