Friends of Heritage Rail Trail Corridor

 

Friends of Heritage Rail Trail Corridor:

The Friends of the Heritage Rail Trail Corridor was formed in 2001 as a result of the newly opened Hanover Junction Train Station in North Codorus Township and the anticipated opening of the New Freedom Train Station in the borough of New Freedom in 2003.  The Hanover Junction Train Station is renovated to its look in 1863 during the Civil War.  Part of the building houses a museum concentrating on the local Civil War history.  The New Freedom Train Station is restored to its appearance in the 1940’s, during the heyday of the Northern Central Railroad.  Within the station are a railroad museum, including an actual size K-4 engine diorama and an original working freight scale and original safe.

 The Northern Central Railway NCR), Hanover Branch Railroad (HBR) both station and Howard Tunnel, all found in the Heritage Rail Trail County Park, all hold significant historic highlights.  The Hanover Junction train station was built in 1852 and was situated at the junction of the  NCR and HBR.  During the Civil War, included in the station was a telegraph office which served as the major communications between Gettysburg and Washington, D.C.  On June 27, 1863, a small band of Confederates raided the station and burned the turntable, cut telegraph wires and burned several bridges.  During the Battle of Gettysburg, at least 10,000 troops passed through Hanover Junction, many of which were injured or decreased. 

 On November 18 and 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln’s train stopped at Hanover Junction on their way from and to Washington, D.C. to Gettysburg to dedicate the National Cemetery and deliver the Gettysburg Address.   There is still a debate among historians if the pictures showing a Lincoln figure on photographs are really the President.  Mounting evidence shows that it was not Lincoln pictured.  Lincoln’s funeral train passed through here in April, 1865.

 The New Freedom Train Station saw much train traffic, both freight and passenger though the first part of the 20th century.  It was not uncommon on a Sunday, some 10,000 people brought trains to New Freedom to attend revivals at Summit Grove just south of town. 

 Howard Tunnel, located about 4 miles north of Hanover Junction is the oldest stone-arch tunnel in the country along an active railroad.  Opened in 1840, the tunnel was enlarged in 1875 to allow two trains to pass side-by-side.  Prior to the Battle of Gettysburg, close to 300 Union soldiers were stationed at the tunnel to guard it from any attack of the Confederates.  Up to 3 guns were positioned on top of the south portal.

 

      The Mission Statement for Friends of the Heritage Rail Trail Corridor (FHRTC) is to provide assistance to the York County Department of Parks and Recreation as an organization dedicated to the historic preservation and interpretation of the Heritage Rail Trail County Park.

 

The purpose and objectives of the FHRTC are:

• To educate the public regarding the history of the corridor in York County
• To help interpret and understand the park’s strategic and historic importance upon local, statewide and national affairs
• To collect and preserve, for educational purposes, any significant relics, artifacts and documents relating to the corridor
• To foster greater awareness, interest, friendship and pride in the communities which share the corridor’s history
• To promote and participate in fundraising activities as opportunities arise
• To provide public assistance and interpretation at the stations


The FHRTC has an Executive Committee that meets throughout the year to prepare the open house schedule, monitor the attendance records, oversee the gift shop sales and address other programming opportunities.  Executive Committee members also assist as Greeters at the stations.

The group schedules their annual Covered Dish event each year in March.  The Friends group also hosts a picnic at Hanover Junction Train Station each August.  All greeters and volunteers are also invited to the York County Parks Volunteer Reception in April and the Picnic in June.

Special Events at the Stations:

 Hanover Junction Event

 

2018 Greeter Schedule

We Are Looking For Greeters:

What is a Greeter?

A greeter is a volunteer who simply enjoys talking to people and requires no knowledge of either station.  Greeters are stationed at New Freedom and Hanover Junction train stations to welcome guests to the Museum, answer any questions they may have and supply them with some information on the history on the area.  Both Museums are operated under the Friends of the Heritage Rail Trail Corridor and are open between May and October each year for public visitation.

Why should I become a Greeter?

Being a greeter is fun!  It is a great opportunity to learn more about things that interest you and share them with others.  Most visitors to our Museums are either interested in the history of the area or are trail users that have a curiosity to see what’s inside.  As long as you enjoy talking to people, you qualify as a greeter.  Friendships have been formed through being a greeter and the knowledge of giving something back to the community.  Greeters are invited to special functions by the Friends groups and York County Parks (picnics, Holiday events, volunteer recognitions, etc.)

Who can become a Greeter?

Everyone is welcome to volunteer.  Our list of greeters ranges from scouts and school students earning community service hours to working people who enjoy spending time in the museums as a method of relaxation to seniors, who joy getting out and talking to people.  A Greeter under the age of 18 needs to be supervised with an adult while volunteering.  

How do I Qualify?

Not to worry, there are no tests to take to become qualified!  If you wear a smile, this is a spot for you.  Any information you need to know about the Museum, local history, area restaurants and motels or rail trail is all in an organized Information Notebook at each station.

Are there any training sessions? 

The Friends of the Heritage Rail Trail Corridor provide on-site training.  You are scheduled for a time slot with an experienced greeter who walks you through the various steps of opening and closing the museum and providing information.

When are Greeters Needed?

Both the Hanover Junction and New Freedom train station operate identical schedules.  Shifts are available on Saturdays, May through October (10:00 – 1:30 AND 1:30 – 5:00) and Sunday, June through September, the museums are open from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.  The museums will also be open on Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.  Shifts are also available in June  (Hanover Junction) and July (New Freedom), first and third Wednesdays from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. as part of the Porch Talk series.

 WHAT IF I HAVE ARTIFACTS, PHOTOGRAPHS OR OTHER MEMORABILIA THAT MIGHT BE OF INTEREST?

The Friends group is always looking for new artifacts, photographs or other memorabilia to enhance the history of one of the museums.  There is no guarantee that an artifact will be on display immediately, depending upon the exhibit themes at the time.

WHAT IS AVAILABLE IN THE GIFT SHOP?:

A wonderful place to do shopping for someone who loves the outdoors or local history.  The gift shop offers an assortment of memorabilia including:

• Heritage Rail Trail Corridor T-Shirt
• Heritage Rail Trail Corridor Patch
• Heritage Rail Trail hats
• Heritage Rail Trail mugs
• Train station postcards
• Abraham Lincoln postcards
• Abraham Lincoln bookmarks
• Abraham Lincoln magnets
• Hanover Junction en-enactment DVD
• The Northern Central Railroad and the Civil War booklet by Scott Mingus

 

Hanover Junction, A Lifetime of Memories