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