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Talk on Rail Events in the 1800’s for the Glen Rock area

Flyer for Glen Rock Historic Preservation Society Talk (S. H. Smith, 2014)
Flyer for Glen Rock Historic Preservation Society Talk (S. H. Smith, 2014)

I’m giving a talk on Rail Events in the 1800’s for the Glen Rock Historic Preservation Society on April 22nd, 2014.  In the 1800’s, engines, such as Steam Into History’s 1860’s era replica steam locomotive, pulled trains through Glen Rock or stopped at the train station to off-load & take-on passengers and goods.

I created this montage of the train station and The William H. Simpson #17 for a slide in my presentation and thought it made a nice flyer illustration.  The train station comes from the mural along the Rail Trail in Glen Rock, painted by Marshall Adams.  The William H. Simpson #17 under the Glen Rock sign comes from a photo by Paul Kuehnel for the York Daily Record.

Background posts for my talk include:

In the coming weeks I’ll post additional background material relevant to the April 22nd talk.  For now, continue reading for more details about the train station in Glen Rock.


The Glen Rock train station, included on the left side of the illustration, was built in 1856.  It had many additional uses that are detailed on page 122 of Glen Rock – An Historical Review by Dr. Charles Glatfelter, John “Otts” Hufnagel and Ron Dise; published during the 150th Celebration of Glen Rock in 2009:

In 1856 Emanuel Sheffer, then 31, merchant and until 1869, Postmaster, erected a large building which stood for more than a century at 52 Main Street.  In its day, it was referred to as the Sheffer building.  This building was one of vast dimensions—being three stories high—fronting 75 feet on the Northern Central Railway and running back 55 feet.  The interior was adapted for Mr. Sheffer’s forwarding, commission and dry goods business.

An article in the December 19, 1856 issue of a Hanover newspaper, The Spectator, by S. Leader, Editor, described the interior of the building as follows:  “the first floor is divided into three separate rooms, in one of which is transacted an extensive dry-goods business, and the others adjacent to this are occupied, one as the counting room, ticket office, and post office; the other, being the largest, is made the reception room for goods of commission.  The second story in this building is finished off in fine style—there being a large and beautiful hall for public purpose together with several sleeping apartments.  The third story is also completed and in use.  This establishment ranks among the best in the county, and was much needed.”  The cost of the Sheffer building was over $8,000.”

Besides being used for Sheffer’s business interests and railroad business, the Sheffer building housed the town post office, telegraph office and an express office.  The building essentially was the public hall of Glen Rock; it was used as a meeting place for many organizations and as a starting location for several businesses.  Continuing on page 123 of Glen Rock – An Historical Review:

Emanuel Sheffer owned the building from 1856 to 1874.  In 1874 the Northern Central Railroad Company bought the building at sheriff’s sale and owned it until 1961.

The train station stood on the site between Main Street and the Northern Central Railroad tracks from 1856 until 1961.  In 1961 the building was torn down to make way for a service station.

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