Historical Marker Celebrates Railroad History in Hughesville

New historical marker in Hughesville celebrates the Williamsport & North Branch Railroad. Learn how it shaped the area and why its history is vital today.

The Williamsport & North Branch Railroad was essential for Hughesville, aiding in the transportation of local products.
The railroad's grounds later became the Hughesville Fire Department when the rail line closed down in 1938.
The East Lycoming Historical Society will hold a special program about the railroad at the Hughesville Library.

Hughesville Honors Its Railroad Roots

When Lewis Peterman talks about the Williamsport & North Branch Railroad, you can tell it’s close to his heart. For Peterman, who’s on the board of the East Lycoming Historical Society, it’s all about family. His great-granddad Harry was a station agent in Sonestown, and his great-uncle Philip held the same job in Nordmont.

Marker Reveals Railroad’s Historic Importance to Hughesville

Recently, the people of Hughesville gathered for a special reason. A new historical marker was shown to the public, and it stands where the old railroad once was. Peterman led the ceremony, explaining just how much the railroad meant to Hughesville back in the day.

“Back in 1864, this area was full of untouched woods,” Peterman shared. “The railroad was the only way to ship timber and other goods, especially since we’re talking about a region that’s all mountains and valleys.”

The gathering took place on today’s fire department grounds, right at the corner of West Academy and South Railroad streets. Mayor Rick Smith and council member McKenna Long helped cut the ribbon, marking the spot for everyone to see and remember.

From the Railroad to Everyday Lives

Picture this—100 years ago, this exact spot was bustling with activity. “There was a railroad station here, a freight house over there. And if you look carefully to the right, you’ll see concrete in the ground. That was the engine shop,” Peterman said.

When the railroad shut down in 1938, its main owner gifted the land to start Hughesville’s Fire Department.

Bill Foresman, another board member, spoke about his mom’s old stories. “She’d say they took a horse and buggy to Halls Station, hopped on the train, and went all the way to Williamsport just to shop for school clothes,” he shared. “It was an all-day event back then.”

Keeping the Past Alive for Future Generations

At the ceremony, State Rep. Joe Hamm stressed how crucial it is to teach our kids about the past. “We can’t know where we’re going if we don’t know where we’ve come from,” he said.

Peterman agreed, pointing out that this was the main reason behind the marker. “We want young folks to know about this railroad, because not many do,” he added.

So, what’s next? The East Lycoming Historical Society is organizing a special talk about the railroad. It’s happening on October 19 at the Hughesville Library. The group also runs a museum that’s open three days a week. Why not drop by and discover more about your local history?

Marilyn Walters

Marilyn Walters is a seasoned news journalist with over two years of experience in the field. Known for her investigative reporting and insightful analysis, Marilyn has covered significant global events with an objective lens. Her relentless pursuit of truth and dedication to journalistic integrity have established her as a respected voice in today's dynamic news landscape.

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