MOOERS - Once the hub of Mooers, the Mooers Junction railway depot, which was in service for nearly 100 years, is now remembered through a collection of writings.
Larry E. Marnes, current owner of Mooers Junction and longtime railroad collector, recently released a book titled, "Mooers Junction Memories," in order for people to understand the history of the station that closed in 1961. The book includes a reprint of Marnes' book of railroad folklore, "Doubling Over," which has been out of print since 1987.
"The reason for doing the reprint is that there seems to be even more demand for this book presently than there was when it first appeared," wrote Marnes in his dedication to Chris Trombley, his friend who encouraged him to put Mooers Junction Memories together.
The book also includes an edited version of "Mooers Junction" - a monograph of Marnes' late friend Orville K. McKnight.
"He gave me all the notes he had and he gave me some pictures," explained Marnes. "He actually worked in this station between 1910 and 1913 as a telegraph operator. He was here when the place was operating and I don't think you can get a much better source than that."
Marnes explained he had a couple reasons for wanting to put the book together, including making people aware of its true history.
"A lot of people don't realize that there was ever more than one railroad that came in here," Marnes explained, referring to the Delaware Hudson and Rutland railways. "Because the D & H has been gone for so long out of here."
Marnes said he also put the book together to "justify this restoration," referring to the station.
"Anybody that reads [the book] will understand how significant this place was when it was operating as a railroad station," he said. "It explains in there about the facilities and the buildings that immedietely surrounded the place."
Such places include a milk plant, general store and hotel.
"The railroad kind of gave varieties to all this business that was here," Marnes added. "You look at the place now and you can't see that."
Currently utilizing the station as a place for the railroad memorabilia he has collected, Marnes said the profits he makes from the book will go into the upkeep of the building.
When Marnes purchased the building in 2003, the roof was leaking badly, windows were smashed and brush had become overgrown. It took him five years to restore it.
"I think my biggest fear is this is one of the few remaining historical buildings in this town and if somebody doesn't do anything with it, eventually this lot will be sold, somebody will flatten it and build a house here," he said.
Planning to keep it as a museum of sorts, Marnes has put all of his memorabilia of railroad life into the station.
"Most of this is stuff that's been collected, it represents what was here and it's in the places where it was," he said. "Anybody that is interested, if they want to see it, [they] can come in and take a look at it. That's the idea."
Mooers Junction Memories is currently being sold at Cornerstone Drugs & Gifts in Rouses Point and Victoria Station in Mooers Forks, for $15. If interested in contacting Marnes to visit Mooers Junction, call 236-7160.