The Pennyroyal Race Track was the place to be on Sundays during the 1940's and 1950's. Originally, this was a horse track, one of two in the Leon area beginning in the 1870's. The racetrack property, located on the corner lot of Eldridge Road and the Town Hill Rd. was purchased by the Fire Department, Company No. 1. Access raods were improved, tires were buried to ouline the track, and a tower to judge the racing was erected. Many hours were spent grooming the track and picking up stones. The jalopies rolled in and the racing was on!
By 1946 this was known as the "fastest hal-mile in Western New York" and grew in popularity with racers and fans, who came in crowds of 1500 to 2000 any given Sunday. Racers came in from LeRoy, Jamestown, Rochester, Dunkirk, Randolph, Bradford, and, of course, the locals of the Leon community.
In 1950 an obstacle course was built that included ponds, swamps, mud and dust. Many drivers proved to be very good at off-road racing. The racing continued through the 1950's. In 1952 the first ox Roast was held. A building was erected for dances and dinners and lots of events.
By 1960, events had lost their attraction and the property was put up for sale. In 1973, it was sold to Amishman Eli E. Miller and resold then to Amishman Enos EE. Miller to farm the fields where so many had raced.
With lots of help from the Leon town Clerk, Diane Ellis, computer expert Yvonne Boe, members of the Leon Historical Society, Photographers Don Curtis and Lou Ensworth, and Fred Milliman, who coordinated this project- A Pennyroyal Race Track Fan!
Booklet information provided by Pat Bromley and the Leon Historical Museum. Photos from the Track!