The Philadelphia and Reading Railroad has taken possession of the new passenger station and freight house. The new buildings are a credit to the community. The passenger station was finished first. The ticket office and the telegraph office were moved in on Tuesday, there by becoming owner. Quakertown now has a fine new station house in every respect, as any other town along line a fact admitted by all the people who toured and admired the building.
The expenditure of over $30,000 for a station house and freight house was more than our town had reason to expect, although the town and adjacent county furnished a greater amount of patronage than most if not all the stations. The improvement had been necessary for a number of years but the Reading Co. did not undertake the work until they were ready to give us a first class modern station house, such as we know have and the patrons appreciate it all the more. Both the new buildings and everything belonging there, to have been constructed in such a substantial manner as to make them the best buildings in the town. The next generation will hardly see the time when the granite walls and concrete floors and pavements will need repairing.
The work of making these improvements was commenced in march when the old station house was moved out of the way for the new structures. Cramp & Co. Ship builders, of 1421 Filbert Street, Philadelphia were the contractors and the work was superintended by Mr. W. D. Carter of Pitman N.J. who, with his family, has lived here for the past nine months and made many friends acquaintances.
The new station house is 25 feet wide and 97 feet 6 inches long. not including the circular of about 5 feet at the north end, making the entire length 102 feet. Its style is not peculiar to passenger stations of nearly all the railroad companies in this section of the country. It is built with Rock Hill granite with Indiana limestone bases and sills. The roof is of slate and projects 8 feet over a concrete walk around the building. There are also extensions to the roof at each end for shelter and protection of passengers. All the walks around the building also the floor in the basement and a portion of the first floor, are made of concrete and cement of which probably 600 square yards were required. The entire length of the concrete walk along the tracks is 293 feet.
The interior arrangement of the building is most complete and convenient. The main waiting room occupies the north end and is and is approximately 22 feet by 50 feet. It is a cheerful room with comfortable seats large windows and easy swinging doors, high ceilings and comfortably heated. Next to the waiting room is the ticket and telegraph office with a circular bay in front. The toilet rooms are situated along the west side opposite the ticket office and are fitted out with modern sanitary plumbing. The smoking room is situated next to the ticket office and connected to the gents toilet room. The baggage and railway express office occupy the south end of the building and are of equal size. The floor of these rooms is made of concrete. The whole interior is finished in chestnut wood highly polished. The basement contains a hot water heating plant with which the building is heated. Both the freight house and the passenger station and surroundings are lighted by electricity from the Quakertown borough and water is furnished by Quakertown Water co. Drainage is effected by a moat complete system, including a terra cotta pipe sewer draining on the companion ground along the railroad towards the creek. The freight house which was also erected during the summer and which has been in use for several months, is 128 feet long by 30 feet wide, with 68 feet extension on each end. There are large doors along both sides giving plenty of room for teams to load and unload and making it convenient for freight handlers to load and unload from freight cars. The freight office occupies the north end of the building and is a large and conveniently arranged office room. A wagon scale is being erected near the freight house.
The employees of the railroad company now in charge of the station are as follows; W.F Gotshall (agent), Wilson Fritche (day operator), Frank Arnold (night operator), Walton Hartzel (messenger and baggage handler), Arthur Fluck, James Werkheiser and Herbert Moyer (billing clerks), Joseph Schnure (janitor), and John F. House (crossing watchman). A.J. Roberts, who has for many years had charge of the railway express business, now has a large convenient office. He is ably assisted by his son Clinton Roberts.
The Quakertown Free Press was in print from 1881 to 2009 and reported on news in Quakertown Borough.