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A Brief History of the Annual Great Chocolate Train Wreck Festival

By Lauren Cassulis on September 18, 2015

Train wrecks aren’t usually a cause for celebration. Unless hundreds of pounds of chocolate are involved.

On Sept. 27, 1955, the New York O & W #2 train, traveling from Oswego to Norwich, jumped the tracks in Hamilton, NY, crashed through Leland’s coal shed, and came to a stop 150 feet from thChocolate_Festival_logo_2014_no_year_opte tracks. No one was seriously injured.

Among the derailed cars were several that were carrying Nestle’s chocolate bars, chocolate chips, and bulk cocoa, creating a delicious windfall for Hamilton chocolate lovers. Legend has it that children rushed to the scene to stockpile the chocolate goodies.

The event was first commemorated on its 40th anniversary in 1995 during Hamilton’s Bicentennial. This year will be the 60th Anniversary of the Great Hamilton Chocolate Train Wreck.

We’re celebrating this annual tradition at the bookstore with a Chocolate Sale! Shop all our chocolates at 30% off.


  • Karenk Lohr said:

    Are you having this event for 2016?

    • Lauren Cassulis said:

      The event varies from year to year. I would advice checking the calendar of events at thisishamiltonny.com as September gets closer to see how the village will celebrate.

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