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15757RE: [Lansdale] Lecture about Skippack - Worcester trolley

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  • Ken Houseal
    Oct 30, 2013
      Thanks All!
      I do have that that book.
      Mike, the house in the background of your third Fairview Village photo is the house I grew up in. We built that house during the late fifties. There were quite a few rusty spikes in the ballast around the bridge. They were a little smaller than a regular railroad spike. There were also several fishplates driven vertically into the roadbed at the northern bridge abutment? We dug them out when we were kids. There were always snakes living in the broken concrete of the bridge floor that was between the abutments. In the Seventies the highway department was digging around the Southeast corner of the intersection of Germantown Pike and Valley Forge Road. There was a rail showing in the excavation. Its probably still under there! Not visible from any road there was a quarry about halfway between Valley Forge and Trooper Roads right on the ROW. It was quite large and had water in it. often wondered if the trolley company dug it to build the line. This is all part of housing developments now. I believe the quarry was filled in and graded over.
      Just west of Valley Forge Road is a small white building on the north side of Germantown Pike. Just across the street from the Nazarene Church. Its not a house and its not used for any purpose that I have ever known. It had an addition added about ten years ago almost doubling its size and it was given new siding and roofing. This was rumored to be the original station moved from the junction with the Schuylkill Valley line to Reading. To further fuel that debate the used cars sales building at the former Norristown Ford lot is also rumored to have been the same station. They both looked about the right size and shape to have been a trolley station.
      Ken


      To: Lansdale_rails@yahoogroups.com
      From: draughtsman@...
      Date: Wed, 30 Oct 2013 08:08:59 -0700
      Subject: RE: RE: RE: [Lansdale] Lecture about Skippack - Worcester trolley

       

      Didn't mean to forget to mention another generous resource:  Mennonite Heritage Center in Harleysville.  They were kind enough to scan 1902 stock subscriber lists, and the original document where every property owner along the line signed their consent. 


      The line had four names during its brief existence:


      Souderton, Skippack & Fairview Electric Railway

      Montgomery County Rapid Transit Company

      Montgomery Transit Company

      Skippack & Perkiomen Transit Company


      After the line went bus, four different operators tried to run buses but none could turn a profit.  All service was abandoned when Auch was granted permission from the PUC to abandon in 1940.


      Mike Sz.



      ---In Lansdale_rails@yahoogroups.com, <lansdale_rails@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

      Ed, that may be the book that Ken's referring to when he mentions the "old paperback Montgomery County Trolley book with two pages of information."


      Part of the work that's going on now is fact-checking the 1968 Montgomery County book, and adding info from these sources:


      Worcester Historical Society

      Skippack Historical Society

      Historical Society of Montgomery County

      Pastor Paul Lederach

      the Wismer family

      Andrew W. Maginnis

      Jim Camburn (present owner of the Harleysville freight station)

      PennDOT District 6 archives

      1928 aerial photography from the Free Library of Philadelphia

      1942 aerial photography from PA Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey

      archived editions of:

      Ambler Gazette

      Montgomery Transcript

      Conshohocken Recorder

      Reading Eagle


      Not all of these resources were available when the Montgomery County book was researched and written in 1968.  And we've also learned of mistakes regarding the location of the trolley line that appeared on a 1912 Pennsylvania Department of Highways map, and the same mistakes on a 1925 PDH "Adoption Plan" made when Valley Forge Road became L.R. 463.


      There's new information surfacing, all the time.


      Mike Sz.


       



      ---In Lansdale_rails@yahoogroups.com, <lansdale_rails@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

      Ken, the Harold Cox-published book "Trolleys of Montgomery County Pennsylvania" by Harry Foesig has a chapter about the Wogglebug line with photos. You can find copies on Amazon dot com starting at $15.
      Edward B. Havens
      Tucson, Ariz.

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