Last Sunday a special ceremony was held to dedicate the Milton Train Station to Glenn Clarke. A plaque is affixed to the outside of the station near the entrance, noting that, “it was through his vision that the train station was restored.”
Supervisor Al Lanzetta said, “we have come together to honor the vision and the dedication of Glenn S. Clarke.” He said in 2006 the town began a collaboration with Clarke, first by securing a historic designation for the building and then by holding fundraising events that eventually made his dream a reality.
Lanzetta said Clarke gathered together a group of volunteers who later formed the Milton Train Station Foundation, “to do the hard work and one of the most important members of that group was Pat Quick.”
Quick said the support of Supervisor Lanzetta and Councilman Howard Baker was critical to the success of the project.
“About 15 years ago Glenn approached me and asked if I could help cut some sumac around the old train station, and that’s how it all got started,” he recalled.
Quick said the two were then curious to see what the inside of the station looked like, “so we picked the lock and went in. We were in awe of what we saw inside of that door and we could see that this building had great potential.” He added that because of Clarke’s vision the Milton Train Station today is a “jewel on the Hudson.”
Quick estimated that the value of the station, “has to be well over a million dollars….Maybe you were a contributor to the project, maybe you were part of the restoration of the building itself, maybe you were a member of the train station board or maybe you were part of Glenn’s family and friends who put on countless fundraisers in his beautiful home; thank you, thank you, thank you. There is no doubt that Glenn is deserving of the honor of this dedication.”
County Legislator Thomas Corcoran presented Clarke with a Pride of Ulster County Award for returning the 1883 train station to its former glory.
“What a beautiful building and what a beautiful man to have started this. It needed one person to start it, somebody to put the wheels in motion and to all the wonderful volunteers out there who picked it up and did what they had to do...Glenn’s spirit and willingness to bring those people together here to do and to see what we have in the final product is outstanding and amazing. To see what is was and to see what it is now, it was truly a transformation that nobody would have believed could happen. To all of the volunteers, thank you and to Glenn, thank God you were here to start this. As Pat said, the value of this building might be a million dollars but the value to this community and the everlasting historic value that will be here forever, that’s the value that I see here.”
Lanzetta recalled that work on the station took place from 8am until 1pm every Saturday over the course of many months.
Clarke thanked everyone for the honor but stressed that the project was completed by all of the volunteers.
“I am so happy to have been involved in this. It was a community effort and I am so thankful that I came along at the time that I did,” he said, adding that the finished station, “has been a labor of love for me and it’s a wonder to behold.”
Board member Cindy Lanzetta presented Clarke with flowers on behalf of the Milton Train Station Foundation, in appreciation for all that he did in restoring the train station.
“It’s been a wonderful, long journey for us to work side by side with the town,” she said. “It shows the value of private and governmental relations.”
In a subsequent interview, Clarke said the dedication of the station to him, “was a huge surprise and it was heartwarming to see so many people who turned out for this. It is a real tribute to the town and the people as far as being connected to this building and all that has happened here all these years...and now you see the results.”