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The Stationmaster's House

4 Strawberry Alley
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
 
Stationmaster's House This two-story building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1866 for $5,044 by the Cumberland Valley Railroad for stationmaster George Zacharias and his family.  By 1890, it had become the office of Adams Express, one of the forerunners of Railway Express Agency. Later, it was also used by the CVRR for baggage.

When "adopted" by the MMA, the house had fallen into disrepair after serving for many years as a railroad baggage building by the Cumberland Valley Railroad and Railway Express Agency.

In 1976 MMA began restoring the home and furnishing it with antiques and reproductions from the period. The restored building typifies homes belonging to middle class families in central Pennsylvania in the late 1860s.

The Stationmaster's House at one time was owned by the Mechanicsburg borough and leased to the Mechanicsburg Museum Association for an annual "rent" of four strawberries, in recognition of the home's Strawberry Alley address.

 

The Passenger Station

2 Strawberry Alley
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055

Passenger Station The Cumberland Valley Railroad was originally incorporated on April 2, 1831. The first attempt to raise funds failed.  The incorporation was revised in 1835, and the CVRR began operations between Chambersburg and Bridgeport (now Lemoyne) in 1837. A bridge to Harrisburg was completed in 1839, allowing all-rail travel to Philadelphia.

The railroad bought the land on which the Passenger Station and the Stationmaster’s House now stand on April 7, 1866. The Passenger Station was erected in 1867. It served until service ended in 1952.

In 1976, The Passenger Station and Stationmaster’s House were deeded to the Borough of Mechanicsburg and the Borough used it as their office until 2003. Then in 2005, the Mechanicsburg Museum Association through a generous donation from Attorney and Mrs. Richard C. Snelbaker purchased the two buildings from the Borough of Mechanicsburg.

 

Freight Station

3 West Allen Street
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
 
Freight Station Mechanicsburg was the site of a fuel wood and water station for locomotives from the beginning of Cumberland Valley Railroad operations in 1837. Our earliest map of this property is from 1858, and shows it owned by the CVRR, with a building that is most likely the wood and water station.

In 1874, the first CVRR "Freight House" was built in Mechanicsburg. Before this, most freight was handled by independent freight forwarders, who owned their own freight cars, and worked from their warehouses in town.

About 1886, a new siding was added to the two track main line here, and the current freight station was built. Over the years and into the 1950s, shipments to and from both individuals and companies in town passed through the station and its adjoining "Freight Shed" (now gone).

The Mechanicsburg Museum Association purchased the station in 1987 to complement the town's "historic district." Now known as the "Museum at the Freight Station". The museum offers three exhibits each year which focus on areas of community and local interest.

The Freight Station is also home to the Museum Store, which carries distinctive specialty items and heritage crafts from Mechanicsburg.


Washington Street Station


Washington St Station This simple wooden structure offered Mechanicsburg’s travelers a place where they could board a train, or in inclement weather, a place of shelter from the elements. The interior furnishings were very basic to the needs of the persons staying only a short time. The switchman who worked here had to “throw” the switch to move trains from one track to another. Exhibits are visible through the window.











Frankenberger Tavern

217 East Main Street
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055

Frankenberger Tavern One of Mechanicsburg's first residents was George Frankenberger, who in 1801 applied for a license to open his newly built log home for the "convenience" of travelers. In exchange for a small fee, Mr. Frankenberger offered cattle drovers a warm meal and a place to sleep. The tavern has a rustic charm that transports visitors back in time.

Believed to be the oldest building in the borough, the tavern has undergone extensive renovation. A third-story addition was removed and the roof replaced with wooden shingles and the fireplace was rebuilt to comply with 20th century regulations. Several doors, the stairway and the wavy glass panes are original.

In 1983, the tavern was moved 100 feet from its original location to accommodate the construction of "Frankeberger Place", a small business building. The owners, Dr. and Mrs. John Capello, donated the tavern to the community.





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