Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Glen Echo in Montgomery County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

A Trolley Returns to Glen Echo

 
 
A Trolley Returns to Glen Echo Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Fuchs, April 8, 2006
1. A Trolley Returns to Glen Echo Marker
Inscription. Development of Trolleys. Electric trolleys were introduced to the United States in 1888 in Richmond, Virginia, and quickly became the predominant mode of public transportation used throughout the first third of the 20th century. These vehicles ran more efficiently than horse and cable cars, and changed people's perception of speed and distance. Nearly all cities built trolley lines.

They carried people to work and to their homes, and stimulated the development of suburban communities like Glen Echo. By World War I trolley transport was the fifth largest industry in the country. To increase off-hour ridership, many trolley companies established amusement parks, called "trolley parks" at the end of their lines.

Trolleys to Glen Echo. Glen Echo Park was one such "trolley park". Originally opened as an amusement park in 1898, the land was purchased by The Washington Railway and Electric Company (WRECO) in 1903, and their number 20 line stopped at Glen Echo. This line began at Union Station in Washington D.C., ran
Car 2732 image. Click for full size.
By Tom Fuchs, April 8, 2006
2. Car 2732
west along Pennsylvania Avenue and M Street to Georgetown, and followed a private right-of-way parallel to the Potomac River. The line ended in Cabin John, Maryland at the one lane bridge. This trolley line offered a scenic ride from the city to the country.

The PCC Trolley. In the late 1920's, the Electric Railway Presidents Conference Committee, a group of the presidents of larger trolley companies, held a meeting to develop the first entirely modern trolley car with a standardized design to be used throughout the country. The PCC Trolley, named after the committee, was created in 1936 and provided a smoother ride, faster acceleration and more comfortable seats than previous trolleys. PCCs were extremely successful and are still used in some cites today.

Trolley 2732. You are looking at trolley car 2732, a PCC car built in 1947 by the St. Louis Car Company. It was operated by the Philadelphia Transportation Company on Route 23, running from South Philadelphia through Center City and North Philadelphia to Chestnut Hill. This trolley car is slightly longer
Main Entrance to Glen Echo Park image. Click for full size.
By Tom Fuchs, April 8, 2006
3. Main Entrance to Glen Echo Park
The trolley can be seen below the neon sign.
but otherwise nearly identical to those that ran on the number 20 line to Glen Echo Park and is a gift from the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.

Plans for Trolley 2732. 2732 serves as a testament to the 64 years that trolleys came to Glen Echo. We plan to make this trolley car look like a 1940's Capital Transit car. We hope to electrify the car so it lights up at night, paint the car in traditional Capitol Transit colors of green and gray, and place it on the original tracks which you can see in the concrete roadway. Although this trolley is working condition, we do not intend to make it run. Instead it will be made handicapped-accessible and will be used for exhibits depicting its history and for guided tours.

Trolleys made Glen Echo Amusement Park the major attraction that it was, bringing large numbers of people to this spot, until January 3, 1960. Trolley car number 2732 has returned to Glen Echo to bring back memories of the park's past and to remind us of the nationwide phenomenon of the trolley park.
 
Erected by
Popcorn Stand and Arcade Entrance image. Click for full size.
By Tom Fuchs, April 8, 2006
4. Popcorn Stand and Arcade Entrance
National Park Service.
 
Location. Marker has been confirmed missing. It was likely located near 38° 57.999′ N, 77° 8.288′ W. Marker was in Glen Echo, Maryland, in Montgomery County. Marker could be reached from MacArthur Boulevard south of Goldsboro Road (Maryland Route 614). Click for map. Marker was in this post office area: Glen Echo MD 20812, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 11 other markers are within walking distance of this location. Trolley Parks In America (here, next to this marker); Glen Echo From Past to Present (within shouting distance of this marker); 1921 (within shouting distance of this marker); Glen Echo Civil Rights Protest (within shouting distance of this marker); Glen Echo’s Art Deco Arcade (within shouting distance of this marker); Glen Echo Park c. 1930 (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Glen Echo Park Yurts
Bumper Car Pavilion image. Click for full size.
By Tom Fuchs, April 8, 2006
5. Bumper Car Pavilion
(about 300 feet away); Glen Echo Park: Protest Years 1960 (about 300 feet away); Glen Echo Park: Spanish Ballroom c. 1943 (about 300 feet away); Glen Echo Park: Aerial View c. 1954 (about 300 feet away); Glen Echo Park: Chautaugua c. 1891 (about 300 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Glen Echo.
 
More about this marker. The one lane bridge at Cabin John mentioned in the marker's text as the end of the line is the 1864 Cabin John Aqueduct Bridge, which was a two-lane bridge until re-decked in the 1980's.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. To better understand the relationship, study each marker in the order shown.
 
Also see . . .
1. Glen Echo Park. About the Carousel, including plenty of music to hear and photos to
Dancing in the Spanish Ballroom image. Click for full size.
By Tom Fuchs, April 8, 2006
6. Dancing in the Spanish Ballroom
see; the Spanish Ballroom's history and time line; vintage Bumper Car Pavilion photos; not to mention the yurts, history of the park, visitor services, and a link to the site of the nearby Clara Barton House. (Submitted on April 27, 2006.) 

2. Glen Echo Park - A History page. This history includes photographs. (Submitted on April 27, 2006.) 

3. Washington as It Was: Photographs by Theodor Harydczak, 1923-1959. Photographs of Glen Echo Park "back then." This Library of Congress site requires some work on your part to see the photos. (1) Type "glen echo" into the search box and click Search. (2) On the results page, click Gallery View. (3) to expand a photo to full size, click on one, then on the following page click on the photo again. (Submitted on April 27, 2006.) 

4. Glen Echo Park: A Story of Survival. Book by Richard Cook at Amazon.com. Scroll down to read Betty Burks' Customer Review on this page. (Submitted on April 27, 2006.) 

5. 100 Years of Capital Traction by Leroy O. King Jr. (Submitted on April 21, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.)
6. Capital Transit by Peter Kohler. (Submitted on April 21, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.)
 
Categories. 20th CenturyEntertainmentRailroads & Streetcars
 
Trolley Trestle Over Discovery Creek image. Click for full size.
By Tom Fuchs, April 21, 2006
7. Trolley Trestle Over Discovery Creek
The trolley right of way parallels MacArthur Boulevard.
Flowering Redbud and Dogwood Trees image. Click for full size.
By Tom Fuchs, April 21, 2006
8. Flowering Redbud and Dogwood Trees
The Dentzel Carousel image. Click for full size.
By Tom Fuchs, May 22, 2006
9. The Dentzel Carousel
Carousel in 2011 image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud
10. Carousel in 2011
A Glen Echo Line Trolley in Roanoke, Virginia image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, November 18, 2008
11. A Glen Echo Line Trolley in Roanoke, Virginia
PCC Streetcar 1470 on display at the Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke, Virginia.
A Trolley Returns to Glen Echo image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud
12. A Trolley Returns to Glen Echo
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. This page has been viewed 11,861 times since then and 58 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on , by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.   9. submitted on , by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.   10. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   11. submitted on , by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida.   12. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Paid Advertisement