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Transportation in Washington County

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National Road in Washington County

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Franklin Railroad Company in Washington County

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Trolleys in Washington County

 

Franklin Railroad Company [Penn Central]

Actually, the first railroad to enter Hagerstown was the Franklin Railroad Company, now the Penn Central. The date was February 3, 1841 and the line linked Hagerstown with Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, providing a route between that city and the Old National Trail at Hagerstown.

It is recorded in Coverdale and Colpitts history that:
"The Franklin Railroad Company, incorporated in 1836 to build a railroad from Chambersburg to Hagerstown, commenced construction in March of 1837, and the line was opened for use on February 3, 1841 . . ."

Hagerstown borrowed $20,000 in 1839 to bring the line into the city. Up until that time, the town had depended upon stagecoaches and wagon trains to take its products to market and bring merchandise back to local customers.

The original minutes of the Moderator and Commissioners on April 16, 1839, read:
"The Moderator and Commissioners have been authorized to subscribe for stock in the Franklin Railroad Company any sum of money not exceeding $20,000, provided that in consideration of such subscriptions the said railroad agrees to construct said track through or as near the center of town as is practicable, and that a committee of five is authorized to wait upon the land owners to obtain rights of way . . ."

The Franklin Railroad came into Hagerstown under that agreement.

In 1850, the name was changed to the Chambersburg and Hagerstown Railroad Company. Three years later, the Maryland portion became the Chambersburg, Greencastle, Hagerstown Railroad Company. Still later, it became the Cumberland Valley, the then Pennsylvania and, until another change occurs, the Penn Central.

 

Reprinted from:

"It Happened in Washington County" by Reuben L. Musey; published by the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, 1976; pp 89-97

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