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Historic phone booth gets new home in Watkins Glen

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

The historic English-style red telephone booth located in the downtown area of Watkins Glen has been relocated to a new spot across the street, according to an announcement from the village.

The bright red booth, which had been located outside the Rooster Fish Brewing Pub for several decades, has now been relocated to the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce.

The move was carried out by a team of workers who carefully relocated the booth from its previous location at Franklin and 3rd Streets to its new home in the early hours of February 9. The relocation was prompted by the recent closure of the Rooster Fish Pub, which resulted in the sale of its items, including the telephone booth. The Chamber of Commerce quickly acquired the booth to preserve a piece of the village’s history.

According to records kept by the Schuyler County Historical Society, the telephone booth was installed by Doug Thayer, the former owner of the now-closed Rooster Fish Pub and Wildflower Cafe. In 1992, Thayer found the eight-foot booth in a Buffalo warehouse and brought it to Watkins Glen.

Records indicate that at the time, tourists visiting the village frequently told Thayer that red telephone booths were a rare sight in England. In fact, Thayer was quoted as saying that a similar booth was being sold for $3,000 in Virginia at the time.