CHAZY - The renovation of a historic train depot in the town of Chazy has given the building a new life and the town, a new business.
Town resident Carolyn Tetreault has renovated the former Delaware and Hudson Railway building off State Route 9 and recently opened The Station Caf and Gifts, offering soups, sandwiches, baked goods, among various lines of merchandise. The business occupies a building which has been in the community since the early 1900s, when the late William H. Miner had it constructed.
According to Marie Gennett, who once served as the town's historian, the depot replaced a previous station building that was created from an old box car. Utilizing his own architect, Miner commissioned the Callanan Brothers from Keeseville to build a formal depot, which opened in 1910. The station's first schedule included stops in Rouses Point and New York City, she said.
"It was used quite a bit way back then, but it hasn't been used as a passenger station I think since the mid-1960s," said Tetreault.
When she purchased the building in November 2007, Tetreault had her work cut out for her.
"The main structure was fine, it just needed plumbing, heating, electricity, water, septic," Tetreault said, laughing. "Restoring it was probably the same cost as building a building from scratch, but I wanted to do it because it's very unique and part of the history of Chazy."
The station sat vacant once it was no longer used by the railroad, said Tetreault. Years later, it became home to a youth center operated by the local American Legion post, she said, and sat vacant again once the center closed its doors. The building was used for storage by its previous owner until Tetreault took ownership of it last year.
"I really wanted just the depot, but it came with a house and four acres of land," said Tetreault. "So, I guess I have a house now."
While the building has been painstakingly restored and houses several pieces of railroad paraphernalia - including a restored bench from the train station in Westport - Tetreault has even more plans for the building.
"In the spring, I want to build out the patio area. I'd like to be able to host events like workshops or performances, maybe even book signings," she said. "I wanted to do something different to bring people here."
"We need more businesses to come here, so hopefully this will help encourage others," she added.
The Station Caf and Gifts can be reached at 846-RAIL (7425).