Save Our Station: Mertztown Train Station

 Built in 1875, the Mertztown Train Station is a rare survivor of the original stations built for (or by) the East Pennsylvania Railroad (known also as the East Penn). Chartered in 1857, the Railroad connected a critical gap in already-laid track, thereby creating a continuous rail route between the port of New York and Harrisburg—and, ultimately, to the West.

Longswamp Township Historical Society (LTHS), which acquired the historic station in April, 2019, is raising funds to cover costs* associated with the station’s restoration and adaptive reuse; when work is complete, the building will be a museum that showcases items of relevance to the Longswamp area, a historical library, LTHS headquarters, and a community gathering place.

(* Estimated costs of $310,000 include excavation and construction of a secure basement storage area. You can view architectural blueprints at www.longswamphistory.org/)

Local rail transport offered great opportunities for business growth in Longswamp Township. Products manufactured here, like lumber and paint, and a myriad of mineral elements, could now be more efficiently delivered to areas beyond the limitations of horse-drawn wagons. Farmers could likewise sell their crops, cattle and milk into new markets. Iron ore, found in great abundance in Longswamp Township, could be efficiently shipped to area furnaces and foundries, as could the finished products that were manufactured at these facilities. The Railroad also served as a gateway to the outside world for Township residents, allowing people to more quickly and easily travel for business or leisure to places beyond the easy reach of horse-drawn carriages.

More than 150 years later, the transformational effect of the East Pennsylvania Railroad on Longswamp Township and adjacent communities remains evident:
·      Within Longswamp Township, an 18th century and multiple 19th century mansions stand as testimony to the wealth amassed, in part, by the ability to move goods further and faster, as did multiple business structures that have since been destroyed by fires.
·      Multiple businesses, a school district, and a geographic area, all bearing the name of East Penn, lie in close proximity to the pioneering, single-track railroad.

Longswamp Township Historical Society (LTHS) has been serving the Longswamp area since 2011. In 2012, it was designated a charitable organization under IRS Codes 501(c)(3) and 509(a)(2). As an independent, self-funded committee of Longswamp Township, LTHS relies on fundraising, membership fees, donations, and profits from merchandise sales to cover operating costs. Similarly, it is working now to raise the needed funds to launch its Save Our Station - Mertztown Train Station Project through fundraising, donations, and foundation grants. The Project has been endorsed by Pa. Senator Bob Mensch, Pa. Representative Ryan Mackenzie, the National Railroad Historical Society, the Longswamp Township Board of Supervisors, and the County of Berks Parks and Recreation Department.

Thank you!

The Longswamp Township Historical Society

If you’d like to learn more about us, our project, and what we do, please visit our website:

https://linktr.ee/longswamphistory 

If you'd prefer to mail us a donation, you can address it to:
Longswamp Township Historical Society
P.O. Box 610
Mertztown, PA 19539
  • M.P. Stamm 
    • $5 (Offline)
    • 1 d
  • P.A. Stamm 
    • $5 (Offline)
    • 1 d
  • A. Stichter 
    • $300 (Offline)
    • 1 d
  • S. & C. Kerchner 
    • $300 (Offline)
    • 1 d
  • B. Murphy 
    • $100 (Offline)
    • 10 d
See all

Organizer

Longswamp Township Historical Society 
Organizer
Longswamp, PA
Longswamp Township Historical Society 
Registered nonprofit
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