Historic Cambridge Springs trolley station officially opens - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

Historic Cambridge Springs trolley station officially opens

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CAMBRIDGE SPRINGS, Pa. -

Since taking over the former Cambridge Springs trolley station in 2009, Saturday's open house has been a dream for Dan Higham.

"We're really happy about that, we're really happy with the way things have turned out over the years," said Higham.

Together with the Northwest Pennsylvania Heritage Partnership and students from the Crawford County Vo-Tech School -- Higham officially opened the Cambridge Springs landmark, now as a museum and community center.

But they're keeping many of the authentic pieces of the building intact -- like the old ticket window -- from the time it was a trolley station in 1910-1928.

"When we stripped the doors down, we found "waiting room" etched on them," said Higham, noting another artifact they kept in the new facility, located at Railroad St. and Venango Ave, on Rt. 6/19.

But that's not all. The dispatch center now looks the way it did nearly 100 years ago; black and white photographs line the halls of the building.

The original bricks where the tracks used to be. And by next summer, members of the Heritage Partnership hope to have a trolley sitting outside the station.

"Actually, it puts Cambridge Springs in a very special position," said Ken Springirth, historian and author of 34 books on trolleys.

The opening house comes more than a month after fire destroyed Cambridge Springs' most historic landmark, The Riverside Inn. Springirth believes the restoration project could put the town on the map during what he calls a "slow, steady rail revival."

"In 1970, there were only seven streetcar systems left," he said. "Today, there are 34 in the United States."

The Partnership claims it's the only trolley station of its kind in the Northwest Pa., Southwestern N.Y., and Northeast Ohio area. But its decor, and imagery, takes visitors back to a time when it wasn't the only one.

Another open house is scheduled Sunday for 10a.m.-4p.m.

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