|
|
|
The Dansville Online
  • In good hands

  • Joan Hart of Dansville and her sister Beth Dixon of Avon watched pieces of family history and memories of childhood go to the highest bidders in a span of about two hours.



    The contents of Dansville and Mt. Morris Railroad Depot were sold at a public auction on Saturday.

    • email print
  • »  RELATED CONTENT
    • FILES/LINKS
  • Joan Hart of Dansville and her sister Beth Dixon of Avon watched pieces of family history and memories of childhood go to the highest bidders in a span of about two hours.
    The contents of Dansville and Mt. Morris Railroad Depot were sold at a public auction on Saturday.
    Before bidding began, the Hart sisters reminisced about riding the rails as children and how the train whistle could be heard throughout town.
    Joan and Beth are both daughters of Bob Hart, and graddaughters of Frank Hart. Frank began working there after returning home from World War I, and became owner of the line in 1950. His son, Bob, became the last Dansville and Mt. Morris Railroad owner about a decade later.
    The D&MM Railroad opened in Dansville in 1892. On Aug. 5, 1985, the station was sold to the Genesee & Wyoming Railroad.
    The G&W didn’t want the two acres south of Franklin Street, so the station has therefore remained under Hart’s ownership.
    Hart still used the station’s office for his personal use until just a few years ago.
    Until Saturday, the depot’s interior was like stepping into a time capsule, its antique contents remained in excellent condition while the exterior began to fall victim to Mother Nature and to vandals.
    Prior to the auction, members of the Hart family were given pieces of its furniture and other memorabilia which included Gunlocke chairs, glass-front bookcases and other items.
    Last year, Livingston County Historian's Office acquired 48 boxes of the depot’s pristinely kept records, stored for generations inside a warm, dry attic. The records, which include what was shipped, where and when, as well as company expenses, date as far as 100 years.
    The auction Saturday drew 45 bidders. Each visitor received complimentary “Industrial Possibilities of Dansville” booklets copyrighted 1924 by the Dansville and Mt. Morris Railroad Company.
    The original printing plates to the booklets were among the 140 lots sold at the auction.
    Buyers received another special gift – their purchase receipts were written on original D&MM shipping order, and other, receipts.
    Antiques sold in the auction included oak desks, wooden file drawers, typewriters, desk fans, railroad maps, safes, railroad and train car tools, lanterns, oil cans, flares, an old steamer trunk, a wooden railroad crossing sign, and other office items and railroad paraphernalia.
    Specifically noteworthy were two large wooden benches inside the waiting room, which looked like something out of an old Western movie.
    While certainly unique and probably of interest to a railroad museum, the benches didn’t fetch much interest. Its bulk and awkwardness for use elsewhere was the probable reason. One bench sold for $275 and the other for $300.
    Page 2 of 2 - By far, the item that generated the largest bid was a countertop ticket booth. It sold for $2,900. Dansville native David Monte Verde won the bid.
    Monte Verde owns and is president of Batavia-based Genesee Valley Transportation Co., which owns five railroads in New York and Pennsylvania.
    He plans on donating some items he bought to the Rochester and Genesee Valley Railroad Museum and is giving some items as a gift to his son, who works for Amtrack.
    The auction was conducted by Matt Crane of Dansville-based Crane’s Antiques.
     
      • calendar