The Porter Historical Society Museum will unveil a 22-foot mural, which depicts the 7-mile right-of-way of the Lewiston Youngstown Frontier Railway, commonly referred to as the "The Old Fort Route," at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 19, in the Youngstown Civic Center, 240 Lockport St.
A display highlighting the history of the railroad and the Youngstown Cold Storage Line, 1896-1950, and a presentation by Joanne Kinney and Ed Tormay of Theater In The Mist will be featured.
The rail line, originally powered by electricity, connected with the Niagara Gorge Belt Line in Lewiston, and proceeded to the Village of Youngtown, where it diverged. One spur ran to the barracks at Fort Niagara, and the other east, to Rumsey Park, on the shores of Lake Ontario.
In addition to carrying fruit from the farms in Porter, passenger service was provided for visitors and residents of the area. Freight and passenger service for Fort Niagara was significant. Local residents, including high school students, used the line to travel to Lewiston and Niagara Falls. Visitors flocked to Rumsey Park, which provided a bathing beach, dancing pavilion, lunch hall and kitchen, merry-go-round, swings and other entertainment. Over time, automobiles, trucks and busses became more prevalent and popular, and permission to abandon operation as a passenger hauler was approved in the late 1920s. Freight service was to continue until the 1950s as the Youngstown Cold Storage Line, which replaced the LYFR, purchasing the right-of-way about 1928 and transporting fruit and freight until 1950.
Photos of the 42nd Regiment of the U.S. Volunteers boarding the train for their trip to San Francisco in 1899 to board ships for the war in the Philippines will be displayed.
Admission is free and the program is open to the public. Refreshments will be served.