Ward Kimball's Grizzly Flats Depot,
Its connection to Disney,
Its connection to the Lehigh Valley Railroad.
Searching for the Lehigh Valley Railroad's
Pottsville branch "Flag Stop" Depot.
So now we know about the Grizzly Flats depot and the Frontierland depot..the history of both
are quite well known..and we know both are based on the LV depot..
What is *not* well known at all is the history of the original LV depot!
As I write this in 2010, No one (in the on-line railfan community anyway)
has ever seen a photo of the actual depot!
1. When was it built? (probably around 1888-1893, but the exact date is still unknown)
2. When was it torn down?
3. WHERE exactly was it located?
4. Are there any photos of it?
5. Were there several of the same design? or only one? (answer! yes, there were several! see below)
6. What color was it?
None of this is yet known..Im hoping that by creating this webpage other historians can be drawn into the story, and maybe we can solve some these mysteries!
Here is what we do know:
1. We have the drawings of the LV depot, The first from the book "Buildings and Structures of American Railroads" by Walter G. Berg, published in 1893.
2. Then an "improved" version of the drawing was made for the December 1946 issue of "The Model Railroader" magazine.
3. Then the original 1893 drawing was re-published as part of the 1975 "Trainshed Cyclopedia No. 24"
4. The depot was likely built in the five years between 1888 and 1893,
based on historic data on the branch,
The 1893 book gives us some background information on the depot:
Built by Mr. F.E. Schall.
Under the direction of the LV Superintendant of Bridges and buildings, Mr. William F. Pascoe.
21 X 13 feet.
Apart from the drawing itself, those are the only details we have.
I began looking into the history of the LV
depot in 2004, when I received an email from my fellow Garden RR club
member, and fellow railroad historian SandyR. Sandy discovered the
connection between the Piko Large Scale model, the Grizzly Flats depot,
and the Lehigh Valley Railroad. Both of us being very interested in LV
history (one of our local railroads) we began digging into this more!
We posted a thread on mylargescale.com to see
if anyone knew anything..
Unfortunately none of these discussions were
able to bring up any new information on the LV depot.
After I upload this webpage, I plan to re-post new discussions on five forums:
(for the G-gauge crew)
Im hoping between us all, we can come up with
new info for the LV depot!
(Actually, the depot wasnt for
Pottsville, PA itself..it was located somewhere on the LV's
Some other early discussions said the depot
might have been located in Rauschs, PA.
The discussion died off back in 2004-2005, with
no further info on the LV depot being found.
Every once in
awhile I come back to this topic just to see if anything new turns
up. I grew up in Schuylkill Haven, which was located on the
Lehigh Valley's Pottsville Branch. Today was one of those days
when the topic came to mind and the thread with your question turned
up. I don't recall seeing the thread before; perhaps it was just
the search criteria I used today.
thanks Brad! thats great information!
Spring Garden Junction.
A large LV system map, from my LVRR
Here is a highlight of the Pottsville branch:
No trackage on the Pottsville branch exists
Yes, there was more than one!
The four LV Depot photos are:
All four are located on the LV's
Hazelton-Pottsville area "coal" branchlines!
Two of them, Drifton and Park Place, are
somewhat simplier, and bear only a slight resemblance to our mystery
"Depot #1"..the bay windows are simple and "square", however the
Park Place depot does share much of the fancy ornamentation, (Drifton
does not) but they do appear to share the same basic plan, size and
shape as our mystery Pottsville branch depot, which makes me believe
they are all variations on the same theme..so I am including them here:
The other two, Ashmore and New Boston, have a
LOT in common with our mystery depot! :)
These two have the fancy bay window, similar size and shape, same ornamentation..the
only difference is they appear to be lacking the window to the left of
the door, Ashmore is lacking the "Jerkinhead
Roof" on the roof
line..although New Boston has it! (over the bay window)..so again,
these are not *exact* copies of Depot #1, but they are very close!
Clearly all variations on the same theme..
Does New Boston also have the sloped roof angle
on the left side of the roof? same as Depot #1??
So we are getting closer!
One question answered though! clearly these are all from the same "family tree" of depot design.
and we now know several depots of this design were used in the LV's Pennsylvania coal fields.
its a start.
Based on these new photos, clearly this
design was used in several locations around the LV coal field branch
lines in the Hazleton-Pottsville area. It is interesting that none are actually on the Pottsville
branch though! (although these are the only the four found so far..I suspect there are several
more!) All four locations are visable on the map above, a bit north of the Pottsville branch, on the
LV's network of Hazleton area branch lines, But not very far away from
the Pottsville Branch.. (if anyone knows
the exact names of the branch lines they are on, please let me know! as
many of you LV fans know, im a "West of Sayre" guy! and thus not very
familiar with the Pennsylvania branch lines. ;)