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Old-time trolley stop envisioned as focal point near roundabout

The concept of a old-time trolley stop in the Village of Hamburg started out like many great ideas with just a couple of people talking and thinking "wouldn't it be great if. "

This structure -- of post-and-beam construction -- will be built near the flagpole at Clark and Buffalo streets.

Dale Neseman, a member of the Imagine Hamburg group, said he and a friend were looking at the green space resulting from the state's construction of the roundabout at Legion Drive, Clark and Buffalo streets -- near the flagpole, a Nick Charlaps ice cream stand and across the street from Edie's Pizza.

"We said what we need is a gazebo or something," Neseman said.

He raise the topic at a meeting of Imagine Hamburg, the volunteer group that began as the Route 62 Committee during the Main Street reconstruction, which included the roundabouts.

It still works to improve the village.

"From there, it became a series of ideas," added Gerry Stockmeyer, project chairman.

At the meeting, several members suggested making the shelter a replica of a stop along the South Park Avenue trolley line that once ran through the intersection.

The old Sunshine Line got its name because it seemed to run only when the weather was nice.

One member drew a rendering on a napkin, and another took it to Shawn P. Wright, a village resident and co-founder of Young & Wright Architectural.

He designed the three-legged post-and-beam covered structure.

Members estimate the project would cost about $25,000.

Once the idea was finalized, the group started receiving donations and now is trying to raise another $15,000.

The structure will be donated to the village when it is complete.

"I can't believe how people have come out of the woodwork more or less to make this happen," Stockmeyer said. "A number of businesses have come forward and donated money."

A local nursery volunteered to design and provide landscaping.

The wood, from locally grown larch trees, has been ordered from Amish carpenters in Conewango.

Volunteers plan to erect the structure in late August to early September.

Donations can be made to Imagine Hamburg, P.O. Box 381, Hamburg, NY 14075. Those wanting additional information can contact Stockmeyer at 289-1445.

He said the volunteer group has been able to work cooperatively with village government and community members.

"Our village has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years. It has really brought people together," Stockmeyer said. "Our little group receives a lot of support from the business community. It was initiated by a couple people walking by, and it evolved into this broad reaching community project."

For complete coverage, go to buffalonews.com/hamburg.

e-mail: bobrien@buffnews.com