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Railway History in the Adirondack Mountains

North Creek has long held a place in history for firsts and for ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ experiences that only people have heard from grandparents, aunts and uncles and perhaps history books.

Not as widely known, is the importance of the Saratoga and North Creek Railway and its impact on not only the history of the Adirondacks but the United States as well.

In 1864, Dr. Thomas Durant of Union Pacific Railroad, acquired rights to build a railroad track system that connected Saratoga Springs and North Creek, NY–over 62 miles of track! 

He completed the momentous project in 1871 and, after his death, his son, with the help of another large railroad corporation, expanded  further north into Blue Mountain Lake and Raquette Lake.

The North Creek Railroad Station was built in 1871 upon completion and acquisition of the northern section of the Adirondack Railroad. The railroad served mainly as transportation for garnet mining, both miners and goods in the early to late 1800’s until the onset of the Industrial Revolution and World War 2. 

Perhaps the most memorable piece of history, and an even more interesting story is how (and where) Theodore Roosevelt learned that his predecessor, President William McKinley had been shot.  

On September 6th, 1901, William McKinley was shot at the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. At this time, Theodore Roosevelt was preparing to make an address in Vermont on Lake Champlain. When he learned of the news, he decided to go to Buffalo to be close in case he passed away suddenly or the surgery was not successful.

Despite concerns, the surgery appeared to be successful and Roosevelt decided to go back to the Tahawus Club, where he stayed occasionally.

During his journey, McKinley’s health took a sudden turn for the worse which compelled Roosevelt to return to Buffalo via The North Creek Train Station. 

When he arrived at the North Creek Train Station, at around 4:45am on September 14th, Roosevelt received word that President William McKinley had passed away early that morning.  Later that week, he was sworn in as the 26th President of The United States of America.

After over 150 years  of serving as a hub for industry,  the railway station now serves as a museum,  a base for Revolution Rail, a company that takes you up the old portion of tracks on bikes designed for railroads, and a gift shop for Hudson River Trading Company.

North Creek is sure to peak the interest of any history lover, and with The Alpine Lodge located on Main Street, you will find yourself lost in a world of comfort and luxury while you take a walk through history! Book Now!

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264 Main Street
North Creek, NY 12853
Phone: 518.251.2451
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