Now as you’re heading down Main Street, toward that big brick building on your right, this is a good time to introduce Joe Botini. Joe’s a local historian, a lifelong Utica resident, and a guy with a deep affection for this neighborhood.
On our right is an open lot and this old building that is still standing and on the other side of that building is another open lot, which was a parking lot for the Trackside Restaurant that used to be there. This was “wholesale meat row.” All of these buildings along here on the right were wholesale meat houses.
There was the Farm Fresh Poultry Company, and then right next to it was Armour and Company and then in the building that’s still standing was Swift Wholesale Meat, and then beyond that, Wilson’s Wholesale Meat.
They were here because the meat came in from the Midwest on refrigerated railroad cars. And those railroad cars would just be full of quarter hinds of beef hanging on hooks in refrigerated cars. They would pull up on a spur right behind these buildings.