Stony Creek Railroad Bridge

Both sides of the bridge had this jumble of randomly sized rock in the center. Was it built this way originally?
Was this an attempt to strengthen the bridge, or was an outer casing of stone removed to widen the roadway?

Before the bridge could be replaced, these Verizon lines had to be moved.
Just before the bridge was torn down, the missing railing was replaced. Safety first! Notice the condition of the tracks.
View from the bridge in 2009.
View from the bridge in 2010.
View from the bridge in 2016.
June 2010. Photo from the North Penn Reporter.
Checking things out at sunset, after the workers leave for the day.
October 2010. Forms being readied for the concrete abutments.
The new deck arrives in October of 2010. On the right, Verizon cables now go underground.
On top of the new bridge. October 31, 2010.
The track was replaced for several hundred feet in each direction.
1875 rail meets 2010 rail. Looks like a problem. How did the trackmen resolve it?
Several sections of tapered rail were used to match the new with the old.
Here is where the old and the new are tied together.
Sumneytown Pike in 2009, looking north. Allentown Road is to the right, now closed so it can be moved to the other side of Green Lawn Cemetery and aligned with an entrance to Merck. Allentown Road opened in 1768. This was the second time the intersection was moved. It was routed along the train tracks in 1914 so it wouldn't have to cross them.
Widening Sumneytown Pike.
Sumneytown Pike in 2012.

This area was known as "Kneedler's," named after the Kneedler Hotel. The hotel was built by John Beaver around 1758. After his death in 1762, Jacob Heisler married his widow and apparently got the hotel and quite a bit of land as part of the deal. He lived here until his death in 1821. It was purchased by Henry Kneedler in 1840.

The place where Allentown Road met the Sumneytown Pike in 1768 was determined by the location of the hotel, the new road going past the hotel just before meeting the pike.

Kneedler's Station opened here in 1875 as a stop on the Stony Creek RR, but unlike Luken's Station, where the village of West Point seemed to spring up overnight, not much of interest ever occurred at Kneedler's. According to this map from 1877, Henry Kneedler owned 135 acres of land and two buildings on either side of the pike, in addition to the hotel. Perhaps it was Kneedler himself who stifled development of the area.

In 1912 the tracks for the Lehigh Valley Trolley came through, with a station here known as Kneedler's, though it's actual name was "Wales Junction."
Allentown road in 1877 and after it was moved in 1914.

Notice on the map there was once a Baptist Church on Allentown Road (to the left of the word "Kneedler"). This was the Gwynedd Baptist Church, built in 1860. It was demolished in 1878 after a larger church was built in North Wales. The cemetery to this church exists today adjacent to Green Lawn Cemetery.

More important, the train tracks at Kneedler's seem to be drawn in the wrong place, and cross Allentown Road after passing the church. The map is, in fact, correct. Allentown Road was moved sometime around 1914 so the train and trolley tracks would no longer cross it. Green Lawn Cemetery was paid $500 in "damages" for the use of their land for the new roadway.

Looking at the right-hand map above, the arrow points to a building that appears to be in the exact location as today's Park Place Diner on Sumneytown Pike. This will give you some idea of where the hotel was located. If the map is correct, Kneedler's Hotel was located at what is now the diner's parking lot.

Kneedler's Hotel was demolished in 1903. A "public house" (a taproom or saloon where food was served) and hotel was then erected by Arnold Becker. It was named the "Gwynedd Hotel" but the area continued to be called "Kneedler's."

Passenger service ended on the Stony Creek Line in 1936. Trolley service ended in September of 1951. The trolley tracks were immediately removed so that the court could not force the bankrupt company back into business.

Allentown Road and Sumneytown Pike after 2010. Probable location of Kneedler's Hotel is the red square.
  The trolley at Wales Junction (Kneedler's.) The white building used as the station is now a tool shed at Green Lawn Cemetery.

Along with the hotel, train station and trolley stop, the area has also lost its name.


Photo Credits: Thanks to Dick Shearer, John P. Almeida, Geoff Patton.