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Glen Echo in Montgomery County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
MISSING
SEE LOCATION SECTION
 

A Trolley Returns to Glen Echo

 
 
A Trolley Returns to Glen Echo Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed 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
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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 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.
Car 2732 image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tom Fuchs, April 8, 2006
2. Car 2732
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 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
Main Entrance to Glen Echo Park image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tom Fuchs, April 8, 2006
3. Main Entrance to Glen Echo Park
The trolley can be seen below the neon sign.
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 National Park Service.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EntertainmentParks & Recreational AreasRailroads & Streetcars. A significant historical date for this entry is January 3, 1912.
 
Location. Marker is missing. It was 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). Touch for map. Marker was in this post office area: Glen Echo MD 20812, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
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 Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Glen Echo From Past to Present (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Glen Echo Park
Popcorn Stand and Arcade Entrance image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tom Fuchs, April 8, 2006
4. Popcorn Stand and Arcade Entrance
(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 (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). Touch for a list and map 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.
Bumper Car Pavilion image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tom Fuchs, April 8, 2006
5. Bumper Car Pavilion
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. Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture website entry (Submitted on April 27, 2006.) 

2. Glen Echo Park. National Park Service website entry:
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.) This website may earn income if you use this link to make a purchase on Amazon.com. 

5. 100 Years of Capital Traction by Leroy O. King Jr.
Dancing in the Spanish Ballroom image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tom Fuchs, April 8, 2006
6. Dancing in the Spanish Ballroom
Amazon book listing (Submitted on April 21, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.) This website may earn income if you use this link to make a purchase on Amazon.com. 

6. Capital Transit by Peter Kohler. Amazon book listing (Submitted on April 21, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.) This website may earn income if you use this link to make a purchase on Amazon.com. 
 
Additional keywords. amusement parks
 
Trolley Trestle Over Discovery Creek image. Click for full size.
Photographed 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.
Photographed By Tom Fuchs, April 21, 2006
8. Flowering Redbud and Dogwood Trees
The Dentzel Carousel image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Tom Fuchs, May 22, 2006
9. The Dentzel Carousel
Carousel in 2011 image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mike Stroud
10. Carousel in 2011
A Glen Echo Line Trolley in Roanoke, Virginia image. Click for full size.
Photographed 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.
Photographed By Mike Stroud
12. A Trolley Returns to Glen Echo
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 9, 2022. It was originally submitted on April 27, 2006, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. This page has been viewed 12,715 times since then and 71 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on April 27, 2006, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.   9. submitted on May 28, 2006, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.   10. submitted on July 19, 2011, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   11. submitted on May 5, 2010, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida.   12. submitted on November 20, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 15, 2024