Tuesday, November 02, 2010

T. D. Judah?

From: "D W Gowen" dwg193@roadrunner.com

Hello, my name is Dean Gowen and I am a Landscape Architect in Buffalo NY. My most recent project involves preparing a historic Landscape report for Oakwood Cemetery in Niagara Falls, NY. It is one of the oldest burial grounds in Western New York, dating back to 1852. This is for an effort to document the history and landscape setting at the cemetery to apply for National Register status and applications for future funding for cemetery restoration.

One of my first tasks has been historic research, and going through cemetery files, records and plans — essentially looking at records that have never been organized or catalogued since the earliest days of the cemetery. Upon going through some original design plans (some on the original linen and dating back into the late 1800s), I came across a design for the cemetery dating to 1861 (I will confirm the date) with the name T.D. Judah below the title. No one in the office or on the Board at the Cemetery had any knowledge of who this person was.

After doing a little web searching, and stumbling upon your amazing website, I am assuming that our man is the same TD Judah that was involved with the Transcontinental Railroad. One of the most obvious links is the fact that apparently Judah spent some time in Niagara Falls and designed the rail connection between Niagara Falls and Lewiston, NY, traversing the steep Niagara Escarpment.

I am writing a quick note to ask if anyone at the museum would have any other information (or direction for me) regarding Theodore Dehone Judah's time in Niagara Falls or can verify his dabbling into the Cemetery design business.

Thanks very much. Any guidance would be much appreciated. I have already been sufficiently distracted and sidetracked exploring your incredible website and learning about our countries rail history. As you probably know, Buffalo, was once one of the mighty rail hubs in the country and there are many rail enthusiasts still throughout the city trying to keep the history alive.

Thanks again.

Dean Gowen
Registered Landscape Architect

Judah envelope


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Wendell Huffman" wendellhuffman@hotmail.com

Judah moved to Niagara sometime between October 1850 (when he was recorded in the census at Seneca Falls, NY) and June 1851 (when he took out a fire-insurance policy at Niagara Falls). His house was in Whirlpool Street overlooking the rapids. He moved to Buffalo in (or about) 1853 and relocated to California in the spring of 1854, but made a number of trips east, some of which involved extended stays.


11/02/2010 10:53 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Chris Graves" caliron@cwnet.com
Subject: Theo. Judah

After reading the question re: Judah and possible work in a cemetery in New York, it occurs to me that it might be helpful to have a copy of Judah's signature ...

[Above] is a copy of an envelope that Judah sent to his wife, this while in the employ of the Calif. Central RR, around 1858-59.

—G J Chris Graves, NewCastle, California

11/05/2010 8:16 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "D W Gowen" dwg193@roadrunner.com

Greetings from Western New York,

A quick update on our historic research on TD Judah and Oakwood Cemetery in Niagara Falls. No signature as of yet – none in the cemetery office files, but still need to get into the Niagara Falls Historical Society later this week.

We have confirmed (with your help) that the one (and apparently only) Theodore Dehone Judah did, in fact, prepare the original design for Oakwood Cemetery in 1852, which corresponds perfectly with his confirmed residency in Niagara Falls and Buffalo. The following was excerpted from a Niagara Gazette article on Oakwood Cemetery dating from August 10, 1881:

"The first map of the field was made in 1852 by T. D. Judah and has been the basis of the two last made maps filed, one in 1878, and one in 1881. These latter consist mainly of subdivision of lots which were laid out as groves on the first maps. Of the last map, prepared by D. Whitney, and which took effect May 21, 1881, three tracings were made, one being filed with the County Clerk, one with the Town Clerk and one reserved by the cemetery association."

I am attaching the original Cemetery plan with T.D. Judah's name on it (but no signature). ...

Also, given the fact that I am a Landscape Architect, and very interested in Frederick Law Olmsted and historic Olmsted Parks/plans throughout the country, I have made an interesting observation (assumption?) that this plan is very "Olmstedian" in character. However the Judah plan for Oakwood is 6 years prior to Olmsted's first work for Central Park and 16 years before any work in Buffalo. Can it be that TD Judah developed a style that predates the "Typical" Olmsted design character? Hmmmmmm? Gives interesting food for thought? At quick glance the Judah plan looks like an Olmsted Plan with its gently curving drives and walks.

Thanks very much. I will keep you posted. ...

—Dean Gowen

11/17/2010 1:51 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Bill Anderson" bill@fedshra.org
Subject: Niagara Gorge RR.

Wish I'd thought of this sooner,

I will be at Niagara Falls this next week, and it dawned on me that T.D. Judah was instrumental in building the Niagara Gorge Railroad. Any quick info available on the NG Road.

—Bill Anderson, Folsom, El Dorado & Sacramento Historical RR Assn.

10/14/2013 10:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Great gorge RR was built in 1895 long after Judah's death

Perhaps it is the Lewiston-Niagara RR ?

My ancestor John M. Buttery helped Capt. Kline build the LNRR in 1837 and then gramps built the 1854 tunnel thru the Lewiston escarpment. Perhaps he worked with Judah ?

I have a beautiful etching of the tunnel that was done in 1868 and some later photos

Lewis Buttery

716 - 434 - 7156

3/03/2014 9:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From: lewisbuttery@gmail.com

The Great Gorge RR was built in 1895 long after Judah's death.

Perhaps you meant the Lewiston - Niagara RR?

My ancestor John M. Buttery helped Capt. Kline build the LNRR in 1837 then built the 1854 tunnel thru the Lewiston escarpment, perhaps with Judah?

Lewis Buttery

3/06/2014 12:20 PM  

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