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Magnolia in Camden County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Railroad Stations of Magnolia

1877 - 1943

 
 
Railroad Stations of Magnolia Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, March 14, 2020
1. Railroad Stations of Magnolia Marker
Inscription.  
In 1853 the Camden and Atlantic Railroad was chartered. It ran successfully till 1875 when dissension among the officers developed over the handling of the railroad affairs. Four officers withdrew from the Camden Atlantic, they felt that more could be done to increase the profit of the railroad and they determined to build their own line to Atlantic City. In March of 1877 the Philadelphia and Atlantic Railroad construction began. One of the four men formerly of C & ACRR was Samuel Richards who soon became their leader.

There is a legend in Magnolia that back at that time, Mr. Richards had been invited to Chalkley Albertson's home in Center township for dinner and to discuss the possibility of having the train stop in the little hamlet then known as Greenland, and sometimes known as Fredrickville. It was during a walk around the Albertson plantation that Mr. Richards noted the beautiful Magnolia trees growing there and admired them. Later, it is said, that is why he named the station "Magnolia".

WE have not been able to determine when exactly or where a first station was built in Magnolia. There was much construction
Railroad Stations of Magnolia Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, March 14, 2020
2. Railroad Stations of Magnolia Marker
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and reconstruction along the Philadelphia & Atlantic City Railroad over the past 124 years, starting almost from its first year of operation. Much of the documentation regarding these changes has been lost. However, based on photographs and limited documents, we know that at least five stations of some form or another were built and used here in Magnolia, including two major freight stations. One is shown in a photo that depicts it as being built just before or just after 1890. In other photos, two freight stations are shown, and the date is 1922. Based on what we find on our early maps dating from 1870's, 1907, 1917, and 1944, we know for sure that passenger shelters were built on both the northeast and northwest sides of the railroad. We also have documentation via Photos and Railroad Guides, dated, 1888 on into 1925 & 1940's that tell us we had enclosed passenger trains here. The maps we possess show all he shelters or stations on the north side of Evesham Rod. However there was a six hundred foot platform on both the Northwest and the Southwest side of Evesham Road, (shown on map of railroad right-a-way 1917). Based on what we know and can validate, we believe that probably the first station was probably built in the early 1877-89 period, on a spot possibly chosen by Mr. Richards of the P&ACRR and as photos show, near where the freight stations were built later. We believe
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that the platforms for the most part were shared by farmers who finally had a fast way to ship their produce. Local patrons were happy to be able to travel to and from Camden and also to Philadelphia via the railroad leased ferry on a daily basis. The most popular passenger trade was to Atlantic City. As the Railroad progressed or lagged according to the changing times so did the station facilities. Passenger shelters were removed and stations built, and vice versa. ONe last photo of our station shows that it had deteriorated and was not being used. The photo shows it with a passenger shelter that is being used alongside of it. Not long after it was also removed.

The Philadelphia and Atlantic City Railway
1877-1883

The organizers of the P & AC saw a great potential in express passenger train service from Philadelphia via the ferry across the Delaware River to Camden and on to Atlantic City with stops along the way. They hoped to lure passengers and freight from the C & A by creating better service and lower cost for express freight and passenger service. In March 1877 a single set of narrow guage rails was laid from Camden, passing through Magnolia and other small towns toward Atlantic City. On July 7, 1877, in just 90 days, the 54.67 mile track was completed. The first train run for officials and friends, made the trip on July 7, 1877, the same day
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the last section of track was laid near Cedarbrook. However, July 25, 1877 was the first day the P & AC officially opened to the public with two trains headed for Atlantic City carrying eight hundred passengers. At Tansboro, a derailment occured involving five of the cars. One person was killed and several injured. AFter about an hour the portion of the first section that had remained on the tracks left for the shore. The second section returned the the injured and disheartened back to Camden. Operating expenses became higher than income and on July 12, 1878 the P & AC went to bankruptcy. Finally, on December 1883 it was acquired by the PHiladelphia and Reading, familiarly known as the Atlantic City Railroad.
 
Erected by Magnolia Historical Society.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceRailroads & Streetcars. A significant historical month for this entry is March 1877.
 
Location. Marker has been reported damaged. 39° 51.259′ N, 75° 2.172′ W. Marker is in Magnolia, New Jersey, in Camden County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Evesham Avenue West and East Atlantic Avenue, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 438 Evesham Ave W, Magnolia NJ 08049, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this location. The Atlantic City Railroad (here, next to this marker); Magnolia Station (a few steps from this marker); Churches (within shouting distance of this marker); Early Education in Magnolia (within shouting distance of this marker); Families in Magnolia (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Borough of Magnolia Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); Vietnam War Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Story of the Peter Mott House (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Magnolia.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 16, 2020. It was originally submitted on March 16, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 53 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 16, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Dec. 6, 2021