Looking back in time: When the Thruway came to Brutus

Weedsport was founded on the basis of transportation. Prior to the community being called Weedsport, it was a sleepy hamlet of several homes in what is now the Rude Street/Seneca Street area called Macedonia.

With the coming of the Erie Canal, and the construction of a turning basin on the canal about where the parking lot for Nickel Back Jack’s is now, the hamlet morphed north and became Weed’s Basin, named after the brothers Elihu and Edward, who had built the basin. Eventually, it became Weedsport. As time went by and the railroads took over transportation in the country, Weedsport held its own as a hub with an incredible 34 departures a day from the four railroads in the village.

The railroads were, in order of importance: The New York Central, The West Shore, The Lehigh Valley and the Syracuse and Rochester Electric. With the coming of a vastly improved interstate highway system, which resulted to a large extent from Dwight Eisenhower’s admiration of the German Autobahn and larger and more powerful trucks, the railroads started to go the way of the canal. This column will note the opening of the New York State Thruway exit 40 in Weedsport.

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