WWW.TomYoung.us  WWW.TomYoung.net 

A Place where I can spout off about anything . . . and often do 

Glenloch, PA.

I can say with a straight face that I used to live in a train station.  When my parents were first married during the WW2 era, my grandfather on my mother's side was the postmaster/train station manager for the Pennsylvania Railroad at Glenloch, PA near Philadelphia.  My mother and father as well as one of my sistersGlenloch Train Station and I lived with them until I was about 3 years old and my father, who had recently returned from the war was able to buy a home of his own.  I have searched all over the internet and have been unable to find another picture of the old structure, so here it is for all you railroad buffs, and for those of you who live in the subdivision that is now located in what was the forest that surrounded the property.  This property was closed and abandoned after my grandfather, Arthur  Bagshaw retired.  It fell into disrepair and was recently rebuilt and is now being used as a photography studio  near the entrance to the subdivision.  The original name of the Glenloch station (sometimes spelled Glen Loch) was Steamboat but was changed to Glen Loch in 1872.  This photo was from an old family album.  According to information in the following thread on RootsWeb http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/PACHESTE/2005-03/1112141442 the name Glen Loch came from the Scotch-a lock or lake in the glen.  This thread contains a wealth of history about the area and the post office.

Glenloch DisrepairThis photo (used by permission, Daily Local News, West Chester PA) shows the sad state the building deteriorated into.  The photo, taken by Daily Local News photographer  Bill Lyons was used in an article about early plans to develop the area.  Today there is a nearby Home Depot as well as other commercial businesses and residential developments as well.

On a recent visit to the area the four of us got our nerves up and knocked on the door ofPhotograph Studio the business and were rewarded with a tour of the rebuilt structure.  I have to confess to a feeling of warmth and familiarity.  Even though the woods surrounding the old train station have been replaced by houses it still felt like it did when we visited my grandparents there so many years ago.  The new owner did an excellent job of restoring this historic property.

Glenloch postmarkI purchased the envelope to the right from a seller on eBay.  I was hoping that the postmark was done by my grandfather, but upon investigating the stamp I found that it was issued in 1883, approximately the time he was born in England.  There were over four billion stamps of this type sold so I would think that it predates the time my grandfather was postmaster. Glenloch no longer has a post office.

Here is another postcard I purchased from a seller on eBay which probably was postmarked by my grandfather.  I am not sure when he became the postmaster at Glenloch, but it would have been in this time frame.  Even though I can't prove the cancellation was his, I would like to think it was, and will hold on to this postcard with that assumption until I find out differently.  I'll bet the writer could never dream that it would end up posted on the internet for the would to see someday.  It also is an example of how you can connect with bits of your past just by looking.  From time to time I simply search eBay for "Glenloch" and that is how I have found these items.  By the way, from time to time I check with the provider of the hosting service for this web site, and this page is usually one of the more popular of the sites I maintain.  I hope those of you who found the page of interest will drop me a quick email and let me know why you searched for Glenloch.  I suspect many of you were looking for a place by the same name in Austrailia.

Uncle Fred PostcardThis is a postcard my sister, Pat noticed in an old family album.  It is a Christmas card addressed to my Uncle Fred when he was a boy.  As you can see, the postmark is almost a century old, and settles the question I had earlier about when the family was at the post office.  I was surprised to find the colors so natural and the ink so readable after almost a century.  I'm guessing here that Mrs. Shunk was his teacher.  Freddie Bagshaw Christmas Card BackCan you imagine, she probably had to drop the card off at the very post office where my uncle lived.  In those days people would come to the post office to pick up their mail.  At least it was a short trip for my Uncle.

Newspaper1Several newspaper clippings were saved and I am sharing a few of them with you here.  It would seem that my grandfather was a well respected person in the Glenloch area, and the closure of the station and post office were not appreciated by all.  I am not sure of all the sources, since they are in fact just clippings, but I did determine that most of the newspapers these stories came from were Philadelphia papers that no longer exist.Leaving  In spite of the wishes of the locals the post office was closed and this picture shows the doors being closed for the last time.  Ironically this event occurred the same week that my grandmother passed away. 

FolcroftI received an interesting letter from Kevin Hale, Metuchen, NJ which you might find interesting if you are interested in these train stations.  It would seem that he has done a fair amount of research and found a station with the same floor plan which is still standing in it's original condition.  I am posting the letter he sent me with enclosures as PDF files as well as the last page of his enclosure which shows the station at Folcroft, PA.  His letter tells the story of how these station plans were utilized.  Here is his letter:

For more information about these old train stations I suggest http://www.west2k.com .

This page is dedicated to my mother, Ethel M. (Bagshaw) Young who passed away July 10, 2009.