Governor dedicates new park station in Jamaica State Park

first_imgGovernor Jim Douglas ton Friday joined the dedication of Jamaica State Park s new park station, which blends the heyday of local railroads with the modern conveniences of today. The depot-style construction with its arrival window and other amenities is a nod to the railroad history of the area of our state and a creative way to preserve our cherished culture, the Governor said. When the park staff built the station, they turned their eye to local heritage while improving the park s services.The new park station replaces a 5-foot-by-8-foot closet in the ranger s quarters and incorporates many of the design elements common to those early railroad stations high ceilings, over-door transoms for lots of natural light, long roof overhangs as well as the ticket sales bump-out. It is built only a few feet from where the original Jamaica train station used to stand.The station construction was part of a large overhaul of the entire entrance complex at the park, including an ADA-accessible bathroom, new underground utilities for all the structures, a sewage pump station and replacement sewage disposal facility, a park volunteer site and a new RV/travel trailer sanitary dump station. The pavement was recycled and the entire area repaved.This work involved several contractors and local suppliers including local plumbers, excavation contractors, concrete contractors, a local countertop fabrication shop, lumber and building materials suppliers, electrical and plumbing supply houses, even a local sawmill (logs from State Parks land were sawed two years ago and dried for use as trim lumber for this project). Parks capital construction projects have been an extremely important component for the local community s contractors and suppliers. This project was no exception, the Governor said. True to the Vermont State Park experience, this new station is built for durability, longevity and good value, the Governor said.The open house and dedication were held in conjunction with the annual Jamaica Old Home Day festivities; the state park also offered free admission and hosted the Kamper s Kettle Potluck Social after the town parade. For more information about any of Vermont State Parks, visit online at www.vtstateparks.com(link is external).About Jamaica State ParkJamaica State Park, comprising 772 acres, was completed and opened to the public in 1969.Previously, the area had supported a few small farms and a sawmill. The West River Railroad ran through the park. The old railroad bed is now used as the trail that leads along the West River to Ball Mountain Dam. The railroad operated from about 1879 until 1927, when a flood wiped most of it out.The area at Salmon Hole, now used as the swimming area, was the site of a famous Indian Massacre in 1748.Jamaica State Park is located on a bend of the West River about one-half mile from the center of the town of Jamaica. Nearby to the north is Ball Mountain. Hamilton Falls is located about one mile up Cobb Brook, which enters the West River upstream from the park. The West River has a very large drainage area extending from Weston and the south side of Terrible Mountain to Windham on the east and Bromley on the west.Every spring and fall, on one weekend in late April and late September, there is a water release on the West River from Ball Mountain Dam. This is a semiannual event for many kayakers and canoeists from all over New England.The West River is also a favorite spot for many fishermen. The combination of deep slow running water and shallow fast ripples makes for some fine fishing.There are 41 tent and trailer sites and 18 lean-to sites that are spread out through the campground. Two rest rooms, complete with hot showers (for a fee), are located in the campground. A picnic shelter and nature center is located near the picnic area and swimming hole. A hiking trail follows the West River and branches off toward Hamilton Falls.Source: Governor’s office.last_img read more