TOWN OF LLOYD HISTORIC PRESERVATION SOCIETY TROLLEY PROJECT
The Town of Lloyd Historic Preservation Society is pleased to announce its new Trolley Project. The project is described in the text below. If you would like to become either a SPONSOR or a participating ARTIST, please contact Vivian Wadlin for more information and for application forms. Vivian can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Town of Lloyd Historical Preservation Society’s mission is, in part, to collect and preserve artifacts, materials, sites and information which pertain to the historic heritage of the town, and to share that heritage with Lloyd residents and visitors. We have chosen street art as a “vehicle” to accomplish that. Street art brings new people to towns and helps residents appreciate a perhaps under-appreciated aspect of their town’s history. Esopus Tug Boats and Saugerties Light Houses are recent examples. The Lloyd Historical Society (Highland) has chosen Trolleys as its theme.
Impact of the Trolley Line The main trolley line ran from the landing at the Hudson River in Highland to the Wallkill River in New Paltz. Another trolley was pulled across the Poughkeepsie Railroad Bridge (now Walkway Over The Hudson) by a small locomotive and met the main trolley at Pratt’s Mills where passengers could complete or continue their trip.
The trolley line made possible changes in economic and social life for almost everyone in the two townships. It brought tourists who would disembark at the West Shore Railroad or from the ships docking in Highland, board the trolley and be distributed along the line at businesses, stores, boarding houses, casinos, churches, schools, or make connections to go to the Mountain Houses west of New Paltz. At New Paltz, the traveler could also connect to the Wallkill Valley rail line. In Highland, one could connect to the Hudson River steam ships or the West Shore Rail line.
Land along the trolley’s path became more valuable. Boarding houses sprung up. People could travel to and from jobs and class rooms. It expanded the horizons not only along its own route but to all the connection transportation along the Hudson River and the Wallkill River basin.
Brief History of the line The New Paltz, Highland, and Poughkeepsie Traction Company was the last of four owners and ran it from 1903 until 1925, most of the trolley line’s existence. The first company to own it was the New Paltz and Highland Electric Railroad (1893 to 1897). Between the two lines chronologically were the 1897-1900 New Paltz and Wallkill Valley Railroad and New Paltz and Poughkeepsie Traction Company 1900-1903. It was not an operational entity until after 1897 even though initial plans had been made in 1893.
Early in its life, the trolley line was successful because the competition from buses and automobiles was rare, roads were poor or non-existent, and the Mid-Hudson Bridge was not completed until 1930.
The trolley route was laid out along the New Paltz Turnpike, a private toll road. The trolley company paid $17,500.00 for the Turnpike Co. stock and promised to continue it as a turnpike as well. $90,000 of capital stock was to be sold at $100 per share to provide the money for building the line, purchasing ties, erecting the overhead power lines, construction and equipping the powerhouse, and purchasing the moving stock. The electric power was supplied at Centerville, now Fire Station #2 near the intersection of Old New Paltz Road and Route 299.
Cars would leave New Paltz and Highland every hour with a fifty-minute running time. The fare was 25 cents. US Mail distribution was also a money maker for the line, as was transporting milk and other fresh products. There were a number of accidents on the line and unfortunately the passenger injury suits often kept the fortunes of the trolley line low.
Trolley Street Art Project The street art trolley’s playful design is by Jim Fawcett of Highland. The mold for it was produced by Niekamp Tool Co, in Kingston. Each trolley is manufactured by USHECO of Kingston using vacuum molding of plastic. Trolleys have a wooden internal structure to reinforce and hold the two molded sides together. USHECO has made many of the street art projects throughout several local counties.
Trolleys are “adopted” or sponsored by a business, individual, or group. The sponsor pays to have the trolley molded and its internal and external support structures produced. This runs from $500 to $700. The sponsor can have their own design, or choose from among designs offered by area artists. Artists submit an application with their design ideas on paper and if the design is chosen by a sponsor, the artists are given the trolley blank with internal supports, $50 for materials, and a contract and copyright release to sign. When completed, the trolleys are professionally clear-coated to help weatherproof them and erected in designated places where they are likely to be viewed.
Each trolley will have a plaque giving the sponsor’s identity, the artist’s name, and the name of the trolley.
After the trolleys have been erected “on the street” for three-four months, they are taken down and sold at a benefit auction. The money raised by the trolley project is to help fund the restoration of the 1760 Deyo House in Highland. If a sponsor has put their own logo on the art, they pay a premium as the trolley will be less likely to sell at auction.
Trolleys will be auctioned at a benefit party that will be free for sponsors and artists.
TOLHPS is working with members of the New Paltz Historical Society to give both towns an opportunity to tout their trolley history.
The Lloyd Historical Society website, TOLHPS.org, has the artist and sponsor agreements, details, and timeline.