Brown Shelter

This very distinctive passenger waiting shelter was constructed for the Pittsburgh & Butler Street Railway, dubbed the Butler Short Line by its developers and then further shortened to “Short Line.” It was located on the Brown farm near the intersection of Beacon and Three Degree Roads in Penn Township, Butler County. It is one of several station designs used by the company. This elaborate building is thought to have been pre-fabricated in the company shops in Mars, moved to the site, and installed after the line was opened. Based on the initials carved in the woodwork we know that it has been around since at least 1910.

Brown Shelter as first examined in 1984.

Following abandonment of the line in April 1931, the shelter was moved about 1/4 mile to a home on Beacon Road, where it served as a garden shed until November 1984. At that time, Mrs. Emma Davison, a subsequent owner of the home, donated the building to the museum. To transport the building, volunteers removed the roof and braced the building from within. Then, with the assistance of Mrs. Davison’s son and his highway wrecker truck, the shelter was loaded onto a flatbed trailer and transported to the museum.
As a first step in restoration, new roof joists were fabricated in the museum shop. Rebuilding of the shelter was undertaken by a professional contractor in October 1990 and completed by museum members in July of the following year. This effort required replacement of a portion of the roof sheathing, new shingles, re-hanging the interior ceiling, installation of benches, and a fresh coat of paint overall. The porcelain station signs are replicas made from an original found inside the building and the door is an addition retained from its days as a shed for security reasons.

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Structure Brown Builder Butler Short Line, Mars, PA
Year Built circa 1910 Year Acquired 1984