While exploring the Harlem Line, I’ve discovered quite a few former stations that are now repurposed, living a second life as restaurants, banks, and other businesses. One station that I visited over the weekend is unique from the rest, in that it is not a commercial space, but a residential space. Not only that, it is for sale – you could have your very own former Harlem Division railroad station to live in. If I had won the Mega Millions I probably would have bought the place, but most unfortunately some folks in Albany ended up winning that. Seriously though, Sharon Station is certainly one of my favorite extant Harlem Division stations, and having been built in 1875, one of the older ones still around and in good condition. Though the station could be called abandoned, as it lies along the route of the Upper Harlem where passenger service ended in 1972, the word has a connotation of disrepair, which hardly fits with the station today. There may no longer be tracks, but the station has been restored and modernized, and will make a great home for whoever ends up purchasing it… and quite the conversation piece!
If you’ve seen my photos of Millerton, the exterior of Sharon Station bears a significant resemblance, with green walls and red doors and detailing. However, the inside is where Sharon stands apart from most other stations I’ve seen. Despite the fact that it might look a little small on the outside, the inside is rather expansive, and from the moment you walk in, there is little doubt that this is a home. The lower floor contains a modern kitchen and dining area, and bordering the door to the former platform is another large room. Today the upper level serves a similar function as in the past, as the main living quarters of the house. These rooms were available for the station agent, and now serve as bedrooms. There are also a few bathrooms upstairs, which definitely beats having to use the outhouse outside – though it has been converted for use as a garden tool shed. Though not an original feature of the station and built much later, there is also a large garage outside as well. Despite being a recent addition, it perfectly matches the color and aesthetic of the station.
Historically, Sharon was never an incredibly important station in terms of passengers. The area surrounding the station was fairly small, with a population of about forty in 1940. The majority of commuters came over from Connecticut, especially from the town of Sharon, which is how the station got its name. More important freight, however, did go through the station, and like many stations on the upper Harlem, it served dairies and shipped milk via train. There was also a connecting track that led to a mine, which shipped iron ore over the Harlem’s tracks. Passenger service finally came to an end in March of 1972, when the line was abandoned north of Dover Plains. Today there are no tracks, but the former line has been paved and turned into a rail trail.
Before I go, I just wanted to post a few more old pictures of Sharon and to give a big thanks to Elyse Harney Real Estate for letting me see this place, Elyse Harney Morris for arranging everything, and to John Panzer for coming out on a Saturday afternoon to take me for a tour. You have my utmost thanks!