The Nicholson Heritage Association, which is preparing for the 100th anniversary of the mammoth Tunkhannock Creek Viaduct in 2015, learned last Wednesday about ways to help make its dreams come true.
Erin Hammerstedt, who works with Preservation Pennsylvania, visited the group and other interested citizens regarding the protection of historically and architecturally significant properties.
She described Projectpath which is a cultural resource initiative with the state Department of Transportation and explained how the public could get involved in local preservation projects.
“My job is to help people protect and preserve what matters to them,” Hammerstedt, who works out of a State College office, said.
She shared some insight as to how the train station could be an opportunity for PennDOT to do a lot of mitigation with bridges that crossed the Canadian Pacific tracks as far north as New Milford and as far south as LaPlume.
She also addressed briefly an historic lenticular truss bridge across the Tunkhannock Creek in Nicholson Twp. near Rt. 92 that is slated to be removed to Lazybrook Park sometime over the next year or two.
Although she had no funds to give out for the freight station project, she explained that the public could be kept updated about various historical projects regarding transportation by visiting www.projectpath.org
At a Jan. 23 public hearing, the association heard of plans to convert an old freight station built in 1849 to a destination- a place visited as a tourist attraction, for educational interest, and for use as a community meeting center.
The total cost of the renovation is estimated at nearly $1.4 million, with the bulk of the budget to be spent on rebuilding the basic skeletal structure, such as flooring, walls, ceilings and roof, and making it handicapped-accessible.
If all goes in the direction the association is hoping with fundraising, construction on the station could begin this year around Labor Day, and be completed in time for the 2015 100th anniversary.
The Nicholson Heritage Association was established in 1989 as a non-profit organization in anticipation of the 75th anniversary of the Tunkhannock Creek Viaduct, and is dedicated to the historical preservation of Nicholson and the region.
Donations are still needed for the station project, and can be mailed to the Association at P.O. Box 496, Nicholson, PA 18446, or can be sent through PayPal online. More information is available at www.nicholsonstation.org.
Besides the freight station initiative, the Association meets regularly to discuss efforts that include the Viaduct Valley Way Scenic Byway and the upcoming 100th anniversary celebration of the Nicholson Bridge in 2015. For updates, visit www.nicholsonheritage.org or visit them on Facebook and Twitter.