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Off from Vanduzee Street, Watertown
Taken on 02/26/09
A number of brick buildings in the area of the parking lot shared with Feel Safe Door Company and Black River Plumbing, off from Vanduzee Street, Watertown
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These Vanduzee Street and the accompanying Martin Street locations were suggested by Hope M. of Perceptionphotography.biz after she sent me some of her own photos of this area.


Google Satellite photo of the location, also shows locations of Martin Street Buildings (below)
Off from Vanduzee Street, Watertown
Taken on 02/26/09
This is another angle of previous buildings.
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Hope has been doing research and has found that these buildings are the remains of the old Watertown Steam Engine Company, which may have been owned by the Palmer Brothers. 
Hope writes - "The Steam Engine Company located in Watertown, New York held patents on a portable steam engine with the cylinder and valve chest integral with the boiler steam dome, and a riding cut-off valve. The first patent was in 1871.  Many of the Watertown Steam Engine Co.’s portable steam engines exist today, in private collections or in museums."  The first portable steam engine made in the United States was made in Watertown in 1847.
Off from Vanduzee Street, Watertown
Taken on 02/26/09
Close-up of front, open door swinging.
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My own research indicates that Daniel Kieff and his builders and contractors built the extensive builders of the Watertown Steam Company in addition to many other local buildings of the time; like the Times Building, the Smith Block, the Opera House block, Babcock Buggy Works, etc.
It's hard to find much information on this business.  One text mentions that they occupied the place formerly used by a C.B. Hoard to build firearms and that they had a machine shop on Moulton and Mill Street.  The company was formerly called the Portable Steam Engine Company. 
They started business in 1866 with $40,000 and had 35,000 square feet of flooring for large boiler and blacksmith shops, store houses, etc.  It's capital then increased to $200,000 and the business employed 100 men, and turned out 400 steam engines, saw mills, and agricultural engines sold all over the US, Canada, Cuba and probably other parts of the world.  Much of the cast iron they used was produced locally.
There is no indication of when this company shut down but there are some collectors who have Watertown Steam Engine Company steam engines manufactured as late as 1920.

Off from Vanduzee Street, Watertown
Taken on 02/26/09
This building's crumbling brick
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Off from Vanduzee Street, Watertown
Taken on 02/26/09
The front
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Off from Vanduzee Street, Watertown
Taken on 02/26/09
More of the front
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Off from Vanduzee Street, Watertown
Taken on 02/26/09
More of the front
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Off from Vanduzee Street, Watertown
Taken on 02/26/09
More brick buildings further down the area.
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Comments from visitors:
Scannerman writes "The entire complex was used for years as the regional HQ for the NYS Department of Transportation maintenance operations, now located on Rt. 342. Around back, near where the loading dock and old powerhouse are, you can see where road striping machines were apparently tested. James Johnson was the district traffic signal foreman; the signal shop was located in a few small rooms on the VanDuzee Street side of the building closest to Vanduzee, now used by a towing company for storage. The brick building next door, now used by JRC, was also part of the WSE complex."
Off from Vanduzee Street, Watertown
Taken on 02/26/09
Panoramic shot of a large and long brick warehouse.  The other section has large almost-eaves-to-ground windows.
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Old drawing of Watertown Steam Engine Company
Old drawing of Watertown Steam Engine Company

Illustration of Watertown Steam Engine Company, 1891, found by Scannerman;
Old drawing of Watertown Steam Engine Company
Off from Vanduzee Street, Watertown
Taken on 02/26/09
Another brick building, right beside the Feel Safe Door Company.  This one is interesting in that it seems to have a brick "silo'.
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Comments from visitors:
Bill writes: "This building housed boilers for all the other buildings in the complex. The attached structure is what is left of the large smokestack that the state took down after they left the site on the early 1980's. There is a cement wall to the left that was used as a outdoor loading dock."
Off from Vanduzee Street, Watertown
Taken on 02/26/09
A brick building on the other side of the railroad tracks, over near Martin and Holly Street.  The old Agway building is in the left part of this photo, now partially used by Cota Flooring.
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Comments from visitors:
LarryC writes about the D G Corbett Boiler Works;
"Daniel G Corbett was my great-grandfather. He was born in Ireland in 1867 and emigrated with his family in 1874. He attended school in Oswego, NY, and after leaving school, learned boilermaking, possibly under the employ of the Kingsford Starch Company of Oswego. By 1891, Daniel was in Watertown, where in 1892 he married Josephine Lagoe, of Redfield. They built a home at 523 Mohawk Street, Watertown, where they raised 6 children.
In May, 1911, Daniel was one of the charter members of the North Side Improvement League and served on its first board of directors.
On July 25, 1911, Bobby Leach, a pool hall operator from Watertown became the second person, and the first male, to intentionally go over Niagara Falls in a barrel. Bobby's barrel, as family lore will have it, was a salvaged boiler which was made watertight by Bobby's friend and neighbor, Daniel G. Corbett.
In November, 1911, Daniel was elected as Alderman on the Watertown Common Council, where he served one two-year term.
On September 14, 1915, Daniel G. Corbett filed a certificate of assumed name, allowing him to conduct business as the Watertown Boiler Works. Mr. Corbett constructed a plant at 941-9 West Main Street (The building shown in the photo). Previous to establishing this business, Daniel Corbett had been an employee of the former Watertown Steam Engine Works, on Vanduzee Street, until they ceased to do business in 1915. He had last been employed as a foreman in the boiler department of the Steam Engine Company, and was known throughout the area as an expert boilerman. With the formation of the Watertown Boiler Works, Daniel Corbett assumed the repair and warranty work for the Steam Engine Company's product, both portable and stationary.
He continued in business for 12 years and sent crews throughout the North Country maintaining and repairing boilers in manufacturing concerns and other businesses. The Watertown Boiler Works won the contract for, and built, the standpipe (water tower) which stood in Thompson Park until the 1970s.
Daniel was a great supporter of education, and presented a petition in 1924 to the Board of Education for the replacement of the outdated and antiquated Mead Street School. He never lived to see the new school, which was not built until the summer of 1959, when a dozen or more of his great-grandchildren had already been graduated from the old school.
In the election of 6 November 1924, Daniel Corbett received one vote for State Senator when his name was written in, reported as the only write-in in the entire city that year.
In the summer of 1928, Great-grandpa became greatly ill from the 'indigestion' which had bothered him for some time forced him to retire. His business was foreclosed on and on December 1, 1928, the building was sold at public auction to J. McCormack for $6100.
He died on March 9, 1929 and is buried in Glenwood Cemetery."
Martin Street, Watertown
Taken on 02/26/09
Martin Street, Watertown.  Notice the interesting little round window at the top.  This structure is on the other side of the railroad tracks from the previous photo(s).
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Comments from visitors:
Hope M. of Perceptionphotography.biz says that her research shows that this was once a brewery but wonders if someone can confirm this?
Scannerman writes "Demolished April 2011.  I believe Hall's Ski Lift used it for awhile.  I'll research it.  The train tracks that are almost buried near the building are I THINK what's left of a spur that may have gone all the way to Taggart Brother's Papermill.  Manufacture dates on the rails are 1906 and 1911, though."  Scannerman amends this to say that the tracks did for a fact go all the way to Taggart's Paper Mill.

On 08/07/12 Tramway guy writes "I worked for Hall Ski Lift for a long time. This building was indeed used by them as a warehouse and shipping department. Also some medium assembly work. It. Had definitely been part of a brewery at some point, as there were cork-lined walls in some rooms. There was also a tunnel that connected to another nearby building that had some old beer labels, etc. inside."
On 08/26/12 Jack Donato writes "My father worked for Hall's and the subsequent companies for almost 35 years. He has said it was once a brewery. The main manufacturing building (not this one) was originally the trolley car barn for the city of Watertown."
Back of Martin Street building
Back of Martin Street building
Taken on 08/07/10
Here are two shots of the rear of the previous building on Martin Street, taken much later then the other shots on this page.  This was taken with a telephoto from across the river on Newell Street at the Whitewater Trail System.  A big chunk of the rear is missing and the floor is exposed.  If you look very closely at the thing on top of the white smaller building it seems to be a camper trailer on the roof.
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You can find some interior shots of this building posted by "The League if Extraordinary Ordinaries" - a local Urban Explorer's group page - the photos are here.

Comments from visitors:
Scannerman writes that this was demolished in April 2011.
Martin Street, Watertown
Taken on 02/26/09
On Martin Street, at right angles to the previously shown building.  Lots of graffiti.
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Comments from visitors:
Colin writes on 8/23/10 "this building is not abandoned" and "can someone tell me more information to this building??????"
Scannerman writes that this is being stabilized, April 2011.
Martin Street, Watertown
Taken on 02/26/09
A new concrete block building nearby the previous buildings.  Martin Street, Watertown
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Comments from visitors:
Henry S. writes: "This building was once a fruit and vegetable business around 1984, It was then closed, shortly thereafter it was rented out to someone, and remnants of the business were found on the floor, that being pot. It then became a recycling office, as did the whole complex, for various recycling products. PS, Early on this was a soft drink warehouse, as there is some of the brands ads still on the walls, I believe they sold 'Squirt'".
Scannerman writes "Also being worked on April 2011; various old parts removed, work being done.  I think it may have been a dairy at one point due to interesting milk-can-sized doors on the east side."
Photo from Scannerman, showing doors hi-lighted;
Martin Street, Watertown
Martin Street, Watertown
Taken on 02/26/09
Another angle of previous
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Taken on 04/14/09
This building and location was suggested by Hope M. of Perceptionphotography.biz
Abandoned house in Dexter, County Route 53 (Cemetery Road)



Taken on 04/14/09
Front view

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Comments from visitors:
Hope M. writes that she heard that kids in Dexter called it the "Creepy House".

Taken on 03/26/09
Collapsing barn behind previous house



Taken on 03/26/09
Taken from the other side, two buildings collapsing/collapsed right in the village of Dexter.
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