The Nicholson Heritage Association is raising funds to complete the renovations of the former Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad’s (DL&W) Nicholson Station, located right off Route 11. We received a PennDOT Transportation Alternatives Program grant for the rehabilitation of the historic building that covers most costs, but the Nicholson Heritage Association still needs to raise funds to meet match requirements. Perry Contracting is still working on the renovations, and now focusing on the interior. See photos of the work by clicking one of the links above. The station, owned by the Nicholson Heritage Association, is not yet open to the public. The Association purchased the station in June 2012, with donations from individuals, businesses, and a $25,000 Pepsi Refresh Project grant. In 2014, the Association held two public meetings, to present and discuss the results of the feasibility study, funded mainly in part by a grant from the Endless Mountains Heritage Region with PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources funds. The designs were possible in part to grants from the Tom E. Dailey Foundation. Reuther+Bowen, a highly accomplished and diverse engineering, design, and construction services firm in Dunmore, PA, has been working with the Nicholson Heritage Association on the project, including the designs.
This landmark has been a virtually unchanged fixture in Nicholson for more than 170 years. The Nicholson Tourism Center at the Historic DL&W Railroad Station will revitalize the region by attracting tourists to the station, the Tunkhannock Creek Viaduct (also known as the Tunkhannock Viaduct or the Nicholson Bridge to locals), Nicholson, Historic Tunkhannock, Wyoming County, and the Endless Mountains. The station will also attract visitors to the region by linking to the area’s railroading and transportation attractions, including the Martins Creek Viaduct, Viaduct Valley Way Scenic Byway, Starrucca Viaduct, Steamtown National Historic Site, Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour, Anthracite Heritage Museum and Iron Furnaces, Electric City Trolley Museum, D&H Gravity Railroad Depot Museum, and H onesdale: the birthplace of American Railroad. It will also be used for community events.
In addition to the many individual donations that we’ve received, we would also like to thank the following for their generosity of donations to this project: Airline Petroleum, Canadian Pacific, Endless Mountains Heritage Region (two grants for feasibility study and station renovations), Facet Cycling LLC, First National Bank, First Presbyterian Church (Nicholson, PA), Geisinger Medical Group, Golf Tournaments – Craig Smith, Golf Tournament – Matthew Lochen, H & D Waste, Hawk Insurance, Lech’s Pharmacy, M&R Trucking, Nicholson Alumni Association, Nicholson Women’s Club, Pepsi (Refresh Project), Peoples Neighborhood Bank, Pump N Pantry, Sam’s Club (#6581), Tom E. Dailey Foundation (for designs and engineering costs), Union Grange #152, United Methodist Church Mission Group (Nicholson, PA), and United Methodist Women.
Built in 1849 by the Liggett’s Gap Railroad, one of DL&W’s predecessors, the railroad station was the first station built on the Scranton, PA to Great Bend, PA line. Before being used as a freight and passenger station, the building was used to house and feed transient workers. In 1855, the local U.S. Post Office was moved to the station, at which time the name of the settlement was changed from Baconville (sometimes also referred to as Bacontown) to Nicholson. In May 1878, the first telephone service in Northeastern Pennsylvania was opened between the station in Nicholson and the DL&W station in Scranton, about 21 miles south. Nicholson was not the same once the railroad was built. Until the completion of the Clarks Summit-Hallstead Cut-off in 1915, Nicholson was the low point on the rail line and four locomotives were kept here near the station at all times to push trains out of the valley. After the Cut-off was finished in 1915, the railroad station handled freight service only and passenger service was then provided from the new station built on the hill near the recently completed Tunkhannock Creek Viaduct.
Members of the Association have met or discussed this project with representatives from Preservation Pennsylvania, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development, Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation, the Endless Mountains Heritage Region, the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority, and the Northern Tier Regional Planning and Development Commission to garner technical and financial support. We’ll continue to foster these relationships, as well as continue to garner support within the community and region. We are excited about spearheading this initiative and want to encourage innovative partnerships and approaches to the historic preservation of this station with local, state, and federal partners, individuals, and other organizations. By working together, we can preserve this historical, cultural building and promote economic revitalization within our town and region.