History of U.S. Rt.15 and the Lindley Road
Lindley, New York
For many years, Lindley Road was a section of U.S. Rt. 15. The New York State section of U.S. 15 started at Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania and Lindley, New York State Line. The highway followed the present Steuben County Route 115 and the Kuhl Road to the Watson Creek Road. From there, it followed along the Tioga River until it reached the Narrows or “Rocks. Then the road went north to Painted Post and ended in Rochester, New York.
Due to the proximity of the Tioga River, there were frequent floods and closing of the road. In 1953/4, U.S. Rt.15 was moved west away from the Tioga River to the present location (6/23/2013). (Relocation started at the north end of U.S. Rt.15 near the Stowell Hill Road and continued south to Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania.) The abandoned section along the Tioga River from the Morgan Creek (which was relocated in 1953, also) to the Watson Creek Road was renamed Lindley Road. The road south of Watson Creek Road became the Kuhl Road.
U.S. Rt.15 History
With the concrete paving of the roadway –circa 1923-24, and the first set of posting route numbers on highways in 1924, U.S.15 has had a variety of numerical designations-(NY.4, NY.2, US. 111(1929) and names. Around 1938, it officially became U.S. 15- (Interesting to note is the fact the concrete paving started in Rochester, N.Y. and the last 5 miles to be finished was from Presho to Lawrenceville, Pa.--- the same last 5 miles to be completed on I99.)
The name of U.S. Rt.15 is, also, associated with the Williamson Road (the first official local north/south route to this area for settlers after the Revolutionary War.) Old newspaper archives often referred to this road as the Susquehanna Trail since the Williamson Road began in Northumberland, Pennsylvania where the East and West branches of the Susquehanna River join. Then the road traveled north through Lindley to Bath and Geneseo, New York where Col. Williamson began developing settlements in 1792 for the Pulteney Estate. In former times, the road was often called Lindleytown Road as this area was then known. In October 2013, U.S. 15 was re-located to the west again. In 2014, this section was designated as Interstate I99 in New York State by Governor Cuomo.
The Lindley Road History
Highways have been very important in the Town of Lindley’s history.
An 1873 map shows a business center where Morgan Creek Road and the old Susquehanna Trail met. There were 2 sawmills, 2 stores, a school, a Blacksmith Shop, a Post Office, and several homes. A newspaper article describes a fire in the Sash and Blind Factory located in that area about this same time. The homes of two prominent residents at that time-- Col. Morgan and Col. Moore still exist. On the East end of the Lindley Bridge, there was a RR depot and another store. Time and floods have eliminated many of these structures.
A 1910 postcard shows a store, the “Old Town Hall Building which served as not only Town Hall but as a Post Office and a Grange Hall- (that was used at times for Church Meetings, Community Meeting Room for plays, etc and in 1954 a wedding reception), homes and a Blacksmith Shop. One building shown in the picture was a Tavern that would become known as the Green Shingles Inn which burned in 1939. This was rebuilt and in 1954 moved across the nearby fields to its present location to be more accessible to traffic on the relocated highway.
From the 1920’s to the 1950’s-60’s, there had been 3 stores with gas stations, the schoolhouse with its ball field, the Town Hall/Post Office/Grange, Veteran’s Honor Roll for WWII, the Town Highway Garage and at one time a Cheese Factory. The DEC Monitoring Station of the Tioga River is still located near the bridge. One of the stores re-located in 1953-54 to the building next to the present Town Hall. The Town Hall/Post Office was relocated to the present location after the 1972 flood. The Grange was disbanded and the building sold about 1974. In the 1972 flood, one store was demolished and the schoolhouse washed away.
Old deeds mention a Ford in the Tioga River near the present New York State Wetlands Pond. The Wetlands were established near the location of the Central Schoolhouse in conjunction with the construction of the Interstate Highway I99. Many truckloads of soil were moved as fill to Interstate 99 at the location of the former Wishing Well Trailer Park. Original I99 highway plans show this as a future New York State Rest Area. It was never constructed.
A photo of the 1889 flood shows remnants of Covered Bridge. In 1897, an iron bridge was built in the vicinity of the current bridge. This was replaced in1989 and the present bridge was opened November 17th, 2009.
Since 1790, when Colonel Lindsley and his group of 40 settlers arrived in Lindleytown, there have been prosperous farms from Lawrenceville to the Morgan Creek Road. A newspaper article in 1970, mentions Stermer, Wells, Kuhl, Watson Brant and Toby. Except for Stermer, most of these fertile fields are being cultivated under new family names.
At South end of the new Steuben County Rt.115 is the Lindsley Burying Ground with the graves of the first settler-- Col. Lindsley and the graves of many of the first people who came to Lindley with him. At the north end of this County Road is the Presho Cemetery with the grave of Thomas Presho for whom that hamlet is named. It seems fitting to keep these two names as a name for the road.
Lindley will be 225 years old in 2015. So many changes, so many floods, so much history—if only, the old road could talk..Catherine M. Pierce Town of Lindley Historian
June 23, 2013 ***
*** ( 41 years ago to this day in 1972 ), the Tioga River flooded the Lindley Road and surrounding area with what was labeled a 100 years Flood.Revised November 10th, 2014
Old U. S. Rt. 15 1920's ???/
(Compliments of Durland Weale )
Now that I 99 is completed and the former U.S. Rt.15 will become County Rt. 115 Lindley, N.Y., the Lindley Town Board is seeking a name for this road along with the County label. The first version of the above report was submitted to the Lindley Planning Board in 2013 and revised for the Town Board meeting on November 12th, 2014. Several names have been suggested Lindley-Presho, Presho Lindley and Indian Hills.
In the cover letter with the report to the Lindley Town Board on November 12th, it was noted that Lindley and Presho were combined to recognize both hamlets when the LP School, Fire Department, LP Little League Teams and the LP Historical Society were being named and perhaps, the Senior Citizens group. A precedent to include towns at both ends of a Lindley road is Tannery Creek Road, also known as the Lindley-Caton Road.
At the LP Historical Society meeting yesterday -Sunday 11/16, we were reminded that the section of U.S. Rt.15 from the NYS/Penna. State Line to Rochester, N.Y. has been designated as the Marine League Memorial Highway. By googling this name-and NYS ,I learned that this section is called the Williamson section.
Looking at old maps, there have been many changes in the names of the highways, by-ways passing through Lindley in the past 224 years. What is an appropriate name for the one that passes through the center of our town???