The town of Rockhill Furnace, Pennsylvania, located in the mountains in the south central part of the state, was the home to the famous East Broad Top Railroad, the oldest narrow gauge railroad east of the Mississippi River. The railroad is currently not operating, but just across the street from the old Orbisonia station, you will find the Rockhill Trolley Museum, the first operating trolley museum in the state of Pennsylvania.
You can see the trolleys waiting for you to board as you arrive. You look around at the huge collection of trolleys most of which are from Pennsylvania, but there are those that are from other parts of the U.S. and from other countries around the world. Then again, what is the point of going to see old trolleys when you can ride one, and there are a few that you can ride through a small section of woodlands and meadows? You leave the station, and you pass by the barns, and you enter into the forest along a route that many mine workers from the nearby mines once took. (The mines are now not in operation and are not open to the public.) You arrive at the end, and the operators switch the poles for the return trip.
The Rockhill Trolley Museum is a must for anyone who is a rail or a trolley fan. It is located at 430 Meadow Street in Rockhill Furnace, Pennsylvania (just off U.S. 522). It is a three and a half hour drive from the D.C. area. The museum, unfortunately, is only open from Memorial Day to late October and during late November and early December for their holiday events. You can go to www.rockhilltrolley.org to get information about fares, schedule, to see photos, their collection of trolleys, and to see how you can be a part of their ‘Run-A-Trolley’ program where you operate the trolley. You can also get information on their annual events to include the Aughwick Antique Tractor Show, Ragtime Piano Weekend, Steel Wheels and Rubber Tires plus their annual Easter, Fall, Halloween and Santa Trolleys just to name a few. Be advised that this will not be a place that you will visit only once, and it is a great getaway from the big city.
Joel Salomon, President of the Rockhill Trolley Museum, made big contributions to this article and supplied the photos to the slide show that accompanied this article.