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Pa. Trolley Museum seeks donations to move, preserve Wexford Post Office Deli building

| Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Submitted
The Wexford Trolley Station, which later became the Wexford Post Office Deli, has had a long, interesting history.
Submitted
The Wexford Trolley Station, which later became the Wexford Post Office Deli, has had a long, interesting history.

Calling all train buffs, history lovers and former regulars at the Wexford Post Office Deli.

The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum seeks $160,000 in donations to dismantle, move and preserve the former deli and one-time trolley station.

“If we raise the money, we'd like to do it this fall,” said Scott Becker, the museum's executive director.

“We estimate that if we raise the first $75,000, we'd start moving it,” Becker said. “Then we would raise the rest to outfit and make it usable.

“If somebody wants to send $5, $10, that would be great,” Becker said.

“These wooden, interurban (trolley) stations are extremely rare. There are hardly any of them left,” Becker said about the 115-year-old former Wexford Station, now located at the corner of Church Road and Route 910 in Pine.

Heirs to the estate of German immigrant Ignatius Brooker and relatives of the late William Brooker, the station's last agent, agreed to donate the 16-feet-by-42-feet structure to the trolley museum.

“It's going to be partially dismantled, because we feel it's probably too big to be moved down the highway,” Becker said. “We have to hire a crane. We have to put in a concrete foundation (at the museum).”

Museum officials also hope to install heating and air conditioning in the former station to make it useable for educational programs.

Museum staffers and volunteers also plan to donate an estimated $75,000 in their time and talents to the project.

Trudi Brooker Purvis, 80, one of the Brooker heirs, led efforts to preserve Wexford Station, originally located at Brennan Road and Route 910. More than 80 years ago, Purvis' father, the late Mark Brooker, helped to roll the former trolley station to its current site with the pulling power of draft horses.

The trolley station then became a post office, antique store and the Wexford Post Office Deli, which closed in late June.

Officials at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum plan to hire Landmark Design Associates, a Pittsburgh architectural firm, and Jeff Pleta of Washington County, an expert in the relocation of historic structures, to guide the trolley station's next move and reincarnation.

“The building will be transformed into four to five modular pieces, and then lifted by crane and transported by truck to the (museum) site,” Pleta said.

Pleta previously relocated a historic schoolhouse in Cranberry and a historic train station in Mars Borough.

In its former life, the Wexford Station served Harmony Route riders on the Pittsburgh, Harmony, Butler and New Castle Railway from 1908 until 1931.

If the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum can raise the money to move it, the former Wexford Station will become the museum's first authentic trolley station.

Deborah Deasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6369 or ddeasy@tribweb.com.

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