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In 1887 a small branch railway, which soon came under the control of the Erie Railroad (ERIE), was built along the east bank of the Shenango River from New Castle up to Sharon. A small freight and passenger station was established at the intersection of West Washington and Shenango Streets in about 1889. The P&LE took over this building in 1914 (in the wake of fire that destroyed the Union Depot in 1910) and remained there until a new “joint” B&O-P&LE train station opened in Mahoningtown in 1933. The ERIE subsequently reoccupied this station. (c1925) Full Size
The ERIE subsequently continued service at this station (indicated by black arrow) even after merging with a rival railroad in October 1960 to form the new Erie-Lackawanna Railroad (EL) – which was later merged into the government-owned CONRAIL system in 1976. This photo shows how close the station is to the West Washington Street Bridge. The facility was closed for good in about 1970 and put up for sale a few years later. (c1953) Full Size
By the mid-1970’s the future of the abandoned train station was in serious doubt. It sat directly within the right of way for the proposed Columbus Inter Belt – a small highway system to be built around the downtown area of New Castle. The city soon took over control of the property and legal hearings ensued. Various groups worked feverishly to preserve the station as a museum and eventually won the right to relocate the building. (c1974) Full Size
In the spring of 1977 it was moved onto a new foundation located just 300 feet to the north. The building was subsequently restored and became home to the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce. In November 2017 the Chamber of Commerce vacated the station and moved to a new downtown location. In the spring of 2018 it was announced that the Human Services Center (HSC) would take over the former train station at some point. (Mar 2013) Full Size
David Denny #
I lived in the neighborhood in the early 1950s and again around 1968. I remember as a kid, probably 1956, my dad took me to see the last steam engine to stop at the station. Frank’s Bar and Grill was just down the street and was one of his favorite watering holes.
Dan West #
Some sources say the station was built in 1890, but the Sanborn Insurance map from 1888 shows the station, so it was likely built in 1887 when the New Castle & Shenango Valley railroad started. This station was remodeled and used by the P&LE following the demise of Union Station and the subsequent temporary station there. The P&LE occupied the station on June 1, 1914 until 1933 when that railroad’s new station opened in Mahonington. In 1933 the Erie RR moved some division offices back into the station. I don’t know when it was vacated after that.
Stacey Christe #
This is such a beautiful station – you all have one a fantastic job of preserving it.