An interactive map of Lewis Township school locations
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Magee Transportation Museum
Entrance to the Magee Transportation Museum, Bloomsburg, PA., showing the Carriage House, Motor House, Railroad Station and open trolley in operation
Magee Transportation Museum
Flower-bordered path which includes coxcomb, summer poinsetta, petunias, zinnias and sweet william, leading from the Railroad Station to the General Store at the Magee Transportation Museum during 1969. This is only a portion of the famous gardens, replanted and increased every summer.
Flower-bordered path from the General Store to Trolley Depot, Motor House and Snack Bar.
Passengers board the "Rio Breezer" at the Magee Transportation Museum Station for a memorable 2 mile ride through the picnic grove. The Antique Motor House, Early American Farmhouse, Carriage House, Loretto Pullman and General Store are but several of the authentically restored exhibits and action antiques on display at this exciting Susquenita heritage trail showplace.
Exterior view of the Loretto, a palace on wheels, on display at the museum, built for the late President of Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Charles Schwab.
Dining area with view of rear sleeping compartment in the loretto Pullman, private railroad car of Charles Schwab, steel tycoon of the early 1900's.
A "Naragansett" open-style, Car No. 2 of the Magee shortway Electric R.R. One thousand of these "summer outing" trolleys were used throughout the U.S. in the early 1900's. Completely restored, this St. Louis breezer now an excursion car to the picnic grove.
1801 Stone Farmhouse, originally named "Pleasant Prospect", restored 1970. Formally open to the public by guided tour weekends and holidays, May through October.
On February 23, 1866 the Turbotville and McEwensville Railroad was chartered. Unfortunately, the railroad never materialized. It wouldn't be until June 22, 1886, some 20 years later, when the Wilkes-Barre and Western Railway was formed
that the idea of a railroad coming through Turbotville seemed like a reality. By Monday, December 13, 1886 the railroad opened for business with two round trips each day, except Sunday, from Watsontown to Jerseytown, and a third
round trip in the late afternoon to Lethergo.
The rail line extended from Watsontown on the west and had stops in McEwensville, Warrior Run, Turbotville, Schuyler, California (aka Ottawa), Lethergo (aka Dieffenbach), Derry (aka Strawberry Ridge/Washingtonville), Jerseytown, Eyer's Grove, and Millville. Later stops were added at Rohrsburg, Orangeville, Lightstreet, Bloomsburg, and ended at the ACF Rail Car Factory in Berwick on the east. The line was originally intended to extend from the anthracite coal fields in Shickshinny in the east and merge with the rail lines carrying soft coal from Clearfield County in the west. With the Pennsylvania Railroad running through Watsontown, the rail line ended there on the west, and the line to Shickshinny never fully materialized to the east.
Special Sunday excursions took passengers to places like the picnic grounds at Eyer's Grove and the Bloomsburg Fair. You could also "charter" a Sunday excursion of your own for a family reunion or birthday party if you had enough people to fill the train so that the railroad company would make a profit. It wasn't until the great fire in Turbotville in August 1900 that nearly destroyed the town, that railroad owners decided to cash in on the idea of a Sunday excursion. Struggling financially and looking to make some quick cash, the railroad decided to add a run from Watsontown to Turbotville every hour on Sunday to carry spectators to see almost 1/3 of Turbotville in ruins from the day long fire.
Rich lime deposits in the Turbotville area were shipped from the lime kilns by rail car to farmers at points all along the rail line. Passenger service continued to run from the Turbotville Train Station until it was discontinued completely on the entire rail line around 1937. However outgoing freight consisting of mostly cream from the Dewart Creamery building that stood near the tracks in Turbotville, was happening until the 1940s. At its peak, the Dewart Creamery building in Turbotville shipped one entire freight car of cream each day.
The rail line was later sold to the Pennsylvania Railroad and didn't see much activity until the Pennsylvania Power & Light Company decided to build a power plant near Strawberry Ridge which began producing electricity in 1972. The power plant required a minimum of 10,000 tons of coal per day to keep in operation. The line, later sold to Conrail, is primarily used to supply coal to the power plant, but is still used today to haul grain and fertilizer from points all along the tracks. The rail line is currently owned by the Norfolk Southern Railroad.
Click here for a printable coloring book page of the train station
When the railroad finally came through Turbotville in 1886, the Turbotville Train Station was the western-most station on the rail line. Although the line eventually ended at Watsontown, the rail lines and station in Watsontown were
then controlled by the Pennsylvania Railroad, as was the station at Orangeville.
Virtually all the train stations on the Wilkes-Barre and Western Railroad were identical. With the exception of window and door placements, the floor plans and dimensions, for the most part, were alike. Although there were stops at places like McEwensville, Warrior Run, and Schuyler, to name a few, only stations with agents were placed at Turbotville, California (aka Ottawa), Derry (aka Strawberry Ridge/Washingtonville), Jerseytown, Millville, Rohrsburg, and Berwick. Typically, stops that did not have a station already had some other type of building, such as a general store, in that vicinity, that did the job just as well. Not building stations at stops that already had a building that would suffice saved money for the newly formed railroad in 1886.
As of 2011, all stations on the Wilkes-Barre and Western line were torn down with the exception of two. The Ottawa station was moved a short distance from the tracks and altered and the Turbotville Train Station was moved to Bloomsburg in 1964, where it remained until 2011.
Virtually abandoned after passenger service ended in the 1930s, the Pennsylvania Railroad, who later owned the rail line, donated the Turbotville Train Station to a wealthy entrepreneur, Harry L. Magee, of Bloomsburg. Mr. Magee's holdings at one time included the Bloomsburg Airport, WHLM radio, and Magee Carpet Mills to name a few. Later, Mr. Magee decided to open the "Magee Transportation Museum" on a farm situated between the town of Bloomsburg and the current location of the Columbia Mall.
In 1964, the Turbotville Train Station was dismantled and moved to Bloomsburg. It was used as the ticket booth where visitors could purchase tickets for the trolley ride. The trolley tracks ran the entire outermost areas of the farm. The barn was then converted to a transportation museum with antique cars and all kinds of transportation memorabilia.
The museum fared quite well until Hurricane Agnes struck our area in June 1972. After the storm and severe flooding, the museum lay in ruins. Unfortunately, a short time later in October 1972, Harry Magee died and his family decided to not rebuild. The museum contents were sold, but fortunately the Turbotville Train Station survived intact on the property to this day. The station was flooded most notably again in 1975 by Hurricane Eloise and several more times, including 1979, 1984, 1993, 1996, 2005, and 2011.
The train station was purchased from the owners of the former museum in 2010. However, as fate would have it, the train station would once again be flooded by another tropical storm named "Lee" in September 2011. The station was to be dismantled and moved back to Turbotville by October 1, 2011, but efforts were put on hold until floodwaters receded and the ground had dried enough for equipment and trucks to cross the property without getting stuck. So, by mid December 16, 2011 the train station was dismantled and trucked back to Turbotville.
Reassembly of the station started on February 13, 2012. All was going well until on August 4, 2012, a fierce storm that blackened the skies over the entire area came through Turbotville. Accompanying the storm were driving rains and winds that reportedly topped 82 miles per hours. It was these winds that toppled the train station even before reassembly could be finished. However, volunteers gathered to clean up the remains of the old station and a new shell was erected in just 5 short weeks. Volunteers managed to salvage some of the original structure to reincorporate into the new building.
Tropical Storm Lee Flood Damage
The train station in the distance behind a tree with flood waters still laying in the foreground
Green metal bridge on Route 42/Millville Road just outside the entrance to the train station at Bloomsburg location.
Entrance of Hoffman's Antiques with train station in the background.
Mud covered Route 42, Bloomsburg just outside the train station entrance showing power lines brought down from the force of the rushing waters.
Several inches of mud covering the train station floor.
Front of the train station showing the lower left wall bowed out and the line of mud across the building and window panes where water levels reached higher than 6 feet.
The openings for the freight doors with one door laying inside in the mud. Notice the line across the center of the window panes on the upper portion of the sash that shows the water in the train station was higher than 6 feet, which is just about to the top of the freight door opening.
Front of the station showing debris inside and thick mud in front of the entry door.
Several missing panes of glass on the end windows of the station with debris still clinging to the window sashes.
Left side/rear of the station showing no damage after being flooded.
Right side/rear view showing missing panes of glass and grass hanging from the window sash.
Front lower portion of the wall bowed out 6 inches from the force of water rushing through the station.
Front of station showing the missing freight door that was recovered from a property on the opposite side of Route 42
Route 42 near the train station entrance showing downed power lines and the green bridge covered with trees and layers of mud. Crews are working in the distance to remove trees and debris from the bridge.