Brooktondale Trestle

Trestle then
Trestle then
Trestle now

In 1871 the Utica, Ithaca & Elmira Railroad was formed, with Ezra Cornell as director and principal financier. Cornell lost an estimated two million dollars investing in railroads.1 Its tracks entered Tompkins County from the south through the White Church Valley in Caroline, crossed Six Mile Creek at Brooktondale, and then turned west along the south side of Snyder Hill, parallel to Route 79. At East Hill it turned east (its crossing over Judd Falls Road has become a pedestrian trail), passing through Freeville and Dryden on way to Cortland.

“The wooden trestle at Brookton was…completed in December 1875. It was made of foot-square timbers cut from area forests and set close together in several tiers 1600 feet long and 85 feet high…

“In [1889] the wooden structure was replaced by one of steel.…

“Lehigh Valley Railroad service was discontinued on 1 July 1935… and in short order, the trestle was taken down by a small crew of Bethlehem Steel company workmen.”2

  1. Herbert V. Trice, The Gangly Country Cousin, DeWitt Historical Society, 2008, p. 48 & 51.
  2. Barbara B. M. Kone, et. al., A History of the Town of Caroline,, p. 65–66.
Traces of the old track bed can still be seen just north of the north end of the trestle.