Inside the Museum at the Station: A Glimpse Of Glen Rock’s Vast History


Photo Credit: Glen Rock Historical and Preservation Society

Pictured is an original train schedule used at the Main Line station. The trains back then had some unconventional names, such as “Hoboken Cannonball” or “Milkman’s Special.”

by Cadia Warner and Yethmie Goonatilleke

One of Glen Rock’s most interesting and informational locations has been hiding in plain sight.

Located right beside Main Line station on Rock Road lies one of Glen Rock’s hidden gems: the Museum at the Station, a project of the Glen Rock Historical and Preservation Society. 

Originally known by Glen Rock’s commuters as the Erie Main Line Station, the original 1905 building has since then transformed into a museum filled with exhibits and artifacts detailing Glen Rock’s vast history. While many of the artifacts come from institutions within Glen Rock, the GRHPS also acquires items from estate sales and accepts donations from Glen Rock families. 

In recent years, there was a fire near the museum’s entrance. Luckily, nobody was harmed and the exhibits are still intact. The town happily supported the museum and funded for some restorations. Although a minor setback, the museum staff was granted the time and opportunity to reorganize the museum. Mrs. Kathleen Walter, borough historian and GRHS History teacher commented on the bright side following the fire: “It got us to look at our collection, and figure out how we’re displaying it—what part of the story of Glen Rock that we want to tell.” 

Old medicine bottles from none other than our own Rock Ridge Pharmacy as well as the unmistakable delivered milk bottles shown above. (Photo Credit: Glen Rock Historical and Preservation Society)

COVID-19 was another setback for the museum. Once the fire restorations were completed, a pandemic struck; this was not great for reopening the museum. Prior to COVID-19, the museum held visiting hours during the last Sunday of each month. The museum’s operations were briefly halted but starting in March of 2022, the museum will resume its visiting hours. However, the staff took this break as an opportunity to make even more improvements and plan future events and exhibits. The GRHPS wanted to work with their limited space and make visitors feel like they’ve been transported to an earlier version of the town. 

“We had the opportunity to organize, so that’s why we were like, ‘Wait, the railroad is a really important part of our history, farming is a really important part of our history, the whole education, the role that Glen Rock played during both World Wars…” Walter explained. Right down to the lighting fixtures, the Museum at the Station is a unique experience. 

Each exhibit in the newly-renovated museum focuses on aspects that are integral to the history of Glen Rock. The exhibits composing the museum are ever changing, but they currently spotlight the town’s railroad, education, wartime and farming history in addition to a glimpse of everyday life in early Glen Rock. They also have a display dedicated to our local civil servants like firefighters, police and volunteer EMTs.

The museum houses the original switchboard that Glen Rock High School used. You may recognize the name Mr. Sponzilli, a former GRHS art teacher, who is featured in the art hallway. (Photo Credit: Glen Rock Historical and Preservation Society)

Though experiencing several setbacks within these past few years, the Museum at the Station continues to document and spread stories of Glen Rock’s ongoing legacy. “We have a lot of stories to tell, and just not enough time or space to tell it” Walter remarks. The Museum at the Station is resuming its visiting hours this month to spread their knowledge of our hometown. Interested in visiting? The Museum at the Station is located on 176 Rock Road and opens its doors to the public from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on the last Sunday of each month.