Historic Hanover Junction. The passengers from Steam Into History's 9AM excursion watch from the platform of the storied Hanover Junction Depot as their train is turned for the southbound run back to New Freedom.
With over 160 years of railroad history behind it, this place is a very fitting destination for the new excursion trains. During the Civil War era, this location was the junction between the Northern Central Railway and the Hanover Branch Railroad. The former ran between Baltimore to the south, and York to the north on the main track in the front of the photo. The latter took traffic toward Hanover and Gettysburg on the track where you see the locomotive. Although the NCRY main is still in place for some miles north of this depot, the old Hanover line is just a spur that ends about 20 yards behind the locomotive. The depot to the right is the orginal building, and although it changed quite a bit over the years, it has been restored to its original 1863 appearance. The brick structure to the left is also original to the site, and was once the Junction Hotel. Other infrastructure, such as the old turntable have long since disappeared.
This was a critical junction during the Civil War. At least twice, it was attacked by Confederate forces. After the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863, a lot of wounded soldiers passed through this location on the way to hospitals in Baltimore and York. In November of that year, President Abraham Lincoln's special train stopped at this interchange as it took him to the dedication of the National Cemetery....and his infamous 2 minute address. The legendary Mathew Brady or one of his assistants even took photos of the President's stop here. One such photo purports to show The Great Emancipator himself posing on the platform. While no one can prove who the tall, bearded man in the top hat and long coat really is, the photo is pretty convincing...to me at least. You can see the historic photos of this location, including those of Mr. Brady here. Sadly, this location was also on the route of Lincoln's funeral train, just a year and a half later. If you should visit this site, the museum inside the depot is worth checking out.