A PASSION FOR HISTORY....
In 2011, when it was announced that a new Portage Viaduct was to be built in Letchworth State Park and the 1875 Trestle demolished, the locals, including yours truly, this Perry-Castile, NY native gal, howled.
"HOW can they tear down our beloved bridge?!? How can they tear down such....HISTORY??!!?"...was our cry! The stories poured in on social media, telling our tales of setting foot on it (illegally, of course), those that grew up near it, those that had ancestors who worked on it, and those who even rode motorcycles and snowmobiles across it!
I watched local Rochester, NY news anchor John Kucko's documentation of the building of the arch as well as the demise of the trestle over the next number of years. With a combined membership of over 24,000 fans on 3 Facebook groups, all dedicated to the love of Letchworth State Park, everyone's intense passion for our historic icon, including John's, lit a fire in me to figure out how to save some of that history!
The idea was penned (well, electronically in an email) on February 5th, 2018, and after a LOT of initial legwork, a brand new, Wyoming County woman-owned business: Friendly Mile Acres, LLC/Treasured Trestle Company, was 'born' on July 3rd, 2018--I had committed myself, and there was no turning back! The long days, late nights, and endless working weekends continued, spurred on by the awe of the history that was before me!
The famous saying: "Behind every great man is a great woman" can be reversed in my situation, because not even behind me, but beside me is a great husband, who has worked long hours outside of his 40+ hour regular job to help me make this business possible!
How surreal it was to finally be able to launch the website on December 22, 2018, and allow people to reserve thru pre-orders their own piece of our beloved trestle. I'm SO thankful for all those who have been so incredibly patient with me thus far, who have helped & continue to help me, support me, cheer me on, and have prayed for me....and are praying for my husband, that I won't come up with any more 'brilliant' business ideas, lol!
And I'm thankful for all of YOU, for your marvelous stories you've been sharing with me, about your love of and personal history involving our beloved trestle! I love that an old, long-gone bridge can bring people together, united, allowing us to keep the memories and history alive!
2018 has been a very longgg year, working full time on this business venture, yet the work is STILL not done! Be assured: everyone involved is pressing on even harder to finish production, and to help me fulfill my dream: that those passionate for the trestle will be able to actually hold a piece of it in their hands, a piece of history to treasure forever!
ON A PERSONAL NOTE....
I'm passionate about our local history and our beautiful park, and a portion of the profits from the sale of the Trestle medallions will go back to the park via the Friends of Letchworth State Park, and also to the Castile Historical Society. Both nonprofits are made up of wonderful individuals who care deeply for preserving the beauty and the history of our area, so that our future generations can create the same kind of meaningful memories that we, as well as past generations, have enjoyed!