Written by Roger Keenholts, former Village Historian
Shortly after the first passenger train passed through, what is today Altamont, in September of 1963, the railroad company erected a permanent depot.~ This building served as a combination freight and passenger station.~ As the village grew the depot as a centrally located building soon became an unofficial village hall, meeting place and will become the future home of the Altamont Free Library.~ For more information on Altamont Free Library, please visit their site.
The early station agents were also enterprising businessmen and conducted extensive building materials, feed and coal businesses from the depot.~ The first agent, Henry Hawkins, served as the postmaster for Knowersville and the post office was located in the depot.
In 1896, the railroad at last agreed to replace the 1864 structure.~ A contract was left to Hiram Schoonmaker, a local builder, to remove the original station some 400 feet south along the tracks and to build a new depot.~ When completed in the spring of 1897, it was the newest and most "up-to-date" depot on the entire Susquehana division of the Delaware and Hudson RR.
The station continued to serve a large commuter and summer visitor clientele until the Depression of the 1930's.~ After that event, many of the summer hotels closed, the automobile became the popular mode of transportation and the~bus lines took over the commuter business.
The last passenger train passed through Altamont on January 24, 1963, after a century of service. Shortly after the station was closed, the village leased it as a home for the Altamont Youth Organization.~ In June of 1964, the members of the Altamont Planning Association purchased the depot from the railroad and renovated the structure for use as a community center.~ In 1968, the Village of Altamont purchased the building for use as a village hall and offices.
By 1971, the village space requirements and the growth of village services had rendered the depot inadequate and the village consolidated its offices and services into the present village hall/fire station at 115 Main Street.~ The depot was then sold to private interests who continued the restoration projects begun by the planning association.
The 1864 "board and batten" styled depot after its move continued to be used as a freight house by several companies.
Around the turn of the century the Sand Brothers, Montford and Eugene, used the building to house their feed and grain business.~ They also ran a brush car sales agency out of the place.
In the 1920's the structure was the offices and storage facility for Edwin Plank & George Righter's Feed and Coal business.~ The towered coal chutes were located between the track and Altamont Blvd.~ The trains would deliver the coal to the towers in open freight cars with unloading mechanisms in the bottom.~ The coal would unload unto revolving deck that would then deliver it to the chutes for their loads, and then deliver the coal to the village homes.
In the 1950's the building was leased out to the Albany County Highway Department as offices and storage.
In December 1984, the property was sold to the Altamont Tile Company who erected an addition on the north end of the building and opened an office and showroom.~ Update:~ The building was later purchased the TEC Northeast Fire Systems.~
In 2005, the Library acquired the historic Altamont Train Station as its future "new" home.