Railroads of Fulton County



Railroad Accommodations Introduced

    The first organization for building a railroad into Fulton County was effected in 1865.  The road was to run from Fonda through Johnstown and Gloversville to Caroga.  Considerable engineering was done and some stock subscribed, assurances being held out that enough capital could be obtained to build the road.  The project fell through, however, for want of means, and the balance of subscriptions after the expenses being paid was refunded to the stockholders.

    The second organization was made in 1866.  Considerable stock was subscribed for, but not enough to warrant the company in commencing the work, and it was abandoned.

    A third organization was brought about in autumn of 1866 by a series of meetings held in the court-house at Johnstown, which were largely attended, and at which a good deal of interest was manifested.  As the result of these meetings the Fonda, Johnstown and Gloversville Railroad company was organized on the 16th day of June, 1867, and its articles of association placed on file in the secretary's office on the following day.  One of the resolutions was to the effect that the  road was to be built mainly by bonds on the town of Johnstown.  The town was finally bonded for $275,600.  The commissioners were Daniel Potter, Edward Ward and John Wells.

    A contract was made with Aaron Swartz for constructing the road, September 30, 1867, and the work was begun soon after.  Swartz continued the undertaking for a time, but finding the material to be moved much harder than expected, he assigned his contract to Shipman and Middaugh, who continued the work until November 21st, 1868, when they abandoned it.  The work was continued by the company, hiring hands until the funds which were obtained by subscription and from the sale of the town bonds were exhausted, when the work stopped late in autumn of 1869.  An act was passed during the winter of 169-70 allowing the town of Johnstown to sell its mortgage of $275,600 on the railroad for $100,000, which was accomplished in the spring of 1870.  On the proceeds work was again resumed on the 5th of July 1870, and prosecuted with vigor until the road was finished and ready for the rolling stock.  The line was ready and trains started on the 29th of November, 1870.  Means for finishing the work were obtained from the sale of bonds on the road to the amount of $300,000.

    The Gloversville and Northville Railroad Company was duly organized on the 26th day of June, 1872, and articles of association filed with the Secretary of State that day.  The surveys began as soon as possible, and were finished, and a map and profile filed in the office of the clerk of Fulton county on the 25th of September.  The contract was let for grading and fencing the road on the 19th of September, and the work began soon after.  The means for constructing the line were obtained by stock subscriptions and by bonds on the road, the latter to the amount of $200,000.  The town of Northampton was also bonded in aid of the enterprise, and took stock therefor.  Work progressed slowly, on account of the difficulty in obtaining the money on stock subscriptions.  The track was laid and the road ballasted and ready for trains on the 28th of November, 1875, and trains commenced running that day.  The length of the line from Gloversville to Northville is sixteen miles, and that of Fonda, Johnstown and Gloversville Railroad is ten miles.  The officers of both companies have been and are, W. J. Heacock, president; D. A. Wells, vice-president; and John McNab, treasurer.  L. Calen was engineer during the construction of the roads and has been superintendent since they came into operation.


Source – "History of Montgomery and Fulton Counties, N.Y." (New York: F. W. Beers & Co., 1878) pages 175-176.

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Some Links to Explore:

Visit Gino's RailPage.. Home of The F.J.G.R.R.

Existing Railroad Stations in Fulton Co., New York

Mohawk & Hudson Chapter National Railway Historical Society

Mohawk and Hudson Railroad; AmericanRails.com



Association of American Railroads

The "Fast Mail": A History of the U.S. Railway Mail Service

Railroad History


Other Reading Reference:

Images of America, The Fonda, Johnstown, & Gloversville Railroad, by Randy L. Decker, (Charleston, SC:  Arcadia Publishing) 1998


Return to Fulton County NYGenWeb


Copyright ©1999 thru 2016 Jeanette Shiel
All Rights Reserved.

Last updated 12/9/2016 - additional links added (thank you Brittney)