Eleazar Lord may well be the single most influential person in the history of Piermont because of his leadership in the development of the Erie Railroad. By filling almost 100 acres of the Hudson River, the Erie Railroad created a strong and stable foundation for the railroad buildings, tracks and pier. In 1832, New York State charted the New York Erie Railroad and in 1838 they extended the pier 4,000 feet.
Lord’s vision established Piermont’s infrastructure and changed its very nature. This infrastructure would eventually prepare the ground for construction of the paper mill and for commercial and passenger use of steamboats and ferries. Completed in1851, a passenger arriving by steamboat from Battery Park in New York City would board a train at the end of the Pier and travel 447 miles to Dunkirk located on Lake Erie - at that time the longest railroad in the world. President Millard Fillmore and Daniel Webster made the inaugural trip from Piermont to Dunkirk. In 1852, however, restrictions that allowed the Railroad to operate only in New York State were lifted. In 1863 the railroad terminus was moved from Piermont to Jersey City, New Jersey. Often forgotten is that Eleazar Lord gave the Village its name. In 1839, he renamed Taulman’s Landing to Piermont, evoking the marriage between the pier and the mountains.
Piermont’s iconic Railroad Station marks the route of the Northern RR of New Jersey. Built in 1859, The Northern was a commuter train which originally went from Jersey City to Sparkill, NY and then west to the Village of Piermont. In 1869 the Northern was extended north from Sparkill to Nyack, NY.
Not until 1873, when the Piermont RR Station was constructed, did the train stop here. It continued to carry passengers along this route for 107 years until it ceased operations 1966. Belle Kelly worked for the railroad for over 50 years. She served as stationmaster, ticket agent and telegraph clerk, servicing 43 trains a day.
In 2008, the station was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is the only known remaining station of its kind. It was restored by the Piermont Historical Society and is now the home of the Museum of the History of Piermont. The Northern RR should not be confused with the Erie RR. Each operated on two separate sets of tracks intersecting only in Sparkill.