The COVID-19 pandemic is a disaster for individuals, businesses and organizations around the world. For us, as for so many, it will be crippling. The impact it will have on our ability to protect this special place, could be too much.
The Mertztown Train Station in Merztown, Berks County, PA, is one of 35 structures within the township boundaries that was deemed historic by Longswamp Township. Here, many residents visited the station during its life as an active rail station. The station served passengers and freight with some residents traveling to local stations, including Kutztown to complete their senior year in high school in the early 20th century.
As rail traffic dried up, the station ended its service in the 1960s and was mostly used for storage until 2019. The Longswamp Township Historical Society acquired the building with the plans to move it to a more secure location at the Longswamp Township Community Park and restore it, so it can continue to be used as a community gathering place. Our plans, much like everyone else’s, have been delayed due to COVID-19. Our project, Save Our Station: the Mertztown Train Station, has been delayed and we’ve rescheduled our open house, which will spark our fundraising campaign.
As a registered 501(c)3 charitable organization without any regular public funding, we are entirely reliant on income from donations, membership dues, and merchandise sales. Without this, we may not be able to complete the project. The estimated project cost is $310,000. We have put our own funds and a grant totaling $47,000. towards the initial phases of the work, but are hoping with additional funding we can complete the project.
We know that times are hard for everyone at the moment, but if you have any funds to spare, we would be very grateful for your help. All donations will go towards our Save Our Station project. Once the project has been completed, the newly restored station can once again be a community gathering place and be an example of what a community can accomplish in an effort to preserve its history and historic architecture. The station's new use will be as the LTHS headquarters for its museum collection, meetings, and public programming along with being a gathering place for the community to learn about local history. Please help the LTHS’ Save Our Station project by making a donation now. No amount is too small.
The Longswamp Township Historical Society
If you’d like to learn more about us, our project, and what we do, please visit our website: www.longswamphistory.org.
We're also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/223973110961828
If you'd prefer to mail us a donation, you can address it to: Longswamp Township Historical Society, P.O. Box 610, Mertztown, PA 19539.