Though the Harlem Division of the New York Central Railroad stretched from New York City to Chatham in the early 1850s, the village of Copake was served by ancillary tracks for an altogether different railroad – the Central New England Railroad, originally the Rhinebeck and Connecticut Railroad. Service arrived in the early 1870s and struggled through multiple owners and name changes before becoming the CNE in 1927. Its original purpose was to connect the Hudson Valley farmers with markets in Hartford and along the Connecticut River. Tracks ran through Pine Plains, Silvernails, Gallatine, Ancram Lead Mines, Ancram, Cooks (Cooks?), Copake, and Boston Corners. Check out the crazy map at right.
The Copake station was built in 1876 and is pictured here in a photograph dated 1885. As one of the region’s leading producers of hay, oats and milk, this was surely a busy little place. Though it closed before the Second World War and tracks are long gone, the building still stands. Like the dozens of other forsaken gems, we speed by them all the time. Visit the Copake Station on county Route 7A, near Route 22. Can it be saved?