Monday, February 18, 2013

Point of Rocks, Maryland Gothic Revival Train Station



If you ever find yourself traveling by train on Amtrak's Capitol Limited, or riding the Brunswick Line train between Martinsburg, West Virginia and Washington' D.C., make sure to look out the window when passing Point of Rocks, Maryland Gothic Revival style train station.  The Brunswick line train stops here several times a day, but the Capitol Limited daily run between Washington, D.C. to Chicago does not, at least it did not on the day I rode it.  It is not a working station and you cannot buy tickets inside. 


 Stations like this are hard to find in America.  I traveled by car one chilly Sunday afternoon in February, just to take pictures.  Point of Rocks is a remote little community along the Potomac River, by the C & O Canal.  The station was built in 1973 and has been repair several times since.  

I lingered for over an hour, shooting lots of pictures from every possible angle.  No train came by when I was there, but a young man who works for the railroad was emptying trash and cleaning up around the area stopped and talked with me.  I asked him about trains that may come while I was there and he placed a call to Amtrak on his cell phone before I could stop him.  He proudly reported the Capitol Limited would be coming down the line from Washington, D.C. in about an hour.  I didn't wait, but talked with him for another ten minutes about himself and the station.  He loved working near this little piece of local history and he said he loved his job.  We should all be so happy.    


If you are in the area, stop to look at this great building, or take some pictures.  As the sun gets low in the evening sky the bricks turn a golden hue of red.  With a little imagination you could be waiting for the night train to Washington, Baltimore or New York.  


At the entrance to the parking train station parking lot is Fervency Lodge #200 of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, an interesting looking building I couldn't help but take a few pictures of while in the neighborhood.   The cornerstone can be seen in the lower left corner of the building. 



4 comments:

  1. I can see men in tails with bow ties and women in big hoop dresses and umbrellas waiting to catch the train to 'the city' for an inaugural ball or some other sort of shindig....

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    1. Given the era the station was erected and the proximity to Washington and Baltimore of Point of Rocks, you have to wonder if people didn't also come here for the weekend, getting out of the city. The station is merely a few hundred yards from the Potomac River and a very scenic river valley.

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  2. I've always thought an old railway station would make a great place to live. Except for the noise . . .

    They are all nice pictures, the top one being my favorite. And I like the subtle detail of the light at the Masonic building. Just wondering - "Free and Accepted" masons? Are there some that have been rejected?

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    1. I'm not sure, Brian. On the left of the building, over the cornerstone is a blue sign saying "Ancient Free and Accepted Masons". The term "black balled" I believe comes from a Masonic ritual of voting on a new member. The vote required to be a unanimous casting of white marbles, or balls, into a bag. One black ball will ruin someone's chance of becoming a member. At least that is if memory serves me, but I read it long ago. Nonetheless, the lodge was worth taking a few pictures.

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