Saturday, April 30, 2022

Wyoming County Golden Age Remnant:

To save last remaining depot of four: Historical Society looks at preserving
old railroad station in Warsaw

The old Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburg passenger station was once a village hub. Well-kept and attractive, it was one of the first places travelers would see upon their arrival. But now it’s largely forgotten and deteriorating.

Village history enthusiasts are now worried about the building’s deteriorating condition — especially since the former BR&P freight house was unceremoniously demolished in December 2020.

“I may be responsible for pushing the Historical Society into looking to preserve the station,” said Gary Towner on Wednesday. “As a railroad buff with an interest in local history, I am still disgusted, as are many others, that the freight house, which was in good condition and could have been repurposed, was razed, and encouraged the society to preserve the station before it went the way of the freight house.

The passenger depot was built in 1906 at the village’s east hill on Park Street. It was part of a complex of railroad buildings which once existed at the location.

A contemporary newspaper story from its opening noted handsome furniture, men’s and women’s waiting rooms, ticket and telegraph offices, and electric lighting. But its use was largely curtailed in summer 1953 when passenger service was discontinued.

The building was otherwise used by railroad maintenance crews over the ensuing decades. Its location is now out-of-the-way and it sees little in the way of visitors.

Towner’s idea is to turn it into a museum, which is where the Warsaw Historical Society comes in. (continued)

“We were contacted last year about saving the passenger depot at the top of Park Street,” said George Anna Almeter of the Historical Society. “We have since attempted to contact the owner railroad to discuss the possibility of acquiring the depot — no luck to date. No doubt concerns over liability would be likely if the RR deeded the property to the Society.”

The Historical Society has talked with an area landowner who has offered to gift the land at one of two possible locations in the village, she said.

“The next hurdle is to get it moved,” Almeter said. “Estimated costs per Gary Towner’s inquiries could be over $50,000, as it appears the depot would to some extent need to be dismantled for truck hauling. Then there’s the cost of a concrete pad, sewer and water hookups.

“Gary mentioned an alternative,” she continued. “Building a tall wide fence in the back of the depot would discourage trespassers from frolicking on the tracks behind the depot on which trains pass today. Of course it all depends on the railroad.”

So the idea at the moment remains just that, although Towner and the Historical Society continue to work on it.

The depot’s roof appears to be in poor condition with possibly a large hole, she said. The windows are boarded up and she doesn’t know if they’re intact.

The exterior otherwise looks OK but has been hit by graffiti in places.

“We took numerous exterior photos for submission to the Pomeroy Foundation for a grant for the costs of a historic roadside marker to be installed in the Village right of way on the front side area at 116 Park Street,” Almeter said. “The depot is eligible for listing on the National Register.”

So why save the building?

Towner and Almeter each said the depot harkens back to Warsaw’s golden age of manufacturing.

It was one of several such structures in the village — besides the demolished freight house, the rival Erie Railraod had its own depot on the village’s west hill, which was itself torn down in the 1970s.

“Both offered passenger service, and both serviced the numerous salt mines in the area,” Towner said. “However, the BR&P was the only one to serve Warsaw industries via a switchback that led down into the village. That explains why there was a freight house in the middle of the village. Although the rails are long gone, you can still walk the switchback roadbed which comes out by Upstate Door on Industrial Street. A concrete whistle post is still there, and there are also remnants of the bridge that crossed the Oatka Creek in back of Montgomery Lumber.”

Towner said there are many BR&P enthusiasts. A museum could include BR&P artifacts along with those of its local successors, the Baltimore & Ohio and Chessie System.

The depot and its property are currently used by the Rochester & Southern railroad, which is itself part of the Connecticut-based Genesee & Wyoming Inc., which is one of the world’s biggest short line holding companies.

The tracks adjoining the depot are still active and see regular freight traffic. Trespassing on the tracks and property are forbidden.

“I am going to contact the R&S office in Rochester and hopefully get an answer,” Towner said. “We hope the owner would either donate the station or sell it to us for a token payment. Before the Erie station was razed, the railroad offered it to the society for $1 with the caveat that it be moved. The curator at that time turned down the offer.”

“If it gets to the point where the society has possession, it will contact the Genesee Country Village and Museum for advice since they have moved many buildings to Mumford,” he said.

So with three of Warsaw’s best-known railroad buildings gone, they’re hoping to save the last.

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SILVER LAKE EXPERIENCE (SLE) - Registration now Open for this August 4-6, 2022's SLE. See:


Walter D. “Pete” Mairs, 81, died peacefully on July 23, 2021. Born in Avon, N.Y., on Sept. 3, 1939, Pete was a longtime resident of Geneva, N.Y., and these past many years in Buffalo, N.Y., as well as his beloved Silver Lake. Pete is survived by his wife, Linda Bergstrom Mairs, a loving and true companion; children, Mimi C. Mairs, Jonathan B. Mairs; sisters, June Huff, Helen Dole; brother, Thomas Mairs; stepchildren, Daniel Brinkworth, Jennie Ramsey; sister-in-law, Anne Bergstrom, eight beautiful grandchildren, and nieces and nephews. A service and celebration of life is planned for the fall when all can share the joy of Pete’s life together. Arrangements by Stephenson – Dougherty Funeral Home, Avon, N.Y.

Editor's Note: It was a privilege knowing and working with Pete Mairs during his presidency of the Silver Lake Institute. He was a kind and gentle man, but also firm in his leadership. I served as Treasurer and Chaplain of SLI during those years and I could always depend on Pete's presence in the worship service. He was a man of faith and a gem of a human being. May he rest in God's care.


Gerald C. Sahrle, 80, of Perry, passed away on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester. He was born on Oct. 10, 1941, in Wayland, N.Y., to the late Charles A. and Helen I. (Blowers) Sahrle. Gerry was a line foreman for 32 1/2 years for NYSE&G, working out of the Perry and Hamburg locations, and was a Town of Perry Councilman. He was a member of the Free and Accepted Masons of the Constellation Lodge -404 in Perry. He was an avid fisherman, hunter and woodworker. He is survived by his wife, Valary A. (Conley) Sahrle; 1 son, Gerald (Pamela) Sahrle II of Silver Springs; 2 sisters, Millie Edmond of Greece, Bonnie Fink of Winston-Salem, N.C., 3 brothers, Ronald (Linda) Sahrle of Dansville, Robert (Susan) Sahrle of Springwater, Kenneth Sahrle of Dansville; 5 grandchildren, Bradley Musscarella, Stone and Winston Sahrle, Conley and Cooper Gayton; along with many nieces, nephews and friends. Along with his parents, he is preceded in death by a brother, Thomas Sahrle, who passed away in 2012. Services will be held at the convenience of the family. Gerry will be laid to rest in West Perry Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Perry Center Fire Department, P.O. Box 204, Perry, NY 14530. For more information, please call (585) 237-2626 or to leave a message of condolence, visit Arrangements completed by Eaton-Watson Funeral Home, LLC. 98 North Main Street, Perry, NY 14530.

Editor's Note: Gerald and Valarie could always be seen in the family pew with Pamela, Stone and Winston at Perry First United Methodist Church and continue to be loved. Gerry will be sorely missed. Both were supporters of the Arts at the Silver Lake Institute and Valarie was active in painting and participating in the Annual Show in August. Valarie's presence was always valued and appreciated.


"Kathy P." passed November 8, 2021, of Hamburg and Boston, NY. Beloved daughter of Joseph and Barbara Michalak; loving sister of Daniel Michalak; devoted wife of the late Jeffrey Praczkajlo; cherished mother of Jennifer (Shawn) Jump; loving babcia of Lily Jump; also survived by many beloved family members and friends who became her family. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

Editor's Note: "Kathy P." as she was better known to us at Silver Lake was an annual summer visitor for most of the last number of years at the invitation of Silver Laker Julia Hoffner. She stayed at the Hoffner Cottage, and became known as both the fun visitor with the vivacious smile to the neighbors at the intersection of Haven Ave. and the Ames Walkway. Kathy P. and Julie could be seen walking and talking between the cottage and the Hoffner boathouse where they could be close to the water. She was also occasionally seen at the Saturday morning breakfasts at Stoody Hall. Her stay was anywhere between 4 days and a week where she had the opportunity to develop a love for Silver Lake. She was not yet eligible for retirement when late last week she developed "a cold" and had to remain home from her job. She did not update her condition over the weekend so the local police made a wellness visit and found her deceased on Monday. She was one of those many people who found Silver Lake and friendship for brief respites where she also found new strength and energy to return to work. She is being particularly mourned by those in the Haven/Ames neighborhood. She will be memorialized next summer at the annual Celebration of Life Memorial Service at Epworth Hall.


Brenda Joan Paddock, 82, of Perry, born April 15, 1939, now resides in heaven with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Brenda met Jesus as her Savior in 1965. She met him in person on Nov. 14, 2021. She had a beautiful homecoming with music, singing and praying, leading her into Glory. Her last words were “I am well, I am well.”

Brenda’s greatest loves were her family and friends. Brenda had five children with her husband Roger: Don and Daelene Paddock of Florida, Jody and Tim Von Sanden of Pavilion, Bradley and Jeanie Paddock of Warsaw, Jennifer and Paul Guy of Massachusetts, and Nathan and Jill Paddock of Perry.

Brenda dearly loved her grandchildren: Jessica Morillo, Nikki and Clint O’Brien, Luke Paddock, Paul Paddock, Ian and Brooklyn Paddock, Joe and Louana Paddock, Burke and Megan Paddock, Aaron Paddock, Ellen Paddock, Andrew Paddock, Rachael Paddock, Abigail Paddock, Erik and Cassandra Von Sanden, Jacquelyn and Michael Jones, Tim Von Sanden, Brandon and Brandee Paddock, Jamey and Laura Paddock, Peter and Kara Guy, Candy and Jay Waitkevich, Marlo and Ryan Bolger and Jenna and Rory Peterson.

Brenda was blessed and loved her great grandchildren: Chloe, Olivia and Nicholas Von Sanden, Joshua and Jaxon Morillo, Jameson and Cassandra O’Brien, Atlas Paddock, Noah and Ezra Jones, Colton, Brantley and Charlotte Guy, Cameron Waitkevich, Amelia Bolger and Brennen Leonard.

Brenda is also survived by her brother and sister in laws; Frank and Emma Paddock, Viva and Jim Phillips-Richardson and Kurt and Lynn Paddock.

Brenda first started working as a secretary at Perry Central School. She then assisted her husband building Paddock’s Breeding Service. Roger and Brenda together built and ran the Sandsabarn teenage nightclub. Brenda was owner and operator of Serendipity Travel. Brenda’s pleasures included playing organ and piano. She played at a number of area churches along with performing for her loved ones. UPDATED -- Brenda also played with conviction at both indoor and outdoor services at the Silver Lake Institute where her grandson, Luke, sang at Epworth Hall on several occasions and was appreciated by all who heard his inspiring voice.

Brenda was preceded in death by her parents Noble and Freda Buckland, her husband Roger and son Bradley.

A Committal service at West Perry Cemetery will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, November 17 at 11 a.m., followed by a Celebration of Life at LaGrange Baptist Church at 4 p.m.

Memorial donations may be made in Brenda’s honor to the LaGrange Baptist Church 7092 LaGrange Rd. Perry, NY 14530 or to the First Congregational Church P.O. Box 156 Perry, NY 14530. Arrangements completed by Eaton-Watson Funeral Home, LLC. 98 N. Main St., Perry, N.Y. 14530. For more information or to sign the online guest registry please visit

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AUGUST 4-7, 2022
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