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Jacobs Secures Grant for Historic Railroad Museum

Nassau County to fund more than $65K in capital improvements at historic station.

The historic Oyster Bay train depot. Credit: Joe Dowd.
The historic Oyster Bay train depot. Credit: Joe Dowd.
By Joe Dowd.

Nassau County Legislator Judy Jacobs has secured a grant through Nassau County that will make significant improvements to the historic train depot in Oyster Bay. 

The grants, totaling $65,693 from Nassau County's Community Revitalization program, will make capital improvements to restore the train depot as a museum. The work includes repairs to doors, lighting, windows, and exterior masonry.

“The Oyster Bay Railroad Museum is a treasure and it is an honor to be able to help to bring it to its’ full glory," Jacobs, D-Woodbury, said. "It is just one of those items in this wonderful hamlet that makes the area so historically significant.”

The station was built by the Long Island Rail Road in 1889 and served as the terminus of the Oyster Bay branch until 1999. Some of the work is being used to replace doors and windows bricked over by the LIRR in 1965. 

The historic train station, used frequently by President Theodore Roosevelt, is located just east of the modern LIRR station and on the same line of tracks. It is a classic brick train depot with wooden ornamentation typical of others built at the turn of the 20th Century.

Jacobs said she worked for years to secure this grant with the help of Ben 
Jankowski and Bill Bell, who have been associated with the museum and its restoration, Jacobs said.

"A special thank you is due to Ben Jankowski for his unending commitment to 
the project and to Bill Bell for being such an integral part of the project," Jacobs said."

The organizers envision a grand museum of railroad history on the site and in the nearby storage yards that house a collection of historic trains, many from the LIRR's past. 

The financial figures for the grant came from the Newport Engineering report for the station renovation sponsored by the Town of Oyster Bay, which owns the property. This work was to coincide with repairing the foundation on the station’s east end. Funding for the foundation work was to come from HUD’s Community Development Program in 2011. 

“Hopefully the Town of Oyster Bay will be able to provide this funding to help in the restoration of the station.”

Ironically, Jacobs no longer represents the hamlet of Oyster Bay where the museum renovations are to take place. "I am so sorry to have been redistricted out of the area, but thrilled to leave this gift of history for all of us to enjoy for years to come.” 

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