If you arrived in Sinking Spring 60+ years ago by rail you would have rolled up to Sinking Spring Passenger Station. It was a stop along the Reading Railroad’s Lebanon Valley Line, which began passenger service in 1857 and was discontinued in 1965. If some of these dates sound familiar, it is because it shares this history with the Wernersville Train Station which was the subject of a previous article, and is the next stop after Sinky heading west.
The Sinking Spring passenger train station was built 1872 and the freight house in 1858. Both had fallen into disrepair by the 1970s. The Sinking Spring Historical Society was formed in 1977. From the societies formation the “Save Our Station” committee formed for the explicit purpose of finding a way to preserve these structures. The project was headed by Richard Barnett and took over a year of feasibility studies and fundraising. In December of 1978 their hard work paid off; the station was relocated from its original location in front of The Railroad House on Woodrow Avenue to its current location in Heritage Park, less than a quarter mile west. This year marks the 45th anniversary of that monumental undertaking.
The station is now used as a museum and the freight house is used for society events including membership meetings in the warmer months.
Heritage Park 2023 Open House
Sunday September 17, 2023 – 1 PM to 4 PM Museum and Buildings Open to Public
Please join the Sinking Spring Area Historical Society in Heritage Park, Sinking Spring for an open house of the 1872 passenger train station and 1858 freight house (once part of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad’s Lebanon Valley Line), circa 1926 Reading & Columbia Railroad signal building and circa 1900 office building along with the museum collections of local area historical and railroad artifacts. There will be music by Phyllis Sands in the Freight House during the afternoon. Light refreshments will be available. The public is welcome and admission is free to tour the buildings and museum. The event is held rain or shine. Directions: Turn onto Park Avenue from Penn Avenue (Rt. 422) to Clematis Avenue through townhouses to park gateway and entrance. All welcome, open free to the public. Rain or shine. For more information call Paul Miller at 610-678-4219.
Wednesday September 13, 2023 at 7:00 PM
Historian and author, President Paul L. Miller will present an historical train ride program of vintage photographs entitled ” Rails of the Lebanon Valley Railroad, Reading and Columbia Railroad and Heritage Park Project” for Heritage Park’s 45th anniversary in the Heritage Park freight house. Open to the public.
Interested in joining the SSAHS?
The Society meets on a quarterly basis (usually September, November, March and May), generally on a third Wednesday at 7:30 PM with occasional exceptions. Members enjoy programs about historical topics, along with an annual dinner and a newsletter issued twice a year containing local historical articles. Annual membership is $10.00 per person. The Society is always open to new members, volunteers, and local memorabilia donations for the museum. The Society has established an endowment fund for the future maintenance of Heritage Park and welcomes your contributions. The Society is a 501(c) (3) tax deductible, non-profit organization. For more information, contact President Paul L. Miller at 610-678-4219.
This has been a partnered post with the Sinking Spring Area Historical Society