Hanover Junction, PA

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

George Thomas

Private
Joined
Aug 28, 2017
Messages
190
Location
Greater Boston (MA) area
Hanover Junction train station looking north

20171125_Hanover Junction 1.jpg


I recently had an opportunity to visit the railroad station at Hanover Junction, PA, which is about 28 miles east of Gettysburg. I have always found the site intriguing since seeing an old photograph in William Frassanito's "The Gettysburg Then and Now Companion" (1997), scene 50. Apparently Lincoln's train switched tracks there in November 1863 and some have speculated that Lincoln appears in one of the photos taken at the site. Frassanito concludes that Lincoln does not appear in the photo, but says it remains a mystery "who took the series [of photographs] and why."

Scott Mingus also had an interesting article in Gettysburg magazine in January 2010 that described some of the action in the area around the time of the Gettysburg campaign ("White's Comanches on the Warpath at Hanover Junction").

The junction is a bit off the beaten path, but has been restored as part of the Heritage Rail Trail County Park. Hanover Junction is one of the access points for a beautiful walking/biking trail that follows the old North Central Railroad from the Maryland state line to York, PA. It is a very interesting trail with some nice scenery along the way. I followed the trail north from Hanover Junction to Brillhart Station. Below are some photos of the station and some sites along the trail. I have also attached some of the old photographs available at the Library of Congress web site.

Hanover Junction train station looking northwest

20171125_Hanover Junction 2.jpg


Scenery along the trail near Seven Valleys, PA

20171125_Seven Valleys.jpg


Howard Tunnel looking north

20171125_Howard Tunnel.jpg


Howard tunnel wayside marker, stating that "Before the Battle of Gettysburg, Union troops manned a cannon on top of the hill to protect the tunnel from Confederates who had been wrecking railroad bridges and telegraph lines."

20171125_Howard Tunnel plaque.jpg


Companion photos from Library of Congress site, available at:

https://cdn.loc.gov/service/pnp/cwpb/01500/01531v.jpg

https://cdn.loc.gov/service/pnp/cph/3b10000/3b16000/3b16000/3b16077r.jpg

https://cdn.loc.gov/service/pnp/cph/3a50000/3a50000/3a50400/3a50436r.jpg

https://cdn.loc.gov/service/pnp/cwpb/01500/01536r.jpg

Looking North

Hanover Junct looking N.jpg


Looking North, closer view

Hanover Junct looking N close up.jpg


Looking Northwest, house on right side of photo is still there, but it is private property and the yard is overgrown, so I could not include it in the modern version.

Hanover Junct looking NW.jpg

Photo is titled "Hanover Junction, Pennsylvania. Bridge at Hanover Junction burned by Confederates before the battle of Gettysburg." I did not find this exact site, but the scenery is certainly similar to what one sees along the trail as you walk north from the junction.

Hanover Junct - burned bridge.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

civilken

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 25, 2013
Messages
3,518
thank you for the beautiful pictures. One of the reasons I moved to Pennsylvania was the beautiful countryside. It's funny when I tell people how beautiful the llandscape is. I guess it's like living in New York and ever-going to the Statue of Liberty how does the song go you don't know what you got till it's gone.
 

USS ALASKA

1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Mar 16, 2016
Messages
4,537
thank you for the beautiful pictures. One of the reasons I moved to Pennsylvania was the beautiful countryside.
My parents moved our family to PA in the late 60's. I grew up here. When Uncle Sam required me to spend time in Germany, it was a revelation. The landscape, the flora / fauna, the weather, I quickly realized why so many German immigrants settled in William Penn's land grant...I quickly felt right at home...

USS ALASKA
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

civilken

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 25, 2013
Messages
3,518
My parents moved our family to PA in the late 60's. I grew up here. When Uncle Sam required me to spend time in Germany, it was a revelation. The landscape, the flora / fauna, the weather, I quickly realized why so many German immigrants settled in William Penn's land grant...I quickly felt right at home...
that would make sense I have heard the same story from Wisconsin.
USS ALASKA
and I
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Joined
Mar 11, 2009
Messages
160
Location
York, Pennsylvania
Thanks for the kind words and excellent photos. If anyone wants to know more about this scenic and historic place here in York County PA, I cover the fighting at Hanover Junction in great detail in my book, Flames Beyond Gettysburg, and I cover the history of the station in my book, Soldiers, Spies & Steam: A History of the Northern Central Railway in the Civil War. There are also many photographs and articles on Hanover Junction on my Cannonball blog that I write for the York Daily Record. Click here to see my blog posts specific to Hanover Junction.
 

civilken

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 25, 2013
Messages
3,518
Thanks for the kind words and excellent photos. If anyone wants to know more about this scenic and historic place here in York County PA, I cover the fighting at Hanover Junction in great detail in my book, Flames Beyond Gettysburg, and I cover the history of the station in my book, Soldiers, Spies & Steam: A History of the Northern Central Railway in the Civil War. There are also many photographs and articles on Hanover Junction on my Cannonball blog that I write for the York Daily Record. Click here to see my blog posts specific to Hanover Junction.
just a little PS. My sister brought her pictures of Germany out and you wouldn't believe how it looks like parts of york County but then I guess you would have a nice weekend. Snows, coming
 
Joined
Mar 3, 2017
Messages
9,852
Location
Chicagoland
I recently had an opportunity to visit the railroad station at Hanover Junction, PA, which is about 28 miles east of Gettysburg. I have always found the site intriguing since seeing an old photograph in William Frassanito's "The Gettysburg Then and Now Companion" (1997), scene 50. Apparently Lincoln's train switched tracks there in November 1863 and some have speculated that Lincoln appears in one of the photos taken at the site. Frassanito concludes that Lincoln does not appear in the photo, but says it remains a mystery "who took the series [of photographs] and why."

Scott Mingus also had an interesting article in Gettysburg magazine in January 2010 that described some of the action in the area around the time of the Gettysburg campaign ("White's Comanches on the Warpath at Hanover Junction").

The junction is a bit off the beaten path, but has been restored as part of the Heritage Rail Trail County Park. Hanover Junction is one of the access points for a beautiful walking/biking trail that follows the old North Central Railroad from the Maryland state line to York, PA. It is a very interesting trail with some nice scenery along the way. I followed the trail north from Hanover Junction to Brillhart Station. Below are some photos of the station and some sites along the trail. I have also attached some of the old photographs available at the Library of Congress web site.

Hanover Junction train station looking north

View attachment 168589

Hanover Junction train station looking northwest

View attachment 168590

Scenery along the trail near Seven Valleys, PA

View attachment 168591

Howard Tunnel looking north

View attachment 168592

Howard tunnel wayside marker, stating that "Before the Battle of Gettysburg, Union troops manned a cannon on top of the hill to protect the tunnel from Confederates who had been wrecking railroad bridges and telegraph lines."

View attachment 168593

Companion photos from Library of Congress site, available at:

https://cdn.loc.gov/service/pnp/cwpb/01500/01531v.jpg

https://cdn.loc.gov/service/pnp/cph/3b10000/3b16000/3b16000/3b16077r.jpg

https://cdn.loc.gov/service/pnp/cph/3a50000/3a50000/3a50400/3a50436r.jpg

https://cdn.loc.gov/service/pnp/cwpb/01500/01536r.jpg

Looking North

View attachment 168594

Looking North, closer view

View attachment 168595

Looking Northwest, house on right side of photo is still there, but it is private property and the yard is overgrown, so I could not include it in the modern version.

View attachment 168596
Photo is titled "Hanover Junction, Pennsylvania. Bridge at Hanover Junction burned by Confederates before the battle of Gettysburg." I did not find this exact site, but the scenery is certainly similar to what one sees along the trail as you walk north from the junction.

View attachment 168597
Great batch of pbotos, George.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

James N.

Lt. Colonel
Forum Host
Civil War Photo Contest
Annual Winner
Featured Book Reviewer
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Messages
12,145
Location
East Texas
... Howard tunnel wayside marker, stating that "Before the Battle of Gettysburg, Union troops manned a cannon on top of the hill to protect the tunnel from Confederates who had been wrecking railroad bridges and telegraph lines."

20171125_howard-tunnel-plaque-jpg.168593.jpg


... Photo is titled "Hanover Junction, Pennsylvania. Bridge at Hanover Junction burned by Confederates before the battle of Gettysburg." I did not find this exact site, but the scenery is certainly similar to what one sees along the trail as you walk north from the junction.
Wow - I'm impressed by this because it supports what I'd previously thought to be at the very least a greatly exaggerated and possibly entirely invented episode set within the old TV miniseries The Blue and the Gray wherein Union special agent Jonas Steele played by Stacy Keatch helps guard a Federal supply train on its way toward Gettysburg. The sequence was actually filmed at Eureka Springs, Arkansas' Railroad Museum and the terrain there looks quite like this in these modern photos.
 
Last edited:

George Thomas

Private
Joined
Aug 28, 2017
Messages
190
Location
Greater Boston (MA) area
Thanks for the kind words and excellent photos. If anyone wants to know more about this scenic and historic place here in York County PA, I cover the fighting at Hanover Junction in great detail in my book, Flames Beyond Gettysburg, and I cover the history of the station in my book, Soldiers, Spies & Steam: A History of the Northern Central Railway in the Civil War. There are also many photographs and articles on Hanover Junction on my Cannonball blog that I write for the York Daily Record. Click here to see my blog posts specific to Hanover Junction.
Thank you so much, Scott, the blog entries are great and I will get the books. I didn't realize they covered this area. The Gettysburg magazine article was very well done. I had put it aside years ago and was pleased to finally make it to the site this year.
Can you say anything more about the then vs. now you photo posted in your blog of the "bridge burned by Confederates"? I couldn't find that perspective, but I only had time to walk north from the station. Would I see that perspective walking south from the station along the rail trail?
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top