Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site in Cambria County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Lemon House
Samuel Lemon and his wife Jean moved to this mountain in 1826 and built a log tavern not far from here. As many as fifty Conestoga wagons a night camped at Lemon's first tavern on the old turnpike that crossed this gap.
Five years later, in 1831-32, after learning the Allegheny Portage Railroad would cross the summit here, Lemon built the impressive sandstone building in front of you. When the railroad opened in 1834, the "Lemon House" enjoyed a lively business serving food and drink to railroad passengers and workers. The tavern was on the main floor; the family lived upstairs.
In addition to his tavern trade, Lemon operated a profitable coal and lumber business. The coal mine shaft was located on the hillside behind you. The four-foot thick vein of coal provided power for the portage railroad's steam engines, and helped to make Samuel Lemon one of the wealthiest men in the Alleghenies. He died in 1867 at age 74.
The Lemon House about 1900 [in photo], nearly fifty years after the Allegheny Portage Railroad ceased operating. Ivy covers the wall above the main entrance. Note the water pump, hammock, and fruit
The Lemon House remained in the Lemon family until 1907. The National Park Service purchased the property in 1966. Today portions of the restored building are open to the public during scheduled hours.
About 1898 George W. Storm painted this interpretation of life here during the railroad's heyday. In the foreground, passengers return from the Lemon House to their coaches for the downhill trip to Johnstown.
Erected by National Park Service.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Entertainment • Industry & Commerce • Man-Made Features • Railroads & Streetcars.
Location. 40° 27.392′ N, 78° 33.089′ W. Marker is in Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site, Pennsylvania, in Cambria County. Marker is on the walkway between the portage railway and the Lemon House, accessed by the trail from Engine House No. 6. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 110 Federal Park Road, Gallitzin PA 16641, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Levels (here, next to this marker); Engine House No. 6 (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Allegheny Portage Railroad (about 400 feet away); Inclined Plane No. 6 Skew Arch Bridge Trail (about 400 feet away); a different marker also named Lemon House (about 500 feet away); Railroad Stone (about 600 feet away); Summit Level Historic Area (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker.
Also see . . . Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site. (Submitted on March 22, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on March 22, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 525 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on March 22, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.