Route Map Fares
A New Electric Line
An account of an Interesting Trip by Rail from Mohnsville to Adamstown.
Reading Eagle April 28, 1895
As the Mohnsville & Adamstown electric railway will be finished in a few weeks, “Eagle” readers may be interested in a trip which a reporter took over the new line a few days ago.
Thousands of people are acquainted with the country between this city and Mohnsville, since the opening of the Reading & Southwestern electric railway, several years ago, but comparatively few have traversed the district beyond to Adamstown, one of Lancaster county’s most ancient boroughs, located very near the Berks line.
The Mohnsville and Adamstown line is completed within a short distance of the later point, and the work of laying the tracks through the old town is being pushed with vigor. They will be extended to a grand old grove, a short distance beyond the village, some 7 acres in extent, filled with magnificent chestnut, oak and other trees, which it is intended to fit up in fine style for pic-nic purposes.
The company expects a good business and is pushing operations so as to catch the summer trade.
The advent of the electric road to Mohnsville, has filled the intervening section with many pretty homes. Small suburban towns have sprung up, and all along the line to Mohnsville building operations have been carried on with activity. Not so beyond Mohnsville. There it is purely an agricultural country, though it is expected that pleasant homes will be erected on some of its fertile fields as soon as the attractions of the beautiful Wyomissing Valley are fully opened to summer excursionists and pleasure seekers.
It is undoubtedly a fact that before long that section will be dotted with neat houses just as they have been built at Oakland, Edison, Shillington, Mohnsville and other points.
To the latter place from Reading the motive power is electricity. Beyond Mohnsville a small “dinky” engine draws the single passenger car, which is invariably well filled. The particular car on which the reporter made the trip was in charge of Joseph Kelchner as engineer and Charles Bossler as conductor, and the run of 7 miles from Mohnsville to Adamstown was made in less than 30 minutes.
The little locomotive is one of the best of its kind, and bravely and satisfactorily performs the service for which it is intended. The road passes through the middle of Mohnsville, then shoots around a curve and the traveler finds himself in a little valley, with the sloping hillsides forming a declivity in the direction of the tracks.
Next the cars pass over substantial stone culverts until more level country is reached, and rich farms stretch out in all directions as far as the eye can reach.
Then the car dashes on as the traveler catches a glimpse of the little village of Gouglersville, three-fourths of a mile to the left, and then on past some more prosperous looking farms.
Mohn’s Hill is next reached. A substantial-looking church stands on the top-most summit, and in the gathering twilight forms a pleasant picture in relief with the sun sinking behind the western horizon. The sides of the hill are steep and abrupt, and covered with huge boulders.
Nearby is the little cluster of farm houses known as Kricktown. The engine next passes through Miller’s cut, the deepest cut on the road, and then Moore’s mill dam is reached. This, it is said, affords excellent fishing. Moore’s Mill is nearby, its lazy old water wheel turning slowly to the rhythmic music of the Little Muddy Creek.
The little engine speeds on as if a fortune depended on its getting to Adamstown in time. The country becomes more abrupt, and on a straight stretch of track, when the ancient town, lying between the hills in perfect rural quietude, is reached.
Adamstown has been wanting a railroad for over 30 years, and now its ambition at last is gratified. The last disastrous venture in that direction was the much-advertised Reading, Lancaster and Baltimore railroad. A great deal of grading was done, when all operations were suspended, and to-day the Mohnsville and Adamstown railway occupies part of the deserted roadbed.
Tradition has it that the old town was founded by William Adams, who belonged to the same family as John Adams, the second president of the United States. Ex-Gov. James Adams Beaver claims to be descended from this Adams, and has promised to make a speech at Adamstown on the day of the formal opening of the road.
Cars are now run every 1 ½ hours, but it is stated that another engine has been ordered, and as soon as the roadbed has been ballasted, more frequent trips will be made.
Adamstown is a pleasant place in which to spend a few hours. The inhabitants heartily welcome all strangers, and are eager to show him wherein the place of their residence beats all the rest of the world. The ambition of Adamstown to have a railroad is now gratified, and its friends expect great things of the town in the years to come.
Coming back the “Eagle’s” guide pointed out a lonely Mennonite graveyard located on the hillside in the midst of green fields, not far from Adamstown. The steep declivity, which leads to Mohn’s Hill, is covered with small cedar trees. The fields everywhere look promising, and in a few weeks this entire valley will be arrayed in all the richness of its spring time glory. The trees are budding, the growing crops are shooting out in every direction, and along the Wyomissing everything is putting on life and a freshness which summer visitors are bound to enjoy.
There are half a hundred prosperous looking farms along the route, and among them may be mentioned those occupied by Daniel Adam, Levi and John Grill, all adjoining each other, near Mohnsville. Then on the left is Joseph Matz’s fine farm, and further on those of Joseph Wenrich, Richard Wilson, Gabriel Matz, Hiram Kohl, who occupies one of the best properties in the entire valley, William Stitzel, Richard Hornberger, Frank Keller, Issac Spatz’s, tenanted by William Fisher, Frank Miller, Martin Moore, Jacob Artz, Isaac Brendle, Ludwig Custer, who is president of the road, and many others. The farmers all look contented and happy, and they hail the coming of the railroad with delight.
The first stopping place after leaving Mohnsville is Westley’s crossing. Then comes Shonour’s crossing, followed in succession by Cedar Lane, Gouglersville, Stitzel’s Lane, Kricktown, Miller’s crossing, Fisher’s Station, Knauer’s crossing, and many others. The new road, it is believed, will bring a great deal of trade to Reading from that section of Lancaster county, and for this reason the construction of electric railways to other sections and radiating from Reading, is so strongly advocated by many business men.
Coming back to Mohnsville, which is now aspiring to be a borough, the visitor finds a bustling little town of 1,200 people. About a dozen houses are going up. Its 5 hat factories, run by Spatz, Son & Co. Westley hat company, John H. Spatz & Co. Worley & Bro. And Jacob Kessler, are all in operation. Other industries are the Wyomissing hosiery company, Frank Wanner’s planning mill, E.G. Wanner, hat box manufacturer, Mohnsville planning mill company, Andrew Wertz’s cotton factory, Snader’s gun barrel works and the cigar factories of Richard Bitler, John Eshelman, George Leininger, Walter Weber and others.There are 4 stores, 2 blacksmiths, 2 wheelwrights, a hotel and one physician. Isaac Spatz is putting up a factory building, but he refuses to say what will be manufactured there, but some of the knowing ones told the “Eagle” that straw hats would be made there.