Memories of the East Williston Train Station

  By:   Diana Rehyer


With the talk about what to do with the East Williston Rail Road station, it brought back a flood of memories. About sixty years of memories!


I remember that the tracks were as flat as the ground, there wasn't a platform or steps, you just got into your car. A look of a typical New England town. There were no bill boards. There was a man selling coffee and papers on the West side of the track who had your coffee ready for you with you .favorite paper. There was a teeny building that a man was able to stand in on the East side of the tracks (Hillside Avenue) and his only job was to put the gates down and up every time a train came.


The locomotive was huge and black with lots of smoke coming from it's stack. It had a distinctive bell. They of course ran on coal, and went to Oyster Bay. As a child I thought how magnificent it was.


There were two overhangs on either side of the station, both with benches. On one side was a bin with the wood for the pot belly stove inside the station to keep the commuters warm. I must admit when we went to Hilderbrandt's for ice cream cones, we stopped and sat on the bench to eat our ice cream.


The station opened very early in the morning thanks to a local woman who sold the train tickets from the window facing the tracks, where there was also a train time schedule.


It has been a wonderful sign of this village and an entrance to our town. A very distinctive building that meant East Williston!